Starting a new chapter in our lives

When my husband joined the Military in 2005, we had been married for a little over three years. We had a 13 month old little boy and we were trying to figure out what we should be doing with our lives. My husband had been in the Army before and knew it was something he could do. He didn’t much like it the first time around but it thought that coming home to a wife and family would be much better then coming home to the barracks like he did before. We said we would give it three years and then decide what to do after that.

Army CoupleIn 2009, after about 3.5 years of Army life, through a deployment and a half, he re-enlisted. We felt it was the right thing to do. He still wanted to stay in, I was fine with it too.

Now it is 2013 and for the last few years we have gone back and forth on it. A lot has happened since 2005 and we have been through so many ups and downs with the Military. Although I believe staying in the Military was a decision both of us had to make, if my husband really wanted to stay in and make it a career, I would support him.

However…he is ready to move on. He has started ACAP and we will be a civilian family again by the summer of 2014.

I am ready. I am a little scared but mostly ready. Ready to start a new chapter. Ready for a new type of life. We will be staying here in Tennessee, at least for the next few years. I would love to move back to the West Coast but it is a lot more expensive out there. We own a house we love here so we don’t really want to leave right now.

We have a plan, we have a back up plan and we have some time to figure it all out.

I was telling my husband that 20 years from now we will look back on our life and remember our “Army years.” The 8.5 years that we spent as a Military family. The deployments and struggles. The good times and the friends we made. Right now it feels like the Army is everything in our lives and it has felt that way for a long time. But in the end it will just be a short part of our lives. I am trying to remember that as we get ready for our 4th deployment.

Although he is getting out next year, he does have a deployment to get through. I see it as a huge mountain we have to climb to get to the other side. I worry about something bad happening when he is so close to the end. On the other hand, maybe knowing that when he gets home we will just a few months left of Army life will make it a little easier. I really don’t know.

I think about how Baby J won’t remember life as an Army family. My oldest two will but since he will only be 3.5 when Ben gets out, I doubt he will remember much about it. He will be the only one of our children to get a lot of time with Daddy in his preschool years. He will be the only one of our kids that never remembers missing his Daddy.

When my husband told me he was really getting out of the Army, I felt a big sense of peace. I am not really sure what after Army life will look like for us, but I am ready for it. I am so very ready to start a new chapter.

Has anyone gone through this process?

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9 thoughts on “Starting a new chapter in our lives”

  1. Julie, I can totally relate to this post. My husband is looking at getting out at the end of our current assignment. We’ve bought a house here and plan to stay, but it is scary to go into the unknown and let go of the security. I’ve always found that getting out is hardly ever talked about in the military community, almost like it is a negative thing, but when it is what is best for a family that makes it a positive! I wish you all the best, and I hope the deployment goes quickly.

    • Yeah. Its why we decised to get out. Right after 9/11 they called me, just after my inactive years, and asked me to come back. A quick chat with hubby, while on th phone still, and he said if i do … hed divorce me. I really believe that was no joke. Hed rather we have what little we have right now, look to a better future, than lose me in a war, mentally or my life. I kinda like that he said no, but my patriotic side was really thining about it. They never called him, but he had 2 months left on his inactive time and we were concerned theyd call him back.

  2. my husband got out a year ago and it was rough to start with but then we got a place to live and he got a job and honestly i dont miss the army or the deployments we are so much happier than we ever were in the army. Good luck it will be rough to start with but once he can get a job you can leave the army behind and be used to having him around all the time it’s really nice

  3. Honestly, I thought getting out was a horrible idea for our family, but my husband insisted and did it regardless my opinion. It took him almost a year to find a job. He’s been to two schools. We still owe the Army money because the base we were at sucked at finance and we’re 1300 miles away so it’s not something that can just be fixed. It’s been a complete 100% struggle and I wish we hadn’t had to go through just so he could be close to his friends, most of whom we don’t talk to, or see, and some he hasn’t seen at all in the 1+ years we’ve been back in the same town. The Army had it’s sucky points, but the post-Army life hasn’t been anything but a pain in my ass.

  4. Hi. We went thru this, but differently. My husband and i were both in the Navy. We met over seas during a cruise/shore situation in EU. In the 90’s we were in the old Navy just as it was getting nternet. Our relationship was long distance, for 6 months. Then i got out where he was stationed. On east coast. He had a year or so left. We got married and i became a Navy wife. Ha. Best of both lifes. When he deployed i went home to family on west coast. That happened twice, but two other times while with him, lived thru horrible hurricane situstions and he had to leave with the ship to sea and i was stuck by myself without a drivers liscense. When he got out we ran from a local hurricane as we traveled to west coast . We settled in weat near my family hoping to save good money and go back East, but west is bad for jobs, layoffs etc, even before bad economy in 2008. We make due. God always provided, still does. Be calm and carry on. 🙂

  5. You should totally wriye about your transition. Truth, tips, thoughts, etc to help others as they too get out. There may not be much else out there for other veteran families just transitioning out, but your journey would be great to share with others. I bet really helpul, esp with kids.

  6. Ps. Just have to tell you what a great pic of you both this is on this post! Wishing you the best, and i will look out for your other transition posts…

  7. Congratulations! My hubby is ready to be out too. His enlistment is up next year, but he hasn’t made a final decision yet. He knows I’m terrified of civilian life right now, but he isn’t so worried. I think I’m more worried about leaving the state I love so much…the only state our children have known…and starting somewhere else. I love our church, our house, our life here.

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