When Being Stationed Overseas is Hard
It’s been 5.5 years since we have returned to the US from Germany. We were over there for four years. In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago. I look at all the photos from that time and they warm my heart. I think about how simple life was then. How beautiful everything was. How much I got to see. It is easy to forget that our time there wasn’t always easy, especially since my husband was deployed twice for a total of 2 years and 3 months.
I tell people that if they ever get the opportunity to go overseas, they should. Being overseas is an amazing experience and you never know if you will ever get the overseas option again. You might not and this could be your only chance.
What to Expect When You Are Stationed Overseas
It is important to know what to expect when you get over there and how sometimes being overseas can be hard. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, it just means that you should be aware that when you are over there isn’t necessarily going to be 100% wonderful all of the time. If you think being overseas is going to be like that, you might get really disappointed when life doesn’t work out that way.
Living overseas can be difficult because you will start to miss certain things about the US. You will miss your family and might not be able to see them for the years you are over there. Yes, for some people being overseas means going years without being able to see your family. Not everyone can afford to visit home and not everyone has family that can come visit. You can sometimes feel like you are stuck in a Military world and it can be difficult to take a break from that. You might have small children that are hard to travel with and a spouse who is always gone.
I think being away from family can be the hardest part about living overseas. You can’t go home for the weekend. You can’t even go home for a week. If you go home, it is going to be a huge trip.
Missing Your Home Country
When we were in Germany I started to miss a lot of the restaurants and stores I loved that were in the states. Although there are a lot of great opportunities for new food experiences overseas, sometimes you want something you are used to having on a regular basis. There is a Chilli’s at Ramstein and ended up being closed when we were there. Thinking about that right now with one just 5 minutes away makes me laugh but I was pretty bummed out at the time. The PX will have American food. Ours had Taco Bell, Popeye’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and a Subway. I told myself I would never eat from those places again once I moved back but that didn’t last too long.
The Military Community Overseas
When you are overseas you are going to have access to the Military community in a way you don’t in the US. I never really understood that until we got to Fort Campbell. In Germany, we had to depend on the post for a lot of things. Our mail, all our healthcare, any American items we needed, etc. The Military post was “home” in a place that wasn’t home. The military installation was a little break from having to be the outsider. Because of this, the Military community is a lot closer than it is in the United States. This was even truer when we were at Schweinfurt because there were only about 3,000 soldiers who were stationed there.
When being overseas is hard, try to remember the bigger picture. Yes, you will miss things about the United States. You will miss your family and all of that can be so difficult. But if you are able to get out and explore, even in your Germany city you will start to see the benefits of being stationed overseas. If you can truly embrace being overseas you will make memories that will last you a lifetime even when being stationed overseas is hard.
Have you felt like this when you were overseas? What did you do about it?