Military life isn’t fair. It really isn’t.
One of the mistakes I made going into this life was thinking military life might be fair. I know life isn’t fair but I guess I just assumed that the Military would be. The military is structured and organized, right?
I thought that if you turned your paperwork in on time, you would get a quick response. Nope. Sometimes you have to wait because so and so went on a two-week vacation. Other times your paperwork gets lost or sent to the wrong department. You really have to be on top of what needs to get done.
We stopped getting our BAH once because we didn’t send in a rental agreement, only no one told us we needed to, and figuring out what the was problem took some time.
I thought that if you went through one deployment, you would get a break on the next one. Nope. How often they deploy depends on the unit and luck. Two soldiers can enlist the exact same day in the exact same MOS and have a completely different career path.
You can control some of this, but not everything. Sometimes what happens is just random and that is hard to get over when you think there should be some sort of fairness to this type of life. I learned that fairness has no place in a deployment schedule. Or in military life in general. That is just the way it tends to work.
Through the years I have learned that sometimes you just have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
I have learned that you just can’t plan everything out based on what you think should happen. You can’t even plan based on what has happened in your spouse’s career in the past. Things change a lot and you really just have to go with the flow.
I am such a planner. I want to know what is going on, what time it is going on, where it will be happening and what I need to do to prepare. Military life makes this hard sometimes. Often times you get little notice for something.
Some military families only get a short notice before they have to move. Others go through the deploying one week, not deploying the next to end up deploying anyways. The whiplash is hard to take. And can happen over and over again.
I had to let go of the idea that everything will lead to a nicely wrapped future. I don’t think that is true for anyone. If I could go back in time and tell myself anything it would be that.
I would tell myself that things will happen that I have no control over and that I just have to roll with the changes. I think life would have been a little bit easier if I had realized that in the beginning. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but over the years, as I became a more seasoned military spouse, I started to understand the realities of military life.
If you are new to Military life and you are already feeling the unfairness of it all, take a step back.
Realize that military life is going to be this way sometimes. That the best thing to do is try to roll with what is going on, vent to those who understand, and figure out a way to get through the difficult situation.
Look for the good benefits that this life brings, they are there. If it wasn’t for the Military, I wouldn’t have met the friends I did or traveled to the places I was able to go. I would be a different person and I am not sure I would be as strong.
Try not to be jealous of others. Be happy for them because you never know what might happen in the future. Try to enjoy the journey as best you can. Find friends who get what you are going through, depend on family who wants to help you, and try to support others when you can.
Military life isn’t far, even if you think that it should be. Military life is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, good times, and bad. You just have to work to find a way to make this life work for you, even if that means taking all the struggles one day at a time.