Why You Simply Must Go Overseas When Your Spouse Gets OCONUS Orders
“Well, I don’t have to redo Basic, and I leave for Germany in two weeks” was what my husband said to me when I picked him up from MEPS in November of 2005. I was pretty speechless. I knew that Europe was a possibility but to hear him say this was happening was a bit of shock.
I was pretty excited about this though. For one thing, my best friend was living in Austria and my mom had been able to live in Germany as a DOD teacher when she was my age. Plus, it’s GERMANY! Who wouldn’t want to experience that?
We ended up joining my husband in Germany in March of 2006 and spent four years stationed there. Being overseas wasn’t always easy. There were plenty of times, especially in the last two years, when I just want to move back home. But I am so glad I got to go and experience living in another country.
You see, when your spouse gets orders for an OCONUS location; you pretty much hit the jackpot.
You and your family will get to experience life in a different country, one your friends back home will be envious of. Still, time after time I hear from spouses who don’t want to go for various reasons.
While I don’t know everyone’s specific story and situation, in most cases, if your spouse gets orders to go overseas, get excited and go with them. You will be glad you did. This is why:
It goes without saying that if you live overseas, you will have some amazing travel opportunities. I feel like we did not see as much as we could have and at the end, my kids were able to go to 11 countries before they even started kindergarten. They have seen the pyramids and the Roman Colosseum. They have experienced the German train system and had photos of them with the Alps in the background. I could go on and on about the experiences we had while stationed in Germany.
Life in another country
I wish all Americans could experience living in another country. There is so much you can learn about the other ways people live. There is so much to learn about humanity this way. America is a fantastic country, but there are plenty of other amazing places out there too. Living overseas will give you the chance to learn about other people in a way you simply can’t without being there in person.
Growing as a person
Being overseas will grow you as a person. It will push you out of your comfort zone. You will have to try things you never thought you would. I know my four years overseas has made me the person I am today.
Because you might not get another chance
When we first went over to Germany in 2006, there were a lot more places we could be stationed over there than there is today. A lot of military installations have closed like Schweinfurt, where we were for the first two years and where my 10-year-old son was born. Some military families don’t ever get the option to go overseas. You never know what the future holds and you might not ever get the same opportunity to go overseas in the future.
The close military community experience
There is something about the military community overseas that is different from the military community stateside. When you go overseas, you can meet others who are trying to figure out their way around a new country just like you are. You spend holidays together because no one is going home, it’s too expensive. You connect in ways that it is harder to do when stationed in the US. Take advantage of this and enjoy all that the overseas community has to offer.
Have you ever been stationed overseas? Where at?