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I used to be the brand new spouse. The whole military thing was all new to me. I can remember standing on post as a group of soldiers walked by and telling myself, wow, this is really my life now. It was surreal at the time, but now it wouldn’t phase me.
But over the years I have grown, learned, and moved from a brand new military spouse to a more seasoned one. In just a few months I will hit 18 years as a military spouse, and 18 years of all the things that come with the military life.
And wow, I have learned a lot!
Do you feel like you are a seasoned spouse too? Here is how you know you have been a military spouse for a really long time…:)
#1 You know what all those three-letter words mean. MWR, DoD, TDY, and MOS to name a few. And then just when you think you have them all memorized you discover a new one. Those military acronyms always keep you on your toes.
#2 You hear someone hasn’t spoken to their spouse in 24 hours and you think back to your first deployment when you would go weeks without a word.
#3 You don’t start really looking into a new duty station until orders are in hand. Just because they say you are moving somewhere doesn’t mean it will happen.
#4 You no longer write in pen. You have been burned in the past and wonder what took you so long to invest in some really nice pencils.
#5 You know those deployment dates are really just suggestions. Both the coming and the going. They can and do change at any time.
#6 Your family knows the drill. No, you don’t know when you can visit again. No, you can’t tell them when they are coming home from the deployment. No, you don’t know when you will be moving back to the states.
#7 You know that being due with a baby doesn’t mean your spouse will be able to come home early from a deployment. That is a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth. Military spouses do give birth without their spouse by their side.
#8 You avoid the Commissary on payday at all costs. It’s not worth waiting in line for 3 hours. I am only kind of kidding about that.
#9 You have a PCS system down. You know how to make your to-do list, and your moving day schedule, and put it all together in a PCS binder. Or maybe you don’t because you don’t use one because you have done this 100 times.
#10 You have friends all over the world. Yes, quite literally ALL over the world.
#11 You know pre-deployment is going to be stressful and you know post-deployment will be too. But when you are headed to pick up your spouse after a deployment, you still get butterflies.
#12 You know who Murphy is and you hate him. You never invite him in but he always shows up. You are never surprised.
Military life is filled with ups and downs, good times, and bad. We have to laugh about it sometimes, and power through others. Taking the journey, one day at a time.