- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
Lately I have seen a lot of posts about being new to the military life or facing new challenges that the military has to offer. I thought it would be a good idea to reach out and maybe offer some support or advice to anyone that needs it because I know I wish someone would have reached out to me.
I thought I would address certain things in sections to maybe help ladies get help for what they need right now.
He is going to bootcamp/basic or is Thinking of joing the military:
Already Married Ladies: This is going to be a hard transition for some of you and it will be very different from having him home with you. Make sure to support his decision and if he has not gone to MEPS or signed a contract then try and compromise on a job. Not every job in the military requires being in the front lines (although we seem to assume so) and you should take time to evaluate your SO’s personality. Being in combat means he needs to be able to handle stress well while understand that the time will arise that he may need to hurt someone and see others get hurt. I personally knew my darling wouldn’t handle hurting someone and that he does not have the mentality to play this role (do not let your desire to keep him safe keep you from seeing what he can actually handle). Take time to look through each job option and discuss what you both think is right (be prepared to understand that is calling may be too strong to change and that you will need to support his final choice). Nextly you need to go from being concered to proud which, is easier said then done. Try and tell him every day that you are proud because more often then not the process of joining causes MANY fights that are directy related to you being scared. Lastly it is best to take a lot of pictures and try your best not to get clingy. Do your best to start mentally preparing yourself for being alone.
Engaged or Dating Ladies: My first suggestion is that you do not get married. I watched too many girls get hitched before knowing they could handle distance and ended up in both divorce and heartache. I promise that you can get married during family day at graduation or even during his first PCS. A lot changes when you are seperated and you begin to see yourself and your signifigant other in a different light. Two things happen during this time and you will either be more and love or you will realize that this is not the life for you. Even if you swear that you can handle distance or have been in a LDR I promise the wait is for the best. His time in bootcamp/basic will vary depending on his military branch. The amount of contact you have with him will also vary based on his branch and his drill sargeant or MTI (sometimes it will also depend on the behavior of those around him). Just like SO’s I suggest giflfriends and FI’s take a lot of pictures and get used to the idea of being alone.
SO’s/FI’s/GF’s: You are transitioning from the mindset of love comes first to service before self. Be prepared to put your life on the back burner because military often changes plans. Learn to schedule in pencil and NEVER pen. Prepare yourself to be both mother and father to your children and also to be your own support. Many times you will be required to put on a smile in order your significgant other from being distracted. This life is hard but VERY rewarding and I promise it will teach you to appreciate your signifigant other more! This life is not impossible to handle but requires a lot of loyalty, faith, confidence, and responsibility. I can’t sugar coat this but I can promise that this is something beautiful and remarkable.
He is in Bootcamp:
So’s/Fi’s/GF’s: You probably checked the mailbox right away and are learning to keep a phone attached to your hip. Not many people will understand your need to shower with a cell phone or even checking the mail box twice a day, everyday. When you finally get a phone call or letter make sure you right down his address correctly. Do not send pictures that are nude or sexual. Do not send pictures bigger than wallet size. If in doubt check out picture standards online, each branch will have a website that address FAQ about bootcamp. Only right happy things and even if this life is not for you…Do not write a dear John letter. Do not write about things they are missing but do make a daily report about what is going on. Once again stay positive! Also remember that what is boring to you WILL be exciting to him! Feel free to doodle or make side comments. Ask questions about how he is doing and what it is like (like group showers!). Tell him what you ate for dinner and make plans for what to do when you see each other again. Remind him in every letter that you are proud. Do NOT write anything but the address outside on the envolope. No kisses or perfume dosed letters. Do not send packages (unless your significant other requests something and is allowed to recieve the package). Try to not send thick letters as they are more likely to be checked. Most of all be POSITIVE (sorry but I can’t stress that enough). Letters are fun memories later on in life so I suggest keeping them!
*sidenote: do not stress if your friend recieves many letters and you only recieve one. Try to learn that no news is often good news and that if it is hard on you then it is harder on him. I promise he is wishing that he had time to write even mor ethan you do. Write him even if he has not written to you!
Already Marries Ladies: If your signifigant other has to go to tech. school or alternate training then I understand that you are frusterated! My darling went to a 8 month tech. school and I had only seen him for three days after basic. The good news is that you can start a schedule and are able to talk more than you did in bootcamp. Find out how ling training is because if it exceeds a certain amount of months the military often allows you to move to his base (this does not include Korea for those you have husbands in the Airforce). Talk daily and start learning military lingo because it will help you better understand your husband (as he is now probably used to using certain phrases) but I warn you that each branch has its own set of terms so be careful not to learn terms that are not related to your husbands branch. Now is a good time to get used to going on and off base. If there is a base near you (assuming you have your I.D card and have gone to DEER’s) then I suggest getting used to seeing everyone in uniform and having to go through secruity.
FI’s/GF’s: If you can hold off getting married until his first PCS then I truly suggest that you do. Tech. School is in many cases longer than basic/bootcamp and gives you more time to grow as a couple and learn how to cope with distance. If you got married during graduation then make sure to enroll with DEER’s and get your tricare set up: refer to my advice for married ladies (above). Tech. School is an interesting time when your significant other is now given freedom that he could not have during basic/bootcamp. Your significant other will probably be adjusting from the stress of basic/bootcamp and may have changed quite a bit. During tech. school you should see your significant other slowly start to learn how to take part in society again. Be prepared for post-bootcamp depression because it is something that effects many women. Continue to be supportive and enjoy your more avaible talk time!
This is a hard time for everyone whether you are a wife or a girlfriend. The simplest and best advice I can offer is that you find time to stay busy! Pick up a hobby and meet new friends (advoid certain member of the opposite sex, especially other service members because often they comfort in order to get sex). Do not cling to anyone to much and continue to be self dependant. Remember that no news is good news and that the reunion is worth the wait! You can and will make it through deployment and that it is always okay to cry. Try to stay away from news but also do not be naive and avoid checking in on political changes that may effect the deployment. Try to get involved with soldier support groups and find creative ways to help the community (you will feel good about having a supportive role). Do your best to remain positive!
*sidenote: don’t be concerned if you realize that you are now less willing to shave!
Support Pages: I suggest avoiding certain support groups and pages due to drama that will make being alone harder than it is! If you find a active and nice support group/page than enjoy it!
Non-Privledged friends: Be prepared to realize that you no longer think the same way as your friends do and that they may say things (unintentionally) that hurt your feelings. Like,”Don’t you miss him?” and “Aren’t you worried about him?”
Wives V.S Girlfriends: Be prepared to not be welcome with open arms and that many wives will not see you as a equally struggling woman.
Higher ranked co-workers: Be prepared to deal with respect and learn how to represent your signifigant other (you CAN get him in trouble) also beware some wives of higher ranked service men and just know that you do NOT have to put up with their drama but DO have to be respectful.
Welcome to the military life and I hope your experience is as great as mine has been! You will have struggles that are unique to the military life but you will adjust and learn as you go!