Yeah that was our situation. If we got married, my parents told me it meant I didn’t have thier financial support anymore. And uh, college tuition, stipend, and money I had borrowed from them (and paid back!) was more than DH’s spousal combat pay. It just would’ve been a mess. I know it’s not what most people do, but we felt like we were getting married BECAUSE he was deploying. And since I didn’t “depend” on him, we felt like we should wait and “do it right”. Now, if we WERE living together, we would’ve gotten married because in my mind, it wouldn’t have been right to do that to me. It was totally worth waiting for. In hindsight, the extra chunk would’ve been nice, but i’m not sure the financial benefits would’ve been “worth it” for our situation with me still in college. I didn’t want to get married in college (“just to get married” before he left…it felt….weird?) and go down that road. It felt like I was forcing/rushing it even though we knew we were going to get married. Oh, plus, I would’ve gotten kicked out of my sorority–you deactivate once you get married. And I DEFINITELY didn’t want to do that! That was my entire support system.
I know enlisted guys get to pick their R&R dates before the officers. Darling Husband was a captain so he had to wait and see what open slots were left so you’ll know the timeframe relatively early. That being said, I’d tread VERY cautiously planning a wedding during R&R….it’s such a crapshoot, I wouldn’t do it unless it’s a JOP, last minute planned sort of shindig. And if you plan on doing it when he’s deployed, give yourself a good chunk of buffer time. We gave ourselves 6 months just in case he didn’t get back in time (and January is a bad time of year in the midwest). Ask for vendor discounts–people are very sympathetic when your SO is deployed and we got lots of discounts. Also, Lowes–10% off every time you buy stuff =]. And, if your SO has a college degree and/or is close to obtaining one, he should consider the green to gold route. ESPECIALLY if he plans on staying in. The benefits and pay are insanely “better” on the officer side. And you essentially do a lot of the same work once you get into the specialist range of the enlisted ranks. It’s just something to consider. Everybody I know is an officer, and many were green to gold and couldn’t be happier with their choice.
I can blab forever about this stuff. IF you go to the FRG meetings, just know they’re kinda stupid =]. They’ll tell you to stay home and support your soldier, don’t go to bars, don’t go out, etc etc….i thought they were kinda frustrating. I still went out and had fun with my friends. It was the only way for me to not sit around and mope on a Friday night =]. Anyways, they cram it down your throats pretty intensely. Since you’re still in college, I’m goign to assume you’re going to have a little bit of fun, regardless =]. But even Dh was like “wow this is an offensive meeting” but then I found out the divorce rate is like 80% for military couples who get married before a divorce…the statistics are not pretty and they will try to scare you, just so ya know! They’re crazy!
When he gets closer to getting deployed, shoot me a PM. We did a 15 month stint and honestly, the first month was the hardest and after that, I fell into a rhythm and was like “eh, this isn’t so bad”. I had my blue days occassionally but i honestly imagined it to be like, 20 times worse than it really ended up being. So try not to dwell on how awful it’ll be. I spent a lot of nights crying over it, when in reality, i shouldn’t have!
Ok, novel over. Sorry everyone else got subjected to my military article =]