Reflecting on 17 years as a military family
There is a duty for the spouse in the military and family can certainly come second. There have been goodbye’s right after a new baby was born and first nights alone in the hospital with a new baby. There have been missed milestones, missed birthday’s and missed holidays, and a whole lot of solo parenting. I could continue to write out all the many things sacrificed by my spouse and our family, but then I would completely miss out on all the wonderful memories we experienced due to our many military assignments over the years.
My husband is a Chief Warrant Officer in the Coast Guard; he has 22 years in the military. In the course of 17 years spent together, we have lived and explored a lot of very cool places. In our younger years, we lived on Maui where we spent weekends on the beach enjoying the sun and exploring the ocean. We have experienced many permanent changes of duty station moves following that tour. In fact, we have made the “across the country” trek six times to be exact.
We use these opportunities as a family to explore all the different states from coast to coast. On average we move every 2 to 3 years. We tend to make friends fast- small talk usually gets skipped over because our time in one place is limited- so we just go all in right away. These friendships are precious and continue long after we have moved. We have 4 children, ages 8, 7, 5, and 3. From what I observe is that our children adapt to new situations and are outgoing at making friends young and old. It’s not easy always being the new kid, but it sure can be special at the same time.
As a military family, we know service to the nation, and completing the mission is paramount, but in order to do so, we must balance work/life imperatives and ensure that we have healthy relationships at home prior to mission execution. Conversely, my spouse, children, and I understand the unique challenges military life brings along with it. Forging strength through family ties allows our service members to fulfill the oath they made and continue to make to defend our liberty and way of life.