Question for Military wives, fiances, etc

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 24, 2010 8:14 PM

Well, I guess anyone can answer, but it's mostly directed at those with loved ones in the military?
How do you handle the fear of wondering whether or not your loved one, if deployed, will come home safe and sound? Do you not think about it? Think about it and try to accept whatever happens? Choose to believe it just won't happen?

This sounds SO lame in comparison to what you all must go through, but I get so nervous about my husband driving an hour a day on a bad highway! I can't imagine being in your positions. How do you cope?

I'm not trying to be nosey (but I probably am). I'm more in awe of your strength, I guess. My husband once considered joining the reserve, and I nearly had a stroke. Luckily for me he wasn't that serious about it.

(Sometimes, I think that military spouses deserve certain medals too)
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 24, 2010 8:52 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I'm not officially a military fiancee yet, seeing has Justin hasn't even left for boot much less his first deployment, so I don't know how much help this answer will be.

Of course, the thoughts of the deployments have come through my mind though. It was the first thing on my mind when he decided he would enlist. KIA is a constant fear, and one from talking from other military spouses (some 20+ year wives, veterans of multiple deployments) that never goes away. However, you have to be positive. You have to have faith in him and his training. Every day is a struggle but in order to get through it positivity and staying busy are the two key factors. Sitting around moping isn't going to make the time go any faster. Staying positive will help him get through his days, as when a deployed person hears of difficulties at home it WILL affect them in the field. One quote I've heard about separation is that "it never really gets any easier, you just learn to deal with it better." These just are sentiments from other military wives that I've heard, since we haven't been through a deployment (or any separation) yet.

Justin being KIA would be my worst nightmare. I hope I never have to answer the door to a somber looking man in uniform, it's the worst fear in the world. But at least if it happened I would take comfort in knowing he died so selflessly protecting the millions of people who live in this great land. I also consider myself pretty religious, so I would know that God was saving a special spot for him in heaven, and that he would always be looking down on me.

With all that said, it's such a complex time for emotions (a deployment) that it's obviously different for everyone and would be hard to put into a novel's worth of words. Everyone copes (and doesn't cope) in different ways so it's hard to put into words. I guess in a few words it's being positive and always being faithful.

Nope, you don't sound nosey at all. Military SOs actually appreciate when people stop and appreciate what we go through. I used to post regularly on another wedding community page. When I told the ladies there that I was marrying into the military, and that we couldn't move together until 5-6 months after the wedding, they were quite rude (tried to talk me out of it, told me that's not a "real marriage beginning," informed me of the military divorce rates etc etc). Trust me, I and all the others really appreciate it when people are positive and supportive of us.

AmyJustin2010.Weebly.Com

 

Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 24, 2010 9:19 PM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

Thanks for your reply! I didn't know that some people are really negative towards military marriages (well, I consider myself negative, but only in the " there is no way I could handle it" way!)

When my husband and I were dating (not quite engaged, but getting close to that point) he talked to me about joining the military reserve (which I still don't quite understand what that means, so if anyone can help, great). It wasn't a " I really want to do this" conversation so much as a "what would you feel about this" one. I had to be honest. I told him that I would not be able to handle it, and that if it WAS something important to him, or if he thought it could be in the future, then I was not the person he should be with.

I didn't say it threateningly. Just I've suffered from severe depression and anxiety. I honestly, honestly don't think I could survive the stress of the occupation.

He brought it up once after we were married, but basically lost interest shortly after. Which I figured means he probably isn't the greatest candidate! Can't lose interest in the middle of a deployment!

Also, I thought his reasons weren't good enough. He never mentioned a personal drive for it, or actually WANTING to do it . Just " well, everyone in my family did it". What are your thoughts on that? Do you think there are " good" and "bad" reasons for joining?

Anyway, I'm rambling.

So, I know that in the military you can't live together without being married, but is it normal to have to wait 5-6 months to move in? Or was that your situation only? Also, how long is one deployment usually? And how much time do you have to serve before you can (if you want) leave?

I'm curious as I do not know a lot about this and feel kind of dense when it's talked about on this board!
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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mrsmclaughlin Posts : 6 Registered: 7/1/08
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 24, 2010 9:53 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Hi there! I'm a VERY proud Air Force wife. His two year mark is just before our one year wedding anniversery. He always planned to join, so I've known since we started dating. It was never something I was afraid of, just something I knew we'd eventually deal with. I think that everyone deals with it differently. We were apart for six months for all of his training and that sort of thing. Then a few months after that he got an apartment off base and we got married. After there was housing available, we moved on base.

Deployements depend on what your job is, where you are going, and what you'd be doing, that sort of thing. There are short few months long deployments, and longer ones, that can last a year or more.

The length of time you serve depends on the contract you sign when you first join. There might be a minimum amount of time you have to serve, depending on the branch you join... I'm not sure. I think you get more money the more time you sign up for, and then there's a re-enlistment bonus if you decide to keep going.

It's nice to have people be curious about this in a positive way. I usually just get "oh, wow, that must me reall hard" type of comments. It's hard, but you get through it. My husband actually just left for his first deployment last Tuesday. Luckily, he won't be gone long and I'll have him back in April. He plans to make a career out of it. We'll be doing 20-25 years plus. It's a good life, honestly. I can't imagine living any other way.

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 12:29 AM Go to message in response to: mrsmclaughlin

It's funny - I can't imagine anyone being able to live that way (the " career" and "20-25 years' part) and you can't picture it any other way! How different people can be! Thought I am willing to bet your a more laid back person, doesn't worry a lot...am I right?

So, your DH was gone during some of your dating/engaged life, yes? Do you think that makes it easier, as opposed to if you'd never been apart before you got married? I feel like it would, for some reason.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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mrsmclaughlin Posts : 6 Registered: 7/1/08
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 12:59 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Actually, I've always been a worrier. My husband flies, and even when they go on a local flight, I'm praying the whole time he's gone, up until he texts me that he's back. I feel so clingy sometimes! I'm always like, text me when you get back, text me, text me! Sometimes I worry so much I don't sleep. I'm really emotional, so maybe that helps me in a way.... Plus, just praying about it helps me get through.... It's weird to say that, because I don't come off as a religious person at all, but it really helps me. It doesn't hurt that I have the best husband in the world, too....

We've been together for four years now, and he left in the summer of '08 for training, we didn't see each other for for six months, he went through basic training, tech school, and a thing called SERE school, which is like survival training and stuff.... Then he got stationed at his base and continued his flight training. We were apart for about seven more months during that until we got married. But during that time, we did get to see each other a few times and I could visit him.

I got used to him being gone, but I don't want that to make it seem like it was easier, you know what I mean? I miss him every single day that he's gone, but I'm so proud of him and what he's doing. We just talk every chance we get and think about each other all the time. Seeing each other again is the best gift we ever get.

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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 11:58 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I'd honestly say that doing it because "everyone's doing it" is a pretty lame excuse for almost everything in life. Those are the kind of people who go in and absolutely hate it, because they came in looking for something different than the military really gives. LMAO, there is one guy in my fiance's poolee (group of guys waiting to ship to boot) class that says he joined the Marines to "get the women." Seriously. When Justin told me that I was like, wow, he's going to get far (not).

Well the reasons Justin decided to join were all legitimate reasons IMO. His program had been cut from our college so he lost his full merit scholarship. He decided it wasn't worth going into debt to get an education he could get elsewhere for free. The job market is a lot nicer to you once you have experience actually doing some job, instead of just being a graduate. So the main motivator for him was the education you can get. There were other factors as well, like the fact he's always wanted to do it, and the fact that you need health insurance in today's world, period. Then there's the fact that it is a recession-proof job. We don't want to have three babies then be out of work, we like the job security that the military offers.

Well, being able to move together depends on your situation. In our situation, Justin is going through boot, then we're getting married. Then he has 29 days of combat training and 6 months of MOS (job) school in two different locations. If you get married once the military member is at his "permanent duty station" i.e. he is done with preliminary training, you can live together right away.

Deployment lengths vary from branch to branch and job in the branch. As of now, most Marines are going out for 6-9 sometimes 12 month deployments, but again, it depends on the job. Infantry men (ground troops) and ground support (tank drivers, etc) get shipped out more and for longer than other guys.

Justin is going in to be a fixed wing aircraft mechanic. Basically he's fixing planes. The avionics field typically deploys less than others in the Corps. I say typically because generalizations with anything military are hard to make. Also, the longer you're in, the generally less you get deployed. We know a man in Justin's MOS that has been in for 15 years now and doesn't get deployed anymore. He hasn't been shipped for 8 years now, as he is stationed in California and is a teacher for all the new plane fixers. Likewise we know an air traffic controller whose longest deployment has been 3 months, so it really just depends.

We're in for five years, during which time Justin is going to finish up the two semesters he has left of school, then if we like it, he is going to apply to Officer Candidates School in hopes of being accepted then of being a commissioned officer. Commissioned officers are in leadership positions and make roughly twice as much base pay, and once officers rank up once or twice, they rank for much better housing.

Right now we're likely going to stay in for 20-25 years as well. After 20 years, Justin can get retirement, then he will only be 41, so he can go work a civilian job and make retirement + a regular civilian aircraft mechanic wage (60-120k, depending on if you're the head mechanic or not).

AmyJustin2010.Weebly.Com

 

Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 

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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 12:04 PM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

To add, I will be seeking counseling during separations and deployments. I have a history of depression and I for sure don't need that popping up again. Plus, there's no shame in asking for help, ever.

AmyJustin2010.Weebly.Com

 

Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 4:05 PM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

I didn't read through everything that was posted...I have trouble reading long posts...I just start drifting into through and not actually reading haha!

It is pretty hard to not worry. My hubby has not been deployed yet but I know what he went through when I was deployed. What I did to keep him from worrying so much is that I made sure to make contact with him at least once a day...mostly by email because it was difficult to get to phones.

I am a worrier...my husband forgot his phone one day and called me from someone elses to let me know he would be late from work. Well it got LATE and I was super worried because I didn't think he meant THAT late. I try to think positive so that I don't sit there worrying so much.

Previously Posted as Military Bride.

CEO of E.N.E.M.A. (Enemy Negotiations & Extraction Military Agency) A special Division of P.O.O.P. (People Offended by Offended People)

When POOP can't do it alone....they call for the ENEMA.



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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Jan 25, 2010 5:41 PM Go to message in response to: DoesntPlayNice

AmyJustin - my husband is an aircraft mechanic! Well, technically still an " apprentice", but he did all the schooling for it and does the same job, just needs to write an exam. His company pays crap though, lol.

You are right - there is NEVER anything wrong with ever asking for help!

DPN - that would be me - freaking out if a phone call was late. I'd have a meltdown.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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britgreg21 Posts : 7 Registered: 3/28/10
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 4:07 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I am so proud of my fiancé who is in the Navy!! Being away from him is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I try to keep busy and also talk to girls who are going through the same thing I am. It helps a lot to have that support when you can't talk to your guy. I look forward to being able to talk all those girls and we help each other a lot! It's so hard to stay motivated sometimes when you can't hear his voice for months... Just letters and emails...

Trying to plan a wedding around the military is also hard! I never know when he will be home on leave. We have discussed a 2012 wedding, but I don't think I can wait that long! We would like to move it up to 2011. I just want to be able to move out with him wherever he is stationed at... It's really hard being apart.

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MeganAriel Posts : 1 Registered: 5/18/10
Re: Question for Military wives, fiances, etc
Posted: May 18, 2010 3:47 PM Go to message in response to: britgreg21

My boyfriend, who is in the Louisiana National Guard, is in Grand Isle, LA currently on a mission to help clean-up the oil spill. I get to see him every two weeks and he said that he is going to propose very very very soon! :D the only thing is that i'm starting to get stressed about the wedding because we already started planning it and he is getting deployed in April. We want to have the wedding in November or December that way I will be on break from school. I'm a 19 year old college student stressing about a wedding that's about five months away! We want to get married on a cruise ship but we can't decide what location and the details in between. I have absolutely no clue where to start and how to stay calm! We have no idea, however, how long he will be in Grand Isle. I never realized that there was this much to planning a wedding especially while working around the military schedule.

Someone please help!

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