Many years ago, I was sure that I would NEVER marry a man in the military. Besides, I was not going to be pregnant all by myself, while he is off in a foreign land fighting in a war! I would not even date military guys…until I met my husband. He was a great friend and I enjoyed his company. He used stealth tactics to market himself as the man of my dreams. He was persistent like you wouldn’t believe, until I finally gave in and released myself from fear. It has been almost six years since I officially joined the ranks of military spouses throughout the world.
Military spouses face unique challenges that others outside of military circles may not understand. I was very excited when First Lady Michelle Obama expressed an interest in addressing these challenges. Finally, someone is taking notice.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are many advantages to being a military spouse. Military families get to travel throughout the world, basically for free. We have some say as to where we go, but ultimately, the needs of Uncle Sam dictate where we reside. As for me and my family, the traveling has helped us to become well rounded. We have friends all over the world from many diverse cultural backgrounds.
Because we move so often, it has helped my husband and me to develop a very strong relationship. We are best friends and that is a good thing. When we decided to enlarge our family, we did not have to worry about the expense of doctor’s appointments and the delivery. Tricare Prime took care of everything. I don’t know of any other insurance plan in which this could happen. I know of people that are still paying for the birth of their child, many years after the child is born.
There are some challenges that come along with being a military spouse. We often face involuntary separation from our spouses and it is very easy to get isolated and fall through the cracks. Throughout the week, I will discuss this more at length with suggestions on how military spouses can thrive during these times.