it’s that complicated

so i never realized how complicated military life can be or what a difficult transition it can be until i was in the middle of teaching this past week.  see, i’ve spent my entire life, with the exception of three years after college and before i married my g.i. joe, living within the military culture.

i’ve never had to convince my family and friends that he was worth just picking up and moving where ever his job took us.  i’ve never had to make the tough decision between putting my friends’ unwillingness to understand behind me or deal with their ignorance towards our lifestyle.  i’ve never felt alone because no one from back home seemed to understand how challenging yet rewarding this lifestyle can be.  and i’ve never had to learn about ‘army life.’

but as i stood before a group of new wives this past week discussing personal relationships it dawned on me, we live a complicated life.  between having our own time (military time starts with 0:00 and ends with 24:59 rather then 12midnight) and phonetic alphabet (alpha = a, bravo = b, charlie = c and so on) along with a long list of customs and courtesies and expected etiquette rules, no other employer requires classes so you can adjust to your husband’s new job.  heck, i teach a class on how to read your g.i. joe’s pay stub and a class on the ranks and chain of command because our g.i. joes’ jobs

and when you drive on to a military base, you have to prove you belong there.  and once you pass through those secured gates, it’s as if you’ve entered a whole other world.  between g.i. joes in their matching uniforms (there are many times our lil man calls out for daddy and then realizes it’s not him because they all look alike in uniform) and self-sufficient communities with their own grocery store, multi-purpose store (think wal-mart or target), hospital, police and fire stations, schools, childcare centers and churches, if the rest of the world outside the gates disappeared, the world within those gates would survive.

yes, it’s a complicated life that requires classes and a map and some major adjusting to, but at the end of the day we’re families like most others with our own problems and moments of laugther and lives within four walls and a roof (though ours are issued by the government and controlled by privatized housing).  and through it all, i know those four new wives in my class last week will make great army wives because they posse what it takes to be more than army strong, no matter how complicated our lives are.

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  1. I’ve always wanted to go on to a military base! I know it’s your norm, but I’m curious :)

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