Saturday, January 18, 2014

Army Wife, Army Life

Being a Military wife has a lot of responsibilities and hardships that come along with it. You fall in love with someone, marry them, and uproot your entire life (in most cases) to be dragged around wherever the Military needs you. There's lots of moving, being in remote areas, being alone a lot of the time, having to make new friends constantly, learning a new lingo and way of telling time, it really is a whole new life than what you are used to. Transitioning from civilian life to Military life can be stressful, and there is a lot to take in. But honestly, it's worth it to be with the love of your life as much as you can. So for those of you that are new to the Military life, here's some advice from what I have learned in the last 6 months of being married and living on a base. Along with some bits from when I was just the girlfriend and fiance (AKA nothing in the governments eyes).

Learn The Lingo And Time:
              Learning all of the different terms that your spouse uses at work is a great thing to do. You guys live where your spouse works, remember that. Everything in your lives are now based on the Military and their job. Plus, you taking the time to learn these things will make it so much easier for you guys to talk. It will also show them that you are interested in their job, and care about them enough to take the time to learn something so you guys have more things to talk about as a couple. They will appreciate not having to constantly explain everything to you.

Have A Positive Outlook:
              Keeping a positive attitude always helps in any situation. For example, the base that I live on, most people hate and dread living or getting stationed here. It's extremely remote, in the middle of the desert, and honestly, most of the people here find it hard to find other spouses to get along with. It also doesn't help that the "town" part of the base is pretty small compared to others. I have chosen to have a more positive outlook on living here though. I immediately did what I could to get to know and become friends with my neighbors. I paid attention to the fact that I am lucky to be in the same state that I am from, and where most my family is living (even if it is a 9 hour drive away). I find things to do around the house to keep me busy so I don't go insane (like this blog :P ). Having a positive outlook will help living somewhere so much easier and less stressful.

Make New Friends:
             You moved away from your friends and family, it is time to make new ones. No, I am not saying to get rid of your ones back home. But it is going to be so nice and helpful to make friends on the base that you live on. They can help you learn the lingo I talked about above, along with so many other things. Like how to act and dress respectfully, where to go when in need of something, important phone numbers you should have, etc. It is also nice to have friends to be with when your spouse is gone. Getting to know your neighbors is a great thing to do as well.

              Memorize your spouses social security number, seriously. You will need it for so many things, like filling out paperwork and going to the doctors. Memorize your address as well, or have it written down and keep it in your wallet until you can manage to memorize it. For me, filling out the return address on over 100 thank you cards from our wedding did the trick. Get to know the base you are living on. It will help a lot knowing where people live, and how to get to the closest shop, and to the Commissary (learn the lingo!). Learn base rules and laws. It's embarrassing not knowing things. Like for example, I had no idea what flag call was. I wasn't lucky enough to have anyone tell me yet (and my husband...ha ha I guess forgot). My husband and I were putting away groceries into our car at the Commissary, the flag call went off as I was turning to the the cart to the "return carts" section of the parking lot. I had no idea you were supposed to stand and salute, call me sheltered. I was incredibly embarrassed and it caused a little argument between my husband and I for him not telling me about that daily routine. So for you to know, every day at 1700 (5 p.m.) there is flag call, where they take down the flag. Out of respect, if you are driving or in your car, pull over and get out and salute. Knowing the ranks on uniforms is a good thing to know as well. Learn about how much your spouse gets paid, how much rent is, how to coupon at the Commissary, etc.

I'm sure later on in time I will go into detail about some of these things in other posts. So keep a look out or ask questions if you want to know more about any of these.