New military wife, what to expect?

Angela - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My hubby just re-enlisted and is scheduled to leave for warrior transition training on Feb. 16th. I 100% support him in his decision but was wondering what to expect. We have a set of twin girls that will be 5 in May and I have 2 older children from my first marriage. He is Army and is going to be petroleum specialist. (no clue). We will not be moving with him, for a while at least, my older children do not want to move and I just couldn't leave them. I have so many questions that I don't even know where to begin.
Thanks for any advice you have.

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Ria - posted on 01/16/2010

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Expect a lot of new things! New experiences, new places, new emotions, new everything! One of the perks of being a military wife is being able to go travel to different places or countries with your soldier! Of course everything's got its pros and cons. But being married to a military man and supporting him in this decision means you have agreed to an unspoken contract that basically says you accept the ups and downs of being in the military world! Like shopping for example..some named brands cost a little less in the base exchange than buying them at your regular stores, but product choices are a bit limited. Doing grocery shopping at the base commissary will cost less than shopping at a regular grocery store, but then again, your favorite products may or may not be there! You'll most likely live far away from usual family and friends, but you'll also get to meet new people (who are probably having the same experience as you'll have with regards to homesickness). You'll get to see new sites, new culture, and new food! If you get based abroad like we did, your home (electricity,water,house) is free on-base. Your hubby will probably also have other allowances like cost of living, food, uniform, housing, etc (depends on whether you live on or off base, which country you live in, and policies of your hubby's department). In general, there's a lot to look forward to! It'll just take a lot of courage and positive re-enforcement! As for your younger kids, your positivity can be helpful! Let them in on the moving process like weighing their stuff and packing and designing their new room and tell them about the new places you can go to. It's a bit different for your older kids though! I can't give you advice on that coz I only have a little one! Oh well, this is taking up too much space! Goodluck! Lemme know if you wanna hear more!

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Shannon - posted on 01/17/2010

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It's a tough life, but worth it. There will be hard times, but you will find your strength. You will get to know Murphy's Law well, especially when he is gone, but you will learn to show Murphy who is boss. You will know fear, but you will conquer it. You will be proud, more proud than words can say. You will live places that many others could only dream to visit. Military life is like no other, there is good and bad, but there is a sense of doing something worthwhile. I wish you all the luck in the world, and I am always a post away if you had specific questions. I'm no know it all, but I will do my best to give you the info you need. PEACE!

Angela - posted on 01/17/2010

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Thank you all for your insight, it is very helpful. Ria I would be very interested in anything you have to say no matter how much space it takes. Kimberlyn, beautiful name by the way, sorry to hear you bad experience but it sounds like you have learned a lot from it. My older children are 11 and 18, and I just do not think I will be able to move with my husband for a while. My daughter will be going to college about an hour from where we live now and I don't think my ex husband would want me to take our son to far a way. I fear though by the time I get the older kids on with things my youngest will be older, they are 4 year old twins, and might have a harder time with them on moving. Plus my mother is not in the best of health and I am pretty much all she has. Very hard decisions for me to make. My husband and I have talked about me staying here and him just getting a small place to live where ever he will be. I guess we will just have to see how things work out.
Thank you all again.

Kimberlyn - posted on 01/17/2010

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for the most part I agree with everyone ~ unfortunately you can't really know what you're getting into until you're in it!! I hated when ppl would say that to me!! My ex-husband who was also in the Army hardly ever went anywhere ... I was married to him for almost 5yrs and 2mos before he left me, was the first time he went to NTC. So when I married my husband, I was expecting him to be home most of the time!! Not so!! He is infantry so he was always in the field, going off for training, etc. I swear we've been married for almost 6yrs, met almost 7yrs and been together for approx. 3 of those years!! Our marriage is a lot stronger now then it was just a year ago. But, like others have said ~ sacrifice is in order!! I'd do my best to get a college education!! I stress this because when my ex left me, I had NO skills, no money, 3 children to care for alone (I'll tell you the horror story of that some other post) but, not wishing anything bad, but just be prepared!! How old are the older 2? Personally I couldn't leave my children ~ so it's up to you but, like someone said ~ let them know how this is a once in a lifetime thing!!

Diamelia - posted on 01/15/2010

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When you marry into the military you are the military. Where they go you go even if it's half way around the world. It's hard but it's also an adventure. I would have never imagined living in Hawaii, it was hard being so far away from family but it was a great experience. Being active duty all I can say is expect the unexpected. You usually get stationed some where for a couple of years expecially if he's a good rank so you won't have to worry about moving around too much you just might have to be somewhere that isn't a great choice. Do lots of internet research about where your headed and find lots of fun new things to do with your kids to show them new places can be fun. Get them involved in activities so they can meet new people. You can expect some lonely nights while he trains or might have staff duty or CQ which are 24 hr shifts but never make too much off a fuss about it because you knew it wouldn't be easy and the more he stresses about you the less he can focus on his job and he could put himself as well as others in danger. Good luck!! I've been a military spouse for 7 yrs so if you have any other questions I'd be glad to try and help.

Michelle - posted on 01/14/2010

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Well, leaving for training is normally not too bad. He probably won't be gone too long, and it wouldn't, in my opinion, make sense to go with him just for his training. However, if his training is supposed to take longer than a year, I would definitely go with him. Your kids may not want to move, but you can't let your kids dictate where you live. The most important thing with being a military spouse is to support your husband. He is going to need a lot of it! If he needs you to be with him in order for him to be able to better complete his mission, then that's where you need to be. It's hard. Really hard. And takes a lot of sacrifice, but he's sacrificing so much, too, that we as wives (or spouses) should do all we can to make his mission a easy as possible to get through. Hope that helps.

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