saditycents











“Twizzle Twazzle Twozzle Twum, Time for this one to come home.” There used to be an old cartoon that featured “Tootle the Turtle.”

Tootle Turtle

Tootle would always get himself into all sorts of scraps in alternate worlds and on adventures and Mr. Wizard would summon him home. Well that time has finally come home for us. My husband has served in the US Air Force for twenty years. For us that means, he is retiring and we are re-entering the civilian world. Mr. Wizard was always trying to teach Tootle that he was best off and safest in the comfort of home. While I admire the lesson, I don’t know if we are ready to fully embrace it. We are leaving the military; my husband after 20 years of service, me after almost 30 years as a dependent. Yet neither one of us are mourning. We are excited for our next adventure. In the mean time, of course I will provide resources for this transition.

To start off: Here are few tips when deciding how you will move and what you are entitle to for the final PCS:

    1. Who should we see before retirement? There are some mandatory appointments that the service member must attend before the final out processing is complete. However, you’d be surprised at how few spouses think to go to those appointments as well. So far we have been to about five appointments and/ or classes and I am always the only spouse. If you can’t accompany your service member through all of the TAPS process at least go to these classes and meetings:
      • Survivor Benefits Plan – There is a face to face meeting that requires both of your signatures. If your SBP counselor doesn’t insist on your presence, insist on  it for yourself. You want to be able to ask all of your questions because the SBP is a one shot deal. Once the paperwork is signed its hard to undo. Granted you have to give your consent to be cut out to of the plan, but you may have other questions about remarriage after death, protection for future children, etc.
      • Boots to Business Lecture- Even if you are not sure you want to start a business. Its good to know your options. There are so many programs out there to help veterans and their military spouses start businesses that you should really just take advantage of good information.
      • 10 Steps to a Federal Job – This is a great job for both members of a military couple. Often retirement can mean a change in dynamics. Spouses who haven’t worked in a long time, may consider full-time employment now that moving every few years isn’t a factor. Federal employment is always a consideration. It’s the closest you will get to a military career, and for some veterans and spouses that is comforting.
      • Budget portion of TAPS – In many military families the spouse takes care of the finances because they are the consistent partner on the home front. Thus, its so important that spouses get involved in the transition budget portion of transition training. One, so you can help fill any gaps on your existing budget and financial plan. Two, because its your future too. Don’t leave your service member to create a mock budget that has no relevance to your real life. Take the help and make your budget as realistic as possible. It may be difficult to get advice later.
    2. What entitlements are available to me?Separating or Retiring Military Service Members

      Are you separating or retiring from service? Read more on what you need to know regarding your travel claim at the end of your military service. You are authorized the following entitlements:

      Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)
      Plus (Per Diem)
      Dependent Travel
      Personally Procured Moves (PPM)
      Advance Payments

 

  1. Where will the military pay to move me? If you are,
    • SEPARATING: You must complete your travel before the 181st day (6 months) after your Separation Date on your orders. And, your travel is limited to your Home of Record (HOR) or your Place Entering Active Duty (PLEAD)
    • RETIRING: You must complete your home of selection (HOS) travel one year from the retirement date on your orders. Your travel is not limited to your HOR or PLEAD. You may claim travel to any location within the U.S. you are planning to reside after retiring
  2. How long am I entitled to military pay or a military move after retirement?
    • According to the regulation that governs military travel, your final move must be made within one year of your retirement, unless you apply for and receive an extension.
  3. How much can we make if we move ourselves verses have the military move us? PPM or DITY moves are known for making the service family money. But this may not always be the case because there’s no set rule that you will make money. Instead you make the best decision base on the information. Here are some resources to help make that decision:

 

Resources:

https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/travelpay/armypcs/endofmilitaryservice.html

http://www.belvoir.army.mil/jppsoma/files/FAQ/retirement%20entitlements%20info%20paper.pdf

http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/retiring-from-military/qb-how-long-does-a-retiree-qualify-for-a-final-pcs.html

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Hubby and I made some bbq after church and packed up a picnic one Sunday afternoon. We went to a local dam where Lewis and Clark traveled during their trek to the Pacific Northwest. It was absolutely beautiful!

One of the things I hope people get from my blog whether you are in a military or civilian family. Find the fun where you are at. My husband and I aren’t stationed where we want to be, we weren’t previously when we were in Korea. But we have purposed to embrace the adventure…



I gave myself a few weeks to just relax, after literally traveling around the world… Ok, I didn’t do it on purpose. Our household goods are scheduled for three separate deliveries. The first two came in four weeks after we moved into our home. Ugh. So now its time to set up house. Yay! Starting with the most important room in the house.. The Kitchen. Nothing makes a house feel like home like home cooking.

Kitchen

  • Place drink ware near the refrigerator — It just makes sense for quickly getting drinks.
  • Place espresso maker near the drink ware and refrigerator — You need both for your espresso or coffee.
  • Plates and bowls go near the dishwasher — Ideally it would be between the sink and the dishwasher.
  • Silverware right above the plates or as close as possible.
  • Pot holders, serving spoons, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil all go near the stove.
  • Cookie sheets, cooling racks and cutting boards in the tall thin rack near the stove.
  • Dish towels and dish cloths near the sink, if possible. My kitchen doesn’t allow for that, so I put them close to the silverware.

 Bathroom

I did the bathroom next because… well its important. I just can’t relax without a good bath or shower. My husband and I are blessed in this house to have our own separate bathrooms, but I still like to know where everything is at. For some reason, my closets, bathrooms, etc. always become the overfill rooms. So I’m the one with all the extras.

In the bathroom I grabbed some baskets and plastic drawers and basically categorized all of the items under my sink as that is the most cluttered spot. I tried to organize based on my daily routine.

  • Teeth and eye products go in the medicine cabinet.
  • Face products (main face wash, eye cream, and facial toner) went into the closest drawer to the sink on the left.
  • My everyday hair products (rubber bands for work outs, hair pins for work) went into the next closest drawer.
  • Under the sink:
    • Feminine products to the side, but close to the front. Just in case of emergencies.
    • Additional hair products (gels, moisturizer, spray) I use those regularly, but not everyday.
    • Hair appliances (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryer) I only use on special occasion so they are in the back in a basket together.
    • On the other side near the front is extra toilet paper, again in case of emergency. Lol
    • Extra body lotions and extra body wash are in the back.
    • I also have very basic cleaning supplies for everyday use ( I keep the heavy duty supplies in the hall closet. Homemade shower spray, paper towels for cleaning, and plastic bags for the trash can.
  • On the back of my toilet I keep wipes and face tissue.

Bedroom

Because we haven’t received our home goods yet I haven’t done much with the master bedroom except make it sleep-able. We were on a air mattress for about a week before I begged my husband to go mattress shopping with me. We needed a new one anyways so it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous purchase, although I was going to wait until the bed frame arrived. I’m glad I made the purchase. Nothing ruins a day more than poor sleep.

Discount Tip: When shopping for a mattress everyone knows to comparison shop, but do you know how to use it in your negotiations? That’s the real key to great deals on large purchases. Click here for a short story.

 

 

 

 

http://organized31.com/2012/06/moving-into-new-home-how-to-set-up-your.html



Death By Fire AND Sea

Remember that time our car was burned up in the middle of the sea?! 

Yep, that happened. On its way from Belgium to Korea our car, which we immaculately detailed before leaving, was destroyed by fire while on a boat. Everyone asks if we got insurance money for it. Yes, we did. But when the military insures, you get a flat rate they apply to a range of models. It doesn’t matter how nice you kept your car, it doesn’t matter how much it will be to replace it with a similar make and model. Nope you, get your flat rate… So we have one car now.

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Just some old military spouse pictures I found and an article that I thought held some wisdom.



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5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn from Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

Being a military spouse is not a new thing.

From the camp followers of the Revolutionary War who followed the troops from location to location, military spouses have remained a fixture of our armed forces. And since we’ve been around for hundreds of years, we’ve learned a thing or two.

A lot that was learned has been regaled to the history books simply due to changing times. There are some things, however, that remain the same, and we can continue to learn from the examples of the military spouses who have gone before us.

Here are five things we modern military wives should make sure to safeguard and pass on to those who come into our military family each and every day.

1. Patience

It was called the U.S. mail, and it was the only mode of communication. I know many of you can’t fathom a life free of cell phones, Skype, email, Face Time, etc., but believe it or not, there WAS a time where our Old School Sisters relied on paper, ink and stamps exclusively. Sometimes it took months for letters to be exchanged and every word of those were read and re-read again, cherished and tucked away for future generations to read.

We of the instant gratification generation demand daily communication and get annoyed and upset when that doesn’t happen. We are spoiled and impatient. A little patience goes a long way for the heart, mind and spirit- our Old School Sisters had it, and we should learn to cultivate it.

2. Appreciation

Hearken back to the day where there were no FRGs (I know some of you are looking for a time machine to jump into after hearing that!), no Child Development Centers, no MWR facilities or activities- basically you had a house and that was it. And let’s not forget being notified by telegram of the death of a service member instead of in-person by a Casualty Notification team.

There are so many people who have grand expectations of what the military should be providing to them- gimme, gimme, gimme is the name of the game.The bottom line is you aren’t owed anything for marrying a service member. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even a stipend (best Miss Vicki column EVER!).

So, instead of whining and demanding more from an already financially distressed DoD furloughing civilians and cutting precious training time for service members, be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the benefits afforded to you that our Old School Sisters didn’t enjoy-like the ability to have the GI Bill transferred to you.

They appreciated the simple fact that their spouses came home from war alive, which is much more important than worrying about the commissary being closed an extra day due to furlough. If you don’t believe me, ask a Gold Star Wife. She’ll set you straight.

3. Dignity

Our Old School sisters didn’t wear pajamas to the PX, to the commissary or out in public anywhere. Just because Wal-Mart shoppers do it doesn’t give the practice a seal of approval.

Take pride in your appearance. At least upgrade to something resembling actual clothing to be worn outside the house i.e., yoga pants, running pants, etc.You don’t have to get all white gloves and pill box hat like our Old School ladies, just look like you actually give a darn.

Which leads us to our “things not to wear at any military event” portion of dignity. We’ve all seen THAT photo on the Internet, where the spouse is flashing it all at a ball. Don’t be that girl who goes viral. There are ways to be sexy without baring 89 percent of your flesh.

A ball isn’t a night club — it’s a formal military event which has ceremonial aspects to it. Don’t walk in looking like you’re looking for the nearest pole to swing on. Look like you’re going to the White House. Or the Oscars. NOT the MTV Video awards.

Old School Wives wore suits or dresses, hats, white gloves, and the dreaded stockings (not pantyhose — stockings) every day at some point. Be happy those standards have lessened, but let’s not take the lax dress requirements of modern times to the extreme.

Wear real “outside” clothes, dress appropriately for the occasion (essentially, look at Roxy’s ensembles in the first season of “Army Wives” and do the polar opposite) and wear clothes that don’t flash your business and you’ll be okay.

4. Respect for and Pride in Your Servicemember

This one gets people all kinds of riled up. I know spouses who think it’s their job to talk about how crappy the military is, how much they hate it, how much they are against the wars, etc. That’s fine and dandy. But do you really need to share that constantly with your fellow military spouses and, especially, your servicemember?

Back in the day, the Old School Wives rocked the Blue Service Star flags in the windows and planted victory gardens. They also despised war, but understood their servicemembers didn’t all get together and elect to go kill people and risk dying themselves of their own volition. They were ordered to go. By the government. Not the military — the government. So hating on the military for what the people in power decide for them to do is silly and futile.

A great example is one of the most fabulous Old School Wives I’ve ever known. She was a total hippie freak in the 70s. I am talking the quintessential love-child-flower-carryin’-Joan-Baez-singin’-long-hair-lovin’-bra-burnin’ lady in bell bottoms. She was also married to an Army major in Vietnam. Not a draftee, but a career officer.

While he was gone on all three tours, she protested at every turn. She carried signs, she sang, she sat-in. What she never did, however, was direct or associate any of her protests to her spouse or the military. She protested to and about the decision makers calling the shots, not the people following their lawful orders. She understood the two were separate.

Her husband understood her need to voice her opinion and appreciated that she chose to direct it at the right people and not involve him or the military. And that’s probably also why they had three Vietnam-era babies back-to-back and were married until they died.

So, get mad and use your voice.  Just do it in the right way and to the right people.

5. Manners

This is the most simple, and the most abused by modern military spouses. If you get an invitation, respond. Respond “yes” or “no.” How hard is that? Apparently, extremely, since most people I know at some point either complain that people didn’t RSVP, or confess they themselves didn’t RSVP.

Tie this one with point two: appreciate that unlike the Old School Wives, our invites are no longer by hand and for sleep-inducing teas. We don’t have to wear gloves. Or heels. No, our modern invites are usually by email and involve cocktails and a fuzzy dice game (Bunco, anyone?).

So, even if you don’t want to win prizes and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, have the decency to decline the invite (though I will never understand why anyone would do that…). Good Old School manners never go out of style, unless you won’t hand over the fuzzy dice when I ding the bell and scream “BUNCO!.” Then, I make no promises about being polite or minding my manners.

“Ansley” is an Army spouse and resides in Alexandria, Virginia

5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn From Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

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https://i0.wp.com/cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/files/2011/05/06-army-wife-1975-03-06-Vol-26-No-40-Monmouth-Message.jpg

http://cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/page/89/

 

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{July 25, 2016}   New Home, New Opportunity

Hubby and I are finally in our new home and settling into our new community. Our base is beautiful though activities are scarce. Many of the morale services that one would be used to on an active base have been diminished on this one. As I talk to long time staff on base, part of the reason is because the base has experienced such a lack of participation. It’s a shame, often people complain that there are few opportunities for entertainment and fun but they don’t show up when they arise. I was very involved at the last base and hope to get involved here. I see the lack of participation as an opportunity to be of service to my new community and hopefully help improve the base. Here’s to new service opportunities and being part of the solution, not part of the problem. 



Well we are setting up a new home! Yay! Of course our stuff is currently “unaccounted for” by the military. Boo! However with the little bit I have I am working to set up house. When I packed I made sure to have a few things in a suitcase called “household.” People laughed and said it was overkill, but considering that our storage was never sent from the government storage facility and the household goods, which we received confirmation of arrival for is now missing, I think I made the right choice.

Some of the things I packed were :

  • A plate, bowl, and a set of eating utensils for each household member
  • A cup and a mug for each household member
  • A pan and a pot
  • A large spoon (I bought a knife upon arrival because we had to take a plane)
  • A set of sheets
  • Air mattress
  • A pillow for each household member
  • Two sets of towels for each household member
  • A travel blanket
  • A large blanket
  • Dish towels
  • Manual blender bottle for my shakes


We are on our 30 day leave in between South Korea and our next base. Yay!!! These next thirty days are going to be whirlwind. We plan to visit my family, his family, New York for our anniversary, and finally road trip to the next duty station. Yep, we’re crazy. LOL

  1. Airplane Tickets. Anyways the first big stop on our tour is New York. We found cheap seats to NY on travelocity.com and booked to red eyes to NY for less than $650. We were pretty flexible with our dates and times so that helped. From the airport we took the subway to our hotel. A little note about the subway. I read online that Military ID holders can receive 25% of off passes if you buy them from an MTA office. But the clerk there said there was no such thing, but did say showing ID would let you on buses and subways free. This seems like a big hassle because we would have to stand in a long line in front of the MTA counter, then show our ID and then the clerk would push a button to let us in free. I’ll probably ask a couple more people to make sure this guy knows what he’s talking about.
  2.  Accommodations. Then because we are military we booked rooms at the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines, & Airmen’s Club. It’s an old hostel for service members turned hostel for service members and dependents. The accommodations are spectacular but the draw is that they are located on Lexington Ave. and within walking distance of midtown Manhattan. The price is also a draw $130-$165 for a room. Just don’t expect a smiling staff or warm and fuzzy feelings. But considering the next closest hotel runs about$400 a night and we don’t plan to spend much time in the room anyways, it’s a good deal for us.
  3. Manhattan USO. We flew in to the JFK airport and attempted to visit their USO, but it was locked and no one seemed to be scheduled to man the facility. It’s a shame because a few people came by looking for assistance. However, I did find the best help at the Manhatten USO which is located a couple blocks from time square in the Port Authority Building on the second floor (43 Street & 8th Ave.). They have free tickets to shows, discounts on tours, helpful tips from New Yorkers. We met the sweetest woman named Emma and she was amazing, telling us how to get places free, and where the best discounts were. It’s almost too much to describe. So here is a link to them and they have an entire booklet of discounts offered for Active Duty ID holders. Here is a link to the discount booklet.

 

 

 



{June 13, 2016}   Military Spouse: PCS Packing

It seems like just yesterday, I was moving 6,000 miles from home to with my hubby in a foreign land. And now here we go again… Tis the military wife life. The first time, hubby and I were moving from two separate locations, so this is our first office PCS together. I’m excited yet daunted. Per everything military nothing is happening on time and yet our deadlines are quickly approaching. We are a month out and no official orders, what this means in terms of moving is that no movers can be scheduled, no housing can be arranged, no plane tickets can be secured, no storage drop of dates can be planned. So in the mean time, I will organize my house so that no junk is moved back across the world. Welcome to my PCS packing….

Packing System

  1. Massive Shredding Project – I am working my way through all of my files to shred repetitive and unnecessary documents. I’m throwing out old bills, junk mail, and anything that I won’t need for taxes in the future. This graphic from H&R Block is my guide right now.
  2. Military Files – My husband has nearly two decades of documents. I quickly learned that me asking him to pare it down was not working (he’s been planning on doing it since September). Instead I went through them in sessions and left piles labeled by topics across the living room floor. One, my husband doesn’t like a mess so piles of paper across the floor had to be dealt with. Second, my husband doesn’t like his military documents out in the open, much less on the floor. For about three evenings he came home and sorted and shredded his papers. Each evening he came home a new set of piles was waiting. It was tedious on my part, but I am determined not to move back to the states with the same cluttered boxes of paper he came with.
  3. Filing System – In the midst of the shredding project and any paperwork save by my husband I revamped our filing system by buying portable filing cabinets, colored files and using a filing system designed just for us.
  4. Memories & Art – While I’m at it I am organizing postcards, stickers, magazine cutouts, and digital pictures that represent our time here. I am trying to make a memory book for each year to journal our life together. I also am keeping memory boxes for those sentimental things that just can’t be scanned and uploaded.
  5. Small electronics – Items such as our roku, apple tv, gps, etc. we will need before our home goods shipment arrives so I didn’t want the movers to pack them. I used an old box to store them until I packed them our suitcases, so they were in one spot. Then I used quart and gallon size plastic sandwich bags to keep all cords, remotes, and gadgets together. I labeled each bag. If we still had the box I put them inside the boxes. I also labeled all the remotes and cords so that if they were separated I knew instantly which gadget the item belonged to.
  6. Clothes-  Today I removed all of the clothes from my side of the closet. I separated them into summer, winter, workout, and other. Then I divide my summer and winter clothes into casual and professional. From there I reviewed each item for holes, wear and tear, and general unpresentable features. I then made a pile on the floor of everything that was going to good will. Everything else I organized and put back in my closet. Summer clothes in one section to be pack in the carry on (it will take home goods about 2 months to get to us so I need all my clothes for the season). Winter clothes were place in another section to be bagged and prepared for TMO to pick up.  I then marked on a Goodwill tax form everything I was donating. Now my tax form is already prepared and my closet is cleaned out. And I have an accurate record of what I donated.  I did the same with workout clothes and later hubby’s clothes.
  1. Shoes –  Anything worn or damaged went into the donate pile and then was recorded on the Goodwill tax form. Anything with a shoe that was a duplicate or too similar in style and color also went into the donate pile.
  2. Kitchen- I separated unopened or gently used dry goods and spices to be donated to a local ministry that feeds a large number of people regularly. I also developed my dinner menus to reflect the perishable goods in my fridge and freezer about a month ahead of time. Anything leftover I also set aside to be donated. Then I decided on a few pots, pans, and dinnerware to keep aside, just in case our household goods weren’t delivered for a few weeks. I don’t want to be in a position where I have to buy everything because we are without kitchen supplies for several weeks. Also when we packed our suitcases I designated one just for household supplies we would need such as: kitchen supplies, a bathroom supplies, two sets of towels for each of us, computers and electronics we would want right away (roku, dvd player, extension cords).
  3. Bathroom- About a month in advance I stopped buying large amounts of my favorite items. Then we switched to the large supply of hotel shampoos, lotions, and soaps, I have collected over time. I also put them in our travel toiletry bags and made an airport toiletry bag since we spend about 15 hours in route from South Korea. In the checked household suitcase I put anything I thought we would need for a few weeks. I only added it if we already had it, this was to avoid throwing it out. Things like toilet paper I didn’t pack, its easy to get that. But special hair products (since we are moving to a rural area), skin care products, towels, sheets, a blanket, and a couple pillows.
  4. Vacation- Because we are taking our vacation on our way to our new base (this is called leave-in-route) we packed a separate bag just for the trip so the other larger bags don’t have to be riffled through while we are traveling. We are landing in Seattle and then leaving most of our bags with my parents. Then we are traveling to New York for our vacation. We will return to spend sometime with family, reusing our vacation clothes and the collect our car which my parents have graciously stored for us and finish our move to our new base.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of how to do a OCONUS to CONUS move, but these are the specific highlights of what we did in the packing process to make it easier for ourselves. I hope it helps.I have all of the resources I used for this move here: https://www.pinterest.com/carynragin/pcs-to-conus/

 

 

 



REPOST:

New York Post :By Amanda Bell May 6, 2016 | 9:07am

 Here’s the hard truth about being a military wife

Photo: Shutterstock

There are a lot of nice perks to being a military spouse — great health insurance, a steady income stream for the family, and even discounted rates at the on-base supermarket, for example. But there are also many unique struggles that those of us who share our lives with servicemen and -women go through behind the scenes.
May 6 marks Military Spouse Appreciation Day, the perfect time to highlight the level of dedication it takes to be married to a service member.
As an Air Force wife, I can safely say that the commitment military spouses have for their partners’ important occupation is far more expansive than I initially expected, and ultimately, they tend to sacrifice just as much of their lives and time to the cause as the ones in uniform.
1. Your career might have to play second fiddle.
One aspect of military membership that everyone seems pretty familiar with is the fact that service members have to move around quite a bit. There’s no hard and fast rule, but families typically receive relocation orders every three to four years or so while on active duty.
For those of us who do have careers of our own going on all the while, this can be especially tricky — having to re-license in new states every few years for some professions, maybe, or even having to work totally outside your chosen field due to area unavailability or being stationed outside of the country.
For example, a friend of mine, Jillian F., is an attorney. When her husband receives his next base assignment, depending on the location, she might be facing a long road ahead if she wants to keep practicing law.
“Every time we PCS [permanent change of station, the military term for reassignment] to a new state, I would generally need to take that state’s bar exam in order to continue to practice,” she said. “This costs several thousand dollars and can take up to six months to study, take the bar and become licensed. This process would then repeat every three to four years with every move.”
This is not only a difficult and expensive process, but it also might wind up pushing someone in her position out of his or her career altogether due to the extent of the inconvenience. “Many military spouse attorneys give up on their career or work non-law jobs rather than jump through all of these hoops with every move. A minority of states are relaxing their licensure rules for military spouses, but there is still a long way to go.”
This is a challenge that extends to several other career fields as well. Another friend of mine is a nurse who, just a few years into her career, has already taken three state licensing exams (and counting).
2. You might land somewhere you don’t want to be.
Let’s face it: Not all military bases are created equal. Some are located on the beach with warm, lovely surroundings and others are basically smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Not only does this potentially present a challenge on the career front, but it can also put a strain on a person’s happiness while living in the area.
Sure, there’s the possibility that you’ll get to live somewhere exotic overseas and see and do things you never would have otherwise, but there’s also the very real chance you’ll find yourself in a small town with very little that interests you, and your job is to make the best of it. The worst part? You have exactly zero say-so about where you’ll go. Zero.
3. You’ll probably live far away from the people you love most …
If you were raised in a military family, you might already be used to the perennial shuffle. If not, though, it can be kind of a wallop to the gut to find yourself extraordinarily far away from all of your old friends and family: No longer a quick car ride to see the ‘rents but a couple of plane hops instead. This can be pretty brutal as time wears on, especially when you’re raising little ones of your own and/or watching all the fun and important times being had without you from afar.
As Katie R., who lives nearly 1,500 miles from her parents with her service member husband and 6-month-old daughter, told me, “I hate the fact that I’m away from my family, missing holidays, parties, vacations and trips and having my parents miss the birth of their first grandchild.” It certainly can hurt.
4. But on the bright side, you get to make new families.
The good news is that, if you’re receptive to meeting new people and forging new relationships, you can meet some really awesome people who are in the exact same boat as you and are willing to step up and be there for you when others can’t.
When I was expecting my first-born, for example, my husband’s commanders’ wives threw me a beautiful shower, even though they’d only met me a handful of times by then. “It’s just what we do,” they shrugged.
That sense of camaraderie and empathy was a common thread of the military service members and spousal network that existed on the base (again, a lot rides on location), so even though it wasn’t the family presence I was expecting for that moment in my life, it was a strong and supportive one all the same.
“Living in different places has allowed us to not only meet new people, it has given us the opportunity to make lifelong friends. It might be cliché to say we have a ‘military family’ but it is true. Friends we met during our first assignment have been our family the last three years, and we’ve experienced pregnancies, children, hardships and just plain life together,” Katie R. added.
“Even though we have moved away from some of them, I still consider them family. One thing I’ve learned as a military spouse is that we stick together, we are truly there for one another. We rally together whenever there is a tragic loss of life, cancer diagnosis, depression or divorce. We also celebrate the good times and keep each other sane when our spouses are busy with work or deployed. It’s a sisterhood of some sort.”
(Full disclosure: I’m happy to admit I’m among that close-knit group she’s referring to here, and yes, we are fam.)
5. Your partner’s mortality looms large.
Perhaps one of the hardest things to wrap your head around if you’re not a military spouse is that disconcerting reality that your partner may be called to put his or her life on the line while serving. If they are, it’ll be up to you to singularly maintain the household in their absence despite whatever feelings you might be coping with.
Heather T.’s husband was deployed to Afghanistan when her son was just a few days old. Not only was she experiencing uncertainty surrounding her partner’s safety and the emptiness of his seat at the table, but she was also going through one of life’s craziest experiences, raising a new baby, by herself.
“It was as if my heart weighed a thousand pounds — watching my husband kiss our 3-day-old son goodbye,” she said. “I was scared, but he showed me how to open and close the stroller before he had to go. It was an example of the things we were supposed to learn together. I watched our son do many firsts without his daddy.” She was fortunate enough to be able to welcome her husband home at the end of his tour, but for many, that moment never comes.
Moral of the story? If you’re going to thank your military service member (and you totally should), be sure to give a smile to his or her spouse, too. They’re doing some tough duty as well.

http://nypost.com/2016/05/06/5-things-you-never-realized-about-being-a-military-spouse/



et cetera