So I've got a confession to make... I haven't always been the best military spouse I could be. Sure I support my husband and I'm very proud of him being a Marine, I'm actually very proud and honored to be a Marine wife. My husband is an outstanding Marine. He's gotten up in rank pretty quickly and puts his best foot forward at all times.
However, I haven't always been the wife who would volunteer in his unit or go to various meetings or events for families around the military community. I guess I figured that as long as I attend the annual ball, show up at a handful of events and promotions then that'll be enough.
I just never put out the extra effort to get involved as a military wife because I somehow equate the military with separation and my anger tends to get the best of me. Anger from having to live as a "single mom" while my hubby goes on deployments, training missions, etc. Anger that I'm so far away fro family and friends. Anger that dates are never set in stone and most of all anger that I have a limited amount of control of where I can live, what I can do and when I can do it.
It's taken me over a decade to get to this realization. Yes, it's sad and I guess when you think about it, it's also a little selfish of me to not fully accept and adapt to military living. However, I'm glad that I'm finally trying to reach out and accept this lifestyle.
In my defense I've tried a couple of times to "get involved" at a few bases and didn't exactly get great experiences but with each base comes new people and new opportunities to start fresh and get to form great bonds.
Luckily my time here in Hawaii has been filled with great people and great opportunities to "get involved."
So for the past few months I've been trying my best to volunteer and get involved with my hubby's unit in different ways and it has been pretty interesting, fun and really cool.
I've gotten to meet some really great and really smart women who all have very inspiring backgrounds. I even completed a L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyle, Insight, Networking, Knowledge and Skills) course and got to find out TONS of info about the Marine Corps that I had no idea about.
By the way, I highly recommend that all Marine Corps wives take this course. It teaches us about the basics of being in the military and also provides us with great info about our community, what resources are available to us and how to thrive as a military wife. It teaches you how to read an LES and provides us with a cheat sheet of over 10,000 acronyms the military uses and I learned about the basics and history of the Marine Corps. Check out the link for L.I.N.K.S. here and sign up. I promise you won't regret it.
I'm sure there are similar programs set up for other branches of the military but I'm not sure of the name. You can always get the info from your hubby's Command Officer or Family Readiness Team.
Anywhoo, I feel a little more relieved about military living and I can see that my husband is happy that I've finally taken some interest in getting involved. I really hope the experience I've gotten on base here in Hawaii will be similar at future bases but even if it's not, I know I've found lifelong friends here in Hawaii so I'll be good either way.
So to all my military wives out there, here are a few questions for ya...
- Do you get involved with your hubby's unit?
- How do you feel about the military lifestyle?