Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Will Always Love a Man in Uniform

I apologize for this just now getting posted! I scheduled it to post yesterday since I knew it would be a busy day for me, and well... it did not post. Here it is a day late! Please forgive me! It's from Stetsons, Spurs, and Stilettos. Be sure to show her some love! 

I have to admit that when Mrs. Ma’am asked me to be her “guest blogger,” I was speechless!  I got so frantic because I didn’t know what to write about.  Yeah, I know, how could my big mouth and I not have any idea what to write about?  I never did one before, but I knew I wanted to keep it military related.  After all, we read each others’ blogs because we like reading what is so familiar to us.  We like reading stories where we can say, “I know exactly what you mean!”  Then finally, my idea just smacked me in the face.  “I’ll write about how I always wanted to be a military wife!”

I know what you all are thinking, “She what?!  This chick is crazy!”  I’m probably one of the few women who have ever said that out loud.  Most women just happened to fall in love with a man in uniform and others were already with their man when he enlisted.  I promise you that I did not marry him for the pay, the healthcare, the benefits, or anything like that; nor did I purposely seek out a military.  I didn’t “settle” for my husband because he was in the Army;  I married solely based on love.

I only grew up knowing my dad’s father, so he was the only grandfather I ever really had.  He served for 20 years in the Army, fighting in Korea and Vietnam, and living in places like Germany (twice), Colorado, Hawaii (where my father was born), and finally settling in Pennsylvania.  Despite my grandmother’s experience with separation - they only lived together for 1 year in their first 5 years of marriage – she loved the lifestyle. 

At family dinner’s, my grandfather would tell stories of their lives together.  My grandmother would talk about how my uncle had colic and their German landlord would come upstairs to their apartment and take him.  She would bring him back up when he finished crying and he would sleep all night.  Both of them would talk about the attractions in Germany: the architecture and history.  My dad even has a piece of the Berlin Wall, which the kids would steal.  They talked about the beaches of Hawaii, the odd snow of Colorado.

 Probably the best thing of all was when they discussed their friends.  They met Bernice and Bill when they were neighbors in Colorado.  They met Bruce and Sue when they lived near each other in Germany.  Chris and Karen, while I don’t remember where they were from, but my Grandparents met them somewhere along the way too.  While I was growing up, these people were just like family.  To this day, my grandparents still travel to visit with them.

Sure, I knew about some of the “better” things in the lifestyle, but it convinced me that if I ever met a military man that I loved, I wouldn’t even have to think about marrying him.  I wanted to see the world and live in different states, not be tied down to one area, experience the friendships and the sisterly bond between the wives, and have the relationship that can only come from months and years of separation.  Most of all I wanted to marry a man that had the guts to be a part of something bigger than himself, to teach me the things I need to know about myself.  When my dad found out we wanted to get married, he said, “You’re going to have an amazing life.”

My husband, Frank, is the most unselfish person I know and the smartest one.  He wanted to join the Army for his entire life.  When I met him, I knew he was in the Army, I knew he planned to commission as an officer, and I knew he wanted to make it a career.  His planning and determination really pulled me in to him.  I mean, this guy’s ultimate goal was to join the Army and actually DO something, not just do something and hope it changes someone’s life.  He chose to risk his life for those who aren’t fighting and for those who want freedom within their own country.  That is the most selfless thing a person could ever do.  Before we even got married, after our first two-month separation, he asked me this:  “Would you see getting married to me as a limitation at all, whether in your career or your personal life?”  It didn’t even take me a second to respond, “not at all.”

Although I wanted to be a military wife, I also wanted love.  I definitely found that in Frank.  I just never knew this kind of love.  It’s amazing how you get so used to having someone with you all the time, that it almost seems like you take them for granted.  Knowing that your husband could leave at any time, get hurt at any time, or die at any time, really makes you re-think your relationship.  It helps you realize that your time is so precious, that both your love and your heart must be incredibly strong. 

The separations, no matter the length of time, are incredibly difficult.  In our 18 months of marriage, we have lived together for 3 months.  I felt my heart breaking when he left.  Yes, he was only on TDY, but I hated being away from him.  Then we started writing letters.  Yep, I mean old school, pen-and-lined-paper, mail-it-with-a-stamp-upside-down letter.  Just reading the words I know he worked so hard to write helped me to find a sense of calmness within myself; holding the same piece of paper he took so much time to hand-write made me feel like I had something of his.  Now here we are, a year since the separation, and he is preparing to deploy soon. 

I know it will be a tough year.  My family and friends are not here to support me.  I’m only just beginning to form some friendships.  It makes us think back to all the things we left to begin this “new” life. It’s hard saying goodbye to your family and all those who have seen you grow up.  The ones who changed your diaper, taught you to ride a bike, or taught you the best way to throw a football.  It’s hard to say goodbye to your friends who knew you when you had huge dorky glasses and braces; who knew you when you wore Spandex pants and Jellies.  It’s hard saying goodbye to your best friend, who cried with you when your other friend died; who was with you for every first day of school from Kindergarten through college.  Yet somehow, we all do it, often times only for love.  It’s no longer about what we want anymore, but helping to move our soldiers forward.

We pick up ourselves, start fresh, not forever saying goodbye to the old life, but saying, “I’ll see you later.” 

So yes, I always did want to marry a soldier.  Every day I see him put on that uniform, I’m proud of him.  Every day he discusses something with me about deployment, I’m proud of him.  To this day, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.  I’ve formed a couple great friendships in the short time I’ve been away from home.  I married my man in uniform and got the things I hoped for, but more than anything, I found an unshakeable love that has indeed become “Army Strong.”


  1. I just LOVE this. I too will always love a man in uniform :)

  2. This post is wonderful! My husband is in the Air Force and before him, I didn't know anything about military life. We're new to the military, but I know that I'm going to really love this lifestyle.

  3. I applaud you and all those loving someone serving our country. My nephew is an Army Ranger, serving in Afghanistan, a position he fought very hard to get when he found out his old unit from Iraq was going back over. He is not married, but I know he appreciates all the support he gets from letters and posts on FB. God Bless you and may He keep your soldier safe!


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