Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Did you know it would be this hard?"




This is my last question from the Q&A. G.I. Joe and I both enjoyed talking about this and agreed it needed a post of its own. The question comes from Theta Mom. She asked, "Did you know it would be this hard to be the wife of a G.I. Joe?"

The short answer is...a big resounding no.

For the longer answer I should first tell you my military knowledge and experience level prior to dating G.I. Joe. Does anyone else remember around 2003 or 2004 when Nick and Jessica did their "Tour of Duty" TV special? It came on TV for Thanksgiving I believe. I was a senior in high school that year. Somehow I managed to sneak away from the family nuttiness to flip on "Tour of Duty" in my grandparents bedroom. I watched, speechless, as Nick and Jessica surprised a few service members by reuniting them with their families. Tears poured down my face as these combat veterans clung to the wives and children they had left behind months before.

The strangest feeling washed over me. I couldn't put my finger on it. I didn't come from a military family. I wasn't dating anyone going into the military. I was just a high school girl crying by herself because I could feel what these families were feeling. And that was not because Nick and Jessica are so talented that their songs "spoke to my heart." It wasn't anything that lame. There was something deep within me that told me I was one of them...I was one of those women.

Fast forward in time to the summer and fall of 2005. G.I. Joe and I were dating then. His deployment was creeping up on us. We decided on 2 months notice to get married. After "hell" (our affectionate name for the year 2006) was over we'd be able to start our lives together and have at least a year before the Army could separate us again.

Wrong.

January 2007 started with a homecoming and ended with another "goodbye." I was shocked to find out that after a 14 month deployment the military could send a married man on unaccompanied orders for another 2 years! Nick and Jessica didn't cover that in their TV special. In fact, anything not covered during that 2 hour program was new to me. All I did know about military life was that soldiers get deployed, reunions are emotional, people speak in "letters," and move around.

Army life was/is a mystery to me. And an even bigger mystery is why God would put someone like me in this position. I love G.I. Joe and would have married him no matter what career he chose. You have to understand something about me, though. I am an extremely emotional and dependent person. More so than the average woman. I cry over the dumbest things and as a teenager always liked to have a boyfriend on hand to bring me flowers for Valentine's Day or just sit and tell me how pretty I was. Yet, God decided to put me in a position where I spend more time without the love of my life then actually with him?

I knew deep down when we got married that I would have to rely on God every day just to get out of bed. G.I. Joe also knew how hard this life would be for me and has given me an "out" many times. I would never dream of taking it, of course. But he'll say "Are you sure you don't want to find a guy who would be home with you all the time?" No. Absolutely not...unless that guy were G.I. Joe. To his question I always tell him this: if he were only able to be home 1 single day a year for the rest of our lives I'd still be happier with him then I would be with anyone else.

This life is not something you can fully prepare for. If you ask any military wife this question the answer should always be "No, I didn't know it would be this hard." I don't know a lot in this world except that my 'Joe is worth these hard times. Being his wife is more rewarding and more wonderful than I ever dreamed.

18 comments:

Armywife101 said...

I had no clue it would be this hard, although I know it would have some challenges but not to this extent. I agree that our hubbies are so worth it and I wouldn't trade this for the world.

JG said...

Good word. This brings about a lot of mixed emotions today.

Expat Girl said...

Great answer : ) I agree with every word you said!

mrs_muffins said...

I could have wrote this. I was the same way... I never had anyone close to me in the military and before I met Matt, I had no reason to even care. I was a fifteen year old girl, why would I!? Matt was in the Delayed Entry Program when I met him but I still had no idea what I was getting into. He tried to break up with me once because he had a better idea of how hard it would be and wanted to give me an "out" too. Of course I said no way, I could do this... and I wouldn't take that back. Ever. It is hard but I know if I ever were to give up, I would never be as happy. Even when i'm crying alone in an empty bed, i'm happier than I would be with someone else.
xx

Melissa said...

Nice post! I don't think I could do it... but then again, I suppose if that was the career of the man I love then I might be able to.

But still... it would be SO hard. I can't even imagine.

Buckeroomama said...

That is such a beautiful post.

Ashley said...

I love the way you put it. :)

And I know you don't really pass em on much, but I left you an award on my blog.

K said...

Great post!! I can totally relate..

Theta Mom said...

Another awesome post in which you had me at every word. Beautifully written and heartfelt. You really have found your soul mate and you are luckier than most, having found a love that special.

That, my friend, is a blessing.

Freddae' said...

Swing by...I have an award for you.

Freddae'
http://coffeegodandme.blogspot.com

Nichol said...

I'm coming out and commenting after hiding behind the scenes for so long. What a beautiful post. I cannot relate at all but I can truly feel the love in that post. I could feel every bit of love, no wait true love in that post. :O)

Caitlin said...

I've been trying to get my boyfriend to understand this. He doesn't get what I'm giving up.Like you, I wouldn't trade it. But it's nice for him to remember that.

Dumb Dawn said...

Yeah....It's that hard!

My husband has done 20 years in the Air Force. He enlisted in 1989 and went in shortly after we were married.
Here we are 20 years later getting ready to retire from the military.

It's scary.
But what's scary about it is, we are loosing that "security" and he is gaining a job that is again...overseas...in Afghanistan. So here we go again.

The military life is all I've ever known.
My father was in it, then I married into it.

Life is so scary.
I have to do this all on my own again.

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

Wow, that's incredible... I can't imagine that kind of separation! So awesome that you rely on God's strength to get you through!

The Household 6 Diva said...

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Are you on Twitter?
@Household6Diva

Krista S said...

Wonderfully written. My very best friend recently married an man who serves in the army and I often find myself wondering if she's mentally prepared for his deployment. Your post tells me she's probably not, but I hope she is able to find people like you who have been there and can relate in a way that the rest of us can't. God bless you & your family.

Ashley said...

I am loving this post! Especially the part here at the end in all big bold letters...so true, so true!

Whitney said...

I love this post. All the time growing up, I never really thought I would date anyone involved with the military or really even wanted to. I didn't really know anyone personally that was in the military. That all changed when I met David. Now, I couldn't imagine my life without him. He never had given me an out. We'll be faced with a deployment in the next couple of years.