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.
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.