Inside: Military life can get a little wild! Grab your favorite drink and laugh through this humorous list of crazy things that make military life unique for military spouses.
Because so many of my friends are fellow military spouses, I sometimes forget that there is a whole wide world out there where people actually expect to spend the majority of their marriage living in the same house as their spouse. Crazy, right?
Recently, while chatting with a civilian friend, I realized how uniquely bizarre our military life can be. “I’m sorry your husband deployed again,” she said sympathetically. “How long is he gone this time?”
“I’m not sure,” I told her honestly. “He’ll be back sometime next year.”
“Oh.” She paused. “Will you guys keep living there, or will you move again?”
“I’m not sure,” I said again. “It all depends on his orders.”
“Oh ok, but you won’t go overseas again, right?”
“We never really know,” I said. “I mean, we would love to live closer to family for once, but I just don’t want to get my hopes up until anything is for sure.”
“Wow,” she laughed, “I don’t know if I could handle all that uncertainty! Is there anything you are sure about?”
I had to stop and think for a moment. “Well…” I told her, “I’m sure of my kids ages. At least, I think I remember them all!”
There’s never a dull moment in military life.
Military life is full of uncertainty and change. After a while, we get used to the constant moves and deployments. We change schools and dentists and hairdressers every few years. We make new friends while keeping in touch with the old ones, who are now scattered across various time zones.
We know what it is like to be in a long-distance marriage.
So whether you’re a “seasoned” military spouse or a brand new spouse, you will surely relate to these crazy aspects of military life.
You know you’re a military spouse if…
1. Everything must always be written in pencil, because plans always change.
2. You get restless after being stationed at the same base for more than three years.
3. You have your spouse’s social security number memorized, but barely know your own.
4. You don’t know in what state or which country you will live next year.
5. You’re never far from your phone… or you ID card.
6. You brace yourself for job interview questions like “what brings you to the area?” and “are you married?”
7. You’ve given birth without your spouse.
8. You started potty training your toddler in the middle of a deployment, and everyone survived.
9. You feel fiercely patriotic every time you hear the National Anthem.
10. You smile if the phone rings in the middle of the night.
11. You’ve waited in line at the Commissary on a payday.
12. You’ve witnessed the results of a ‘gear bomb’ in your house before or after a deployment.
13. You can unpack and set up an entire house in 48 hours…with toddlers underfoot.
14. You hold onto curtains and other décor because maybe they will fit at the next house.
15. You’ve dressed up for a military ball.
16. You’ve tripped over combat boots on the floor.
17. You know the pain of Murphy’s Law, and how it always hits during deployment!
18. You do time zone math every time you answer the phone.
19. You consider yourself multi-lingual because you can speak acronyms.
20. You always have a countdown app on your phone.
21. You’ve lived in so many different states that your car registration, license plates, home of record, and driver’s license are all from a different place.
22. You know exactly where something was…in the previous house.
23. You’ve driven several hours just to see your spouse for lunch.
24. You feel like you’re speed dating when you make friends at a new duty station.
25. You’ve held four different jobs in three different states in the last five years.
26. You have colored PCS stickers underneath most of your furniture.
27. You’ve driven or flown across the country on your own with a toddler, a baby and a dog.
28. You’ve spent hours making a homecoming sign and choosing the perfect outfit…only to have the arrival time moved to the middle of the night.
29. You’ve used your ‘vacation’ to visit your in-laws.
30. You’ve said, “I can’t wait to get rid of this old furniture when we PCS!”
31. You’ve accidentally flashed your credit card instead of your ID card at the base gate.
32. You’ve spent an entire month in a hotel room with a newborn and two dogs, while waiting for housing to become available.
33. You always say, “See you later!” because goodbye is too final.
Yes, our milspouse life is uniquely challenging. But as I told my civilian friend, “Good thing I’m in love with my husband! He makes all those crazy challenges completely worthwhile!”