Jen is the busy mom to three boys ages 1,9, and 12. She is the proud wife to a Marine GySgt and has been very active as a military spouse. She is currently going through her 6th deployment.  Jen has a passion in working with military families and writes about her daily life at her blog Beyond the Cammies. Jen loves to spend time with her boys, read, connect with other military spouses, and play with her three dogs. You can follow Jen by going to her blog .

My husband spent four years as an active duty Marine. Wanting to raise our children close to family, Jen and her husband decided to move back to their hometown in Central, IL. My husband quickly missed the military life and joined as a Marine reservist with the local reserve unit. After September 11th, my husband’s unit was called up to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has deployed in 2003, 2005, and 2008. Most recently my husband was called up to support Operation Enduring Freedom with a deployment to Afghanistan.

This deployment has been like no other. Because of the troop draw down, election year, and the restructuring of troops my husband has been in limbo the past few months. He has been away training in Southern California since October. We were excited about finally getting a flight window to quickly hear that my husband’s unit was now being pushed back and possibly going with another unit. As it sits now we know he will deploy sometime this Spring , but have no idea what unit they will be attached to or for how long his deployment will be.

Marines typically deploy for 7 months, but because this would push them over there existing 400 day orders, there may be a possibility they will spend a shorter amount of time overseas. The rumor of them actually not going over has also been thrown around. We all know that deployments NEVER get cancelled! The hardest part about being a reservist family is that our families are spread out over many states. I am lucky to have a few close friends within 45 minutes of me, but lots of our connections take place via Facebook. Thank God for that! Our usual friends do not understand the lifestyle and often times don’t know how to help or be supportive. We all know as military spouses, we hate to ask for help!

As I juggle three boys and their crazy schedules, I just wish one day the laundry fairy, the cook, and the house cleaner would show up. Wouldn’t our lives as military spouses be so much easier with the luxuries as those like the Kardashians have? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an unlimited amount of money to jump on a plane when we wanted to visit with our husbands? Instead we bill juggle and save enough money from each check so that we can see our husbands as they are stateside. Can you believe that I am ready for him to deploy overseas because of the expense of having him stateside and running two households? I buy groceries, he buys groceries. I save up money to entertain my boys and make time go by faster, and he is spending money going to dinner, visiting with friends, and just getting some relaxation time. We have been very fortunate to get to see each other every 6 to 8 weeks during this crazy pre-deployment training.

Looking forward to having my husband join us in Florida for some family fun in a few weeks before the long “see ya later”. Until then I dream of the day when we will get to continue our lives as a family of 5.

Are you a reservist family and have you experienced some of the same things or situations?



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

6 Comments on Guest Post: Life As A Reservist Family

  1. I can relate on families being spread out over great distances, even though my husband is Guard. It’s hard to have a network of support and an active FRG. Thank God for Facebook and e-mail. I’d be really lost without them.

  2. Wow…..glad to see that I am not the only one who feels the issues with Gaurd family,wife etc…….I to am a busy stay at home mom of 3 (mine are alittle older) not by choice but because we feel at least one parent needs to be around to take care of the kids while he works pretty much 24-7……we live in VT so we are spread out even farther that other states and has yet to have anything to do with FRG beause they only do things during deployment then dissapear after that…..sad…..look forward to fallowing the blog

  3. Thanks for the opportunity to write for you! I am so glad that you guys could connect with my post. Look forwad to getting to know you better!

  4. Oh, I so know the feeling of wanting my soldier to just get it over with already and deploy! It’s a whirlwind of emotions and it’s really hard not to feel really guilty too. I also know what it feels like to wish for a fairy to show up and make all the clutter and filth dissappear. Even when my husband is home I wish it would go away, but when he’s gone I wish it so much more.

    Thank you so much for sharing Jen! You can do it!

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