Not all women marry into the military — some enlist in it. Across the country, brave women answer the call of duty and make the choice to serve our country. It is safe to say that some aspects of their commitment were expected, such as physical challenges and a demanding lifestyle. What they may not have expected was that they would find a husband.
The Milspouses Who Served series takes a look at women who have made the selfless decision to serve. We honor their bravery, sacrifices and choices to support our nation both in uniform and on the homefront. For privacy, names have been changed.
I Was a Marine
Kelly joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. “I did five years, got life experience and grew up a lot,” she shares.
She enjoyed the constant physical and mental challenges and the feeling that she was serving and giving back to her nation. Kelly explains, “I enjoyed the camaraderie, the joking around, and being in uncomfortable situations together and making the best of it.”
While serving, her path crossed with Jason’s, a fellow marine. The two fell in love and were married. The couple realized that in order to plan for the future they wanted, discussions and decisions needed to occur.
After their first son was born, Kelly ended her career the Marine Corps. She explains, “I had always known I never wanted to put my children in daycare and wanted to be at home with them and cherish them as much as I could while they were little.” Jason was supportive of this choice, and Kelly became a stay at home mom, while he continued serving.
Life as a Milspouse
When she reflects on her time in the service, Kelly looks back fondly, but was happy to leave certain aspects behind. “I do and I don’t miss serving. I do not miss the hurry up and wait mentality, the pointless tasks assigned for busywork, being under incompetent leadership, and constantly never knowing what to expect.”
Kelly is the epitome of strength. Today she is a mother of two and continues to make goals for herself while setting a positive example for her family. She demonstrates a tremendous amount of discipline, and is training to compete in a full marathon and participate in the Iron Woman Triathlon. Additionally, she plans to join a master’s swim team and coach a swim team. “Besides being a wife and mom, I want to open my own house cleaning service and help others become educated in health, nutrition and fitness,” shares Kelly.
Ever strong, this former marine now supports her family and nation from the homefront. I thank her for her assistance with this article, and for her service to our country.
A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops is a mother of two and enjoys writing, travel, art, languages, slow cooking and peaceful parenting. She studied Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. She is a contributing author for Wall Street International Magazine and has discussed her articles on-air with AFN Wiesbaden. She’s usually seen adventuring with her Canon, a coffee and two small children. Follow her on Twitter.
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