Once upon a time, there was a woman who fell madly in love with a man. He was active duty military and whisked her away on an adventure that looked a little something like this:

You’re in love! You will do anything for this man and follow him to the ends of the earth!

He pops the question and of course, you say “I do!” Welcome to the life of the milspouse!

You dive in, ready to learn as much as you possibly can. You want to know specifics, you ask questions online, and then you think, “Nah, I’ll figure it out as I go.”

Although you’re married and in love, it’s time to leave home — he has orders and you are off. You’re ready to start your new life but sad to say “Goodbye” to your old one.

Since you’re new at this marriage business you do what you think will make you the ideal spouse.

After some time of this, you get real. Ah, that’s more like it.

You finally branch out and find the perfect ladies! Besties for life and it all happened at your first duty station — who knew this would be so perfect?

It’s official — you love this duty station, and never ever want to leave. You have masted the milspouse life and nothing can bring you down.

One day your husband breaks the news — it’s time to PCS. You’re heartbroken, especially with that first move. But hey — you have your man, right? As long as you are together, you’ll be happy anywhere in the world.

As awesome as your husband is, you feel unsettled and like a stranger in your new home. It’s clear that you miss your old duty station, old friends, old house, old life. You feel sorry for yourself for a little bit, and that’s perfectly okay.

Things change when you and your hubby decide that the time is perfect (or nature offers you an amazing surprise), and you start a family! Welcome, little one!

Just when you get the swing of this parenting gig, your husband is told that he has to deploy. Ah, the timing never ever seems right…

Next up on the agenda, is a mini-freakout. You worry for his life, worry for your sanity and throw a little pity party. You need to let it all out before you can go into beast mode.

Okay — you come to the conclusion that you are incredible, strong, amazing and capable — you got this! Nothing can stand in your way! Come at me, deployment!

And it may not be glamorous, but you successfully hold down the homefront…even on the tough days. And you somehow make it look easy.

Luckily, you found amazing friends at this duty station and still keep in touch with your besties from your last. It’s good to have a village.

Even better? You have found yourself! You feel confident moving, supporting your family, running the homefront and making friends. With every move, you don’t only leave something behind, but you also gain new skills and life experiences. You got this, milspouse. Keep rocking it!





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A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” former Army wife Jackie Toops enjoys exploring the various facets of her personality by chronicling military life, world travels, family, her love of the arts and more. Her academic background is in the fields of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and she has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. Jackie’s articles have been featured on Army Wife 101, Wall Street International Magazine, SoFluential, HomeAway, Military Biz Connection and FamiliesGo. While stationed in Germany, she regularly discussed her articles on-air with the Armed Forces Network in Wiesbaden. A mother of two, Jackie enjoys coffee, freelance writing, languages and discovering new ways to express herself. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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