One of the most important life skills one can acquire is accentuating the positive. This is especially true for military spouses on the days when the unique challenges of this lifestyle catch up with us. I asked wives across different branches to reflect on what they enjoy about being a military spouse. From newlyweds to those married for decades, here are the happy thoughts and silver linings they shared with me.
Newlywed to 3 Years
“I love the instant connection you have once you find out someone else is a military spouse, too. The support and networking opportunities wherever you go are priceless. And seeing my husband in uniform is definitely the best part.” ~ Shayna, Army wife, in her first year of marriage.
“Although some probably do not like this aspect of being a milspouse, I love getting to move around to different places! I love that we get to experience new places and new people — I don’t think it would be something we would get to experience otherwise. Plus, getting the chance to live in Europe has been an amazing opportunity that not many people get either!” ~ Kalyn, Army wife, married 3 years.
Married 5-10 years
“I think the things I love most is being able to see so much of the world! Not just visit but live and experience all kinds of places! Everything from food and culture to wildlife and landscape. I’ve seen four completely different environments in less than six years, and I am looking forward to many more!” ~ Kelsey, Army wife, married 5 years.
“The thing that I love about being a military spouse is how it forces optimism. You learn to make your small homes ‘cozy.’ You believe that deployments become opportunities in which your ‘heart grows fonder,’ and PCSing to unfamiliar places is an opportunity to experience exciting new cultures.” ~ Trudy, Army wife, married 8 years.
“I really love the type of community that you experience when you live on base. Living in a place where everybody understands the struggles of military life creates a special bond.” ~ Mareike, Army wife, married 9 years.
Married 10+ Years
“I love being a military spouse because we are afforded such an amazing opportunity to experience wanderlust at its fullest. I also love that we are part of such a diverse community and are able to expand our horizons with endless possibilities.” ~ Marissa, Navy wife, married 9 years.
“One thing I love about being a military spouse is having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in our travels that have become family. This is all because my husband wanted to defend his country, and I get to kiss this selfless hero goodnight every night!” ~ Beth, Air Force wife, married 13 years.
“Being a military wife means I get to play a key role in the strengthening of an American soldier; I am my husband’s biggest supporter, cheerleader, shoulder to lean on (on the rare occasion that he needs one), and a sounding board. Knowing that he is a stronger, more productive and successful soldier because he has a happy home means that I too have contributed to our country even though I don’t wear a uniform. I also love that we get to meet so many wonderful people and explore so many new cultures and countries, it is literally a dream come true for this small town girl from Ohio.” ~ Rebekah, Army wife, married 15 years.
Married More Than 30 Years
“Being a military spouse is a unique experience. We’ve made close friends all over the world. We’ve kept in touch and when we get together, we pick right back up where we left off as if no time has passed at all!
We’ve met all kinds of people, diversity at its best. What an awesome experience for our children. We have also been able to visit and live all over the world! We never could have done all these things if we were not in the military.
Finally, there is the security in knowing that you always have a place to live, medical care, and a paycheck coming in. When living on base, your neighbors become like family and everyone watches out for each other. This is so important, especially when your spouse is deployed.
Being a military wife is part of who I am. It’s been a great way of life.” ~ Debbie, Army wife, married 33 years.
It’s All About Perspective
At the end of the day, your perspective and outlook can make the difference between a difficult journey and one that you embrace fondly. I hope that these positive thoughts will help you reflect on what you enjoy about this unique lifestyle. The more you embrace it, the more it becomes yours.
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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