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Guest Blog: 25 Things the Military Has Taught Me


Blogger Biography: Jodi is an Air Force spouse dedicated to following her high school sweetheart wherever God and Uncle Sam lead. She is a self-proclaimed coffee addict who enjoys a good book, outdoor adventures and taking care of their two dogs, Scout and Alli. She and her husband have recently experienced their first PCS move and now live in Portugal. She is currently exploring the new area while attempting to make their new house feel like home…with a fraction of their belongings!

While preparing for our first PCS move, I began to feel a little sentimental. We were finally moving, and I was beyond ecstatic! But I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was leaving a very special place. I realized it wasn’t the place that was causing me to be sentimental; it was what I had experienced while living there. Here are 25 of the top things being a military spouse has taught me…so far.

1. The best friendships are often the unexpected ones—such as friendships with individuals who come from different backgrounds, are of different ages and have different beliefs, opinions and interests. Military friendships are made at a faster pace, and these friends quickly become family.

2. There is such a thing as the hurry-up-and-wait game, and the military loves to play.

3. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Nothing is guaranteed until it is actually happening.

4. Brotherhood and camaraderie are extremely important.

5. As a spouse, you don’t come first. “Service before self,” as the Air Force says. That doesn’t mean that you will not be taken care of; it means patience is vital.

6. A short notice deployment, coupled with a cat that will not get away from your feet and a toaster that will not work, may induce a panic attack. Your spouse’s response to said panic attack may or may not be “This is not a medical emergency! There is nothing I can do for you! JUST BREATHE!”

7. It’s okay to have a love/hate relationship with the military. If stuck on the hate side of things, just give it a beat because it will come back around.

8. Deployments suck. However, there isn’t a feeling that can compare to the one you get when your loved one steps off that aircraft after a deployment.

9. Pride for your country and your active duty spouse can be an overwhelming feeling that can, and at some point most likely will, make you cry.

10. You are stronger than you think!

11. The military has an acronym for everything. Nonmilitary family and friends will not understand a word you say when you break out the military lingo.

12. If you are being served filet mignon at a fancy-schmancy awards banquet, never ask, “Where is the steak knife?” Especially if you are sitting beside a colonel. His response may be, “Well, in theory, if a filet mignon is cooked properly you should not need a steak knife.” You will probably turn a horrible shade of red and want to crawl under the table.

13. It is OK to disagree with someone. It is not OK to disrespect them.

14. As a military spouse, your career may have to take a backseat.

15. There really is something about a man in uniform.

16. Flat Top February runs right into Mustache March. These two months are hilarious and very, very creepy.

17. Enjoy the small things. The weekend beard, day trips, your spouse actually leaving work on time and sleeping in the same bed.

18. Distance is no fun, but it will make you appreciate your spouse more.

19. It is all right to be sad that your spouse is deployed. Cry, grieve and allow yourself a day to sit on the couch eating ice cream and watching old reruns. After that, remember the commitment your spouse made to our country and the commitment you made to your spouse, put on a brave face and get busy. I promise, it will make things easier for you and your spouse.

20. Attitude is everything. Focus on the positives, and you will be happy. Focus on the negatives, and you will be a Negative Nancy.

21. There are know-it-alls and negative people out there. Don’t let them steal your happy.

22. Excessive celebration when your spouse receives his or her first PCS orders can cause you to tear cartilage in your chest, and just breathing will feel like you are slowly dying. The happy dance is no joke.

23. Silver is better than gold when it comes to military rank. Gold oak leaf=major. Silver oak leaf=lieutenant colonel.

24. Sometimes you just need a trip home.

25. There is no “right way” to be a military spouse.

26. Being a military spouse has forever changed me. The experiences I’ve had and the friendships I’ve made have challenged me, expanded my way of thinking and changed me into a better version of myself. I grow as a person every day, and it is because of all of the people I have met and all of the experiences that have been afforded to us by the military.

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