“We were married nine years ago today, the day after a snowstorm. I always thought we’d have a summer wedding, but we knew he’d have leave between Christmas and New Year’s. We’ve celebrated four anniversaries apart; this is our fifth spending it together. You definitely feel the absence on the big days when they’re gone – anniversaries, birthdays, holidays – but sometimes it’s in the littlest moments that the distance is the hardest.
“As a military spouse, you often hear some iteration of ‘you knew what you were getting into,’ but I’m not sure that’s the case. No one walks into marriage knowing that someday they’ll watch their other half battle alzheimers or cancer or a brain injury. No one really knows what their life will look like together – in marriage, parenting, life. I think that’s why people keep saying ‘I do.’ For the hope. For the happiness. For the love and optimism, committment and adventure that those vows promise.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t marry the military — I married the cute guy I sat next to in high school biology in Colorado that I ran into at a bar eight years later in Florida. And when I fell in love with him, I didn’t know how hard deployments would be on toddlers. I had no idea that someday we’d move to Guam, California, Virginia. And in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t fathom the unbridled joy of watching my kids run to their daddy at homecoming. I am so proud to be a military wife. And nine years in, I can tell you I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”