I come from Fort Knox community. My dad and brother were Marines, with my brother serving during my high school career. All of my friends were Army brats, with some in other branches, including my current best friends. I was a candidate for West Point. I have more family members and friends who serve in all branches than not. Hell, my husband is in the Army.
Yet, as affiliated as I am, I have felt isolated at times. Why? The answer is because I am not that typical wife. I was not a military dependent growing up, but I was raised in that environment and had the two closest guys to be as veterans. My dad served in the Marine Corps, then National Guard and now does civil service as a police officer. He still has a military attitude to this day, and always kept me up to date. However, I am also not a wife who was a local, waiting for a man to sweep her off her feet. No, I was not a tag chaser. I’m definitely not a rank rider. I have other attributes to my personality and self that will make me independently successful, instead of riding my husband’s coattails.
It is an odd mix too. I happen to be good friends with my neighbor, who is another Army wife. Her husband happens to be going back to boot camp essentially to change MOS, and I absolutely love her. She was also a daughter of a Marine (because once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine), who ended up growing up in another state, meeting her match, marrying him and going with him. It is refreshing to finally meet someone of my position, who gets it. Yes, we both were affiliated, but I did not realize the ends and outs. It is nice to talk as a local to another wife, but to be understood as not “a typical local”. I can share my knowledge without being looked at as a know it all, and we compare stories and rants of the “standard”. We know the stereotype, and always laugh about it.
When I mentioned to a female NCO before that I was a local who married, I first got a glare. I know what she was thinking- I must be one of these bitches who trapped the guy. I want his BAH. I want the benefits. I definitely want the ability to ride his rank. Hell, I probably faked a pregnancy and slept with him to get my two rings. Funny thing is ma’am, I already know this set up. I actually have even described these barracks rats you’ve endured- the ones who show up at the living areas, to hook up and get out. In fact, when my husband and I first stated that we were dating, I denied friends for double dates. I knew their motive. I knew that they were those tag chasers, wanting to become dependapotumuses. When I told her this, she immediately smiled. I was not, “one of those girls,” she replied with a wink. In reality, my husband was my first sexually. I would visit him at the barracks, and he would court me. It was amazing and made me realize he wasn’t just lonely.
He loved me. He still does love me. Yes, we married fast.
No, I have no desire to leech off my man. I had a job interview a few weeks ago and he smiled and shook his head. He said I never chill out and always am on the go.
His master sergeant met me after his reenlistment, and told me I was genuine. She smiled and told Tyler, “You need to marry her. She is the one for you. She is real, I feel it from her hug.” It was refreshing to here finally a breakthrough, with someone in his new unit. After hearing a comment how I was there to use him, I heard 100 more that no, I was meant as his future wife indefinitely, from his friends his rank, my own family and friends and now his leader.
What makes this hilarious is I was not expecting us to get married from first sight. I really liked him, but thought it was only going to be a few make out sessions and then a see you later. At that time in my life, I was going out and living life. I just graduated with my associates, after paying the bill of it all, and attending a university I love dearly. I was single and ready to enjoy my last summer in my home county. I knew I was going to achieve my goals of undergraduate studies, then grad school, but throw in activities and sororities. I was working at Victoria’s Secret at full time hours. I was having a hell of a time.
Then I met Tyler, and all changed. For the best. I still worked. I still attended school. I will be achieving my goals. I just added the right man, who happens to wear ACUs, not a uniform. I happen to be with a combative man, like my two favorite male family members. I happen to be moving to a foreign country, on another continent, for at least 3-4 years, if not more. See, I was planning to do that anyways. I almost attended a university in Ohio, but family issues led to me staying. I knew for grad school, I would go out of state. My father even said go for it baby.
So no, Tyler has not changed me or my plans. He has only bettered them and made more possible. Being with the love of my life and living out our dreams is my goals. I quit my job, yes, but I have a good shot at a great one when we move. I have online opportunities to successfully complete 3/4 of my diploma goals. I get to travel like I always dreamed of. I have the best pet ever. I have so much going for me, thanks to the military. I appreciate what I was blessed to receive. My husband sacrificed A LOT for me. He pushed back reenlistment and PCSing for a year. His unit has been gone for entire year, half of his friends being where he shall be stationed at, for me. He also has pushed back attending schools, for me. We both sacrificed, but accommodated. I plan to obtain my PhD later, but will counsel in the mean time and support my man.
My mom even said years ago I needed to marry military with how I am, and I met the perfect match. Yes, there are a lot of wives who ride off their man, cheat, lie, bitch, complain and rant on FB pages. There are reasons for stereotypes, but you don’t have to be the statistic. Become the standard- I know I plan to be.