I have realized that there has been a category of my blog missing for quite a long time. I am open about this part of my life and I think that I can help others because it is something I have in common with many of my followers and friends.
I am a military spouse.
I have decided to add a “Military Life” category to my blog, but don’t worry because this will still be a healthy lifestyle blog! I just think I can provide some perspective and advice because…
I am also in the military.
Yes, my husband and I are in a “dual military marriage”, as it is called.
I joined the military in February of 2012. At that time, I did not know Michael. I lived in Reno, Nevada and enlisted with the Air National Guard. I went to basic training in September of 2012, back when BEAST was still a thing and we weren’t able to hold up a card to get an MTI to stop yelling at us.
I honestly enjoyed basic training. I had a ton of fun! My favorite part was the CBRNE training where I got to wear a full chemical warfare suit and then play around in tear gas. I also enjoyed the obstacle course and BEAST week.
I graduated Veteran’s Day weekend and immediately went to tech school… where I would meet Michael. I did not go to tech school with the intentions of dating someone. I actually had a boyfriend back at home, which obviously things did not work out with. When Michael and I met, it wasn’t love at first sight or anything. In fact, I barely paid any attention to him, despite his best efforts to impress me. I literally had no clue that this super tall Airman would eventually be my husband.
After about a year of being in a long distance relationship, I moved down to Arizona with him and eventually I transferred units so I didn’t have to keep traveling back and forth to my drill weekends.
I have almost always been a traditional guardsman, meaning I go to drill one weekend per month and do active training days two weeks per year. Why did I choose to do this? A few reasons. First and foremost, I never felt like I was in the right job with my original career field. I honestly hated it. It was stressful and I felt immense pressure to be perfect at it. There were a few other aspects that I didn’t like but I will not be posting it publicly! Another reason is because of my civilian career. I love personal training and it made me happy, so I wanted to stay with that.
Still, when duty called, I would have to put my civilian life on hold. Thankfully, I have been employed by some great people that made it easy on me!
We got married at the Pima Air and Space Museum underneath the SR-71 in June 2015. Given that we are both in the Air Force, it was the perfect venue.
Within one year of getting married, we went through a couple of TDYs (temporary duty), I went on active orders for awhile, and then in April of 2016, Michael deployed to the Middle East for nearly seven months.
I won’t lie, deployments are tough! I know that he will deploy again and I do plan on creating posts about deployments because there are a lot of people I personally know who have not been through one yet.
Right after Michael came back from his deployment, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-5). Being promoted to Senior Airman wasn’t really a huge deal for me, but SSgt was because I had to board for it, test for it, and really demonstrate my leadership skills. The officer who promoted me mentioned that I was an “ideal traditional Guardsman” because during drill weekends, I don’t need much direction and accomplished all of my tasks.
After the holidays, Michael went off to Officer Training School for two months, which resulted in him becoming a second Lieutenant! He had been selected for a pilot spot prior to his deployment. It has always been his dream to be a pilot.
After his commissioning, we went off to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas for possibly the most difficult year and a half of both of our lives. I plan to write about that experience in a few different blog posts, too! He graduated from UPT in May 2018.
While we were at Laughlin, I went back and forth for awhile about whether or not to re-enlist. I did not like my job. I honestly had not liked it since before I graduated from tech school, which was disappointing because I loved basic training so much!
Did I want to stay in? Yes.
Did I want to change jobs? Yes.
There was my answer.
In January of 2018, I re-enlisted and switched career fields, choosing to join Public Affairs as a photojournalist. I am still awaiting tech school, but I already LOVE my new job. I have still been able to help out with various tasks because of my writing and creative photography background.
Michael is now in the “B course”, which is what we call the training course for the F-16. Like I said, I am awaiting tech school and am in regular school right now. Once I graduate in June, I am hoping to commission myself and make a career in the Air Force! It is crazy how I have completely changed my mind about staying in and now I want to be an officer and do 20+ years.
What should you expect in this new category of my blog?
Advice, mostly! I have a unique perspective given that I am in the military and also an enlisted member married to a previously enlisted officer. I will also share my own personal experiences and lessons learned. I will try to do so without angering my fellow spouses. I was once upon a time an admin for a military spouse blog on Tumblr and I actually quit because of how much I offended other spouses.
I keep it real, as they say, when it comes to military life. You might not like what I have to say, but I will always be honest and I won’t sugarcoat things. That is what you can expect from me and that is what sets me apart.
Of course, if you ever have any questions or want to see a specific topic covered, please contact me! I am always happy to help because I understand that this life can be challenging and confusing.