For four years, I lived the life as a military spouse. It wasn’t easy, it was rarely fun, but it was always interesting. Recently, I watched a bit of the TV show, Army Wives,on the Lifetime network. I had heard of the show before, but had never watched it. I figured it would be some weepy show, full of inaccurate stories of what the life of a military spouse is really like.
To my surprise, it was somewhat accurate. My ex-husband was not in the Army, and I will just leave it at that, so I don’t really know if the situation is all that different, but for the most part, it was fairly accurate. I was surprised. It is a drama, so there is a lot of good, a lot of bad, and a lot of the normal. But, of course, it’s TV, so there is none of the mundane.
The truth is, there is a lot of the mundane, but that is the same with any life. Life is not all just an up and down crazy roller-coaster. There were a lot of ups and downs, scary moments, painful moments, and a lot of really happy times, but TV doesn’t show you all that stuff that lies in between the ups and downs. It doesn’t show the boredom, the day to day reality.
All good stories should start at the beginning, so that’s where we will start. My life as a military wife started the day my husband left for bootcamp. I was pregnant with our first child, and I had a hard time saying goodbye. He headed to training camp, and we weren’t even allowed to talk on the phone. Months of loneliness and dozens of letters. Other than two short phone calls on the day our daughter was born, the letters were the only communication we had. It was hard on both of us.
His schooling was only slightly better. I was basically a single mom for the time that he was at school. I got daily phone calls and still more letters. I updated him on how the baby was, and sent him pictures. I cut out a clipping of his picture in the paper and sent it to him. All the while, I kept telling myself that it will be better once we are together. I needed some hope that things would be better. For a while, it was.