Welcome to the Blue Star Families deployment series! Every week for the next five months, I and four other military spouse bloggers will be writing about our experiences with the deployment process in conjunction with the e-book Everyone Serves. I’d first like to give a huge thank you to BSF for accepting me as a blogger and to my Army Wife Network colleagues for letting me know about this opportunity! I’d also like to give a shout-out to the other military wives participating in this series: Jennifer, Jacey, Julie, and Reda. Please check out their bios HERE!
Until a few years ago, I never thought I’d be an Army wife. The military just wasn’t something familiar to me. I was born and raised near Dallas, was homeschooled until college, and had a serious relationship with my violin, which I’ve played since three years of age. The violin was my childhood passion, so I made the decision to pursue a degree in violin performance. I graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in 2009, returning to Texas because I got a desk job. I got into a normal routine: working at the office, exercising (sometimes), paying my student loans on time, spending time with family and friends, reading, being a news junkie. I was comfortable and settled….
…until I was introduced to the military. Mark and I met online in March 2010, and a few weeks later, we met in person for a date. He drove three hours to meet me, and that in itself was impressive! However, I also was impressed by his intellect, his passion for our common beliefs, and his dedication to his job as an Army officer. (Oh yes, small detail – his looks were quite striking as well!) That first date led to many more, and a few months later, we knew that we had met “the one.” We were engaged in December 2010, and this month (June 2013) we tied the knot at the courthouse. Upon his return from deployment, we will have our church wedding and then ride happily into the sunset.
But, as we all know, military life is never that easy. Deployment inevitably returns. Lives are in danger. Stress is a daily visitor. The word “Afghanistan” pops out in the news like a neon sign. But yet, we continue to live this life – not just in survival mode, but in thriving mode. From the beginning of my military journey with Mark, I looked upon it as the biggest adventure of my life, as a unique opportunity to rise to its challenges. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced moments of feeling completely overwhelmed – but at some point, there is a chance to coast down the other side of the mountain.
This, our second deployment, has just begun – and I have to say that saying goodbye the second time around is much harder than the first. But what is exciting to me is this: I also have the chance to share my experiences so that others won’t feel alone in the tough times. I have an opportunity to serve my country and fellow military spouses by opening up my heart through the passion I have for writing. For that, I am truly honored and grateful.
Follow Blue Star Families on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and build a support network so you can keep your family and personal community strong throughout the duration of the entire deployment life cycle.