The "Air Force Family"- What It Means to Me

Thursday, July 02, 2015

I've been really struggling with what to write about this week with everything going on in the country and all of the craziness going on with preparing for our move. Last night it hit me though, as we went to a dinner to celebrate Ethan's supervisor's promotion.

Our time in the military life has been brief thus far, so I cannot claim to have any kind of superior knowledge or insight into military life. I have not gone through what half of military families have gone through and I cannot say that I have had any serious life-altering realizations in our three years, but this life means a lot to me and not for all of the reasons you may think.

When Ethan decided to join the Air Force, it was a decision that was not an easy one for me. My heart and my mind were at war with each other and in my mind the military meant separation and death. Yes, I know. How very narrow-minded of me. But I did not grow up with anyone close to me in the military and all I knew of were the stories of young wives grieving over the loss of their husbands who they barely got to start a life with. And, I had my life figured out. Settle down near my family, raise a family of my own and live happily southern ever after. But God had a different plan.

It took me a while, a lot of prayer, and a lot of people praying for me for me to become good with his decision. I knew it would not be easy to move away from all I knew and being away from Ethan would be hard, but I've been through a lot in my life and God didn't show me how strong I am for nothing.

During Ethan's basic training, I found the community that I knew would get me through hard times. Military spouses. It was amazing how Facebook could unite all of us who were going without our loved ones and use that to help us get through the hard nights alone. I started to better understand the life I was going to live and I started to get excited about being an Air Force wife. When we got our orders for Hawaii I was filled with about 10 million emotions at once. Oh my goodness, I'm moving to Hawaii! I never thought I would ever go to Hawaii, much less live there! Oh my goodness, I'm moving to Hawaii. I'm never going to see my family! And back and forth and back and forth.

Moving here was hard. I will not lie. Being in a strange place, not knowing anyone and for the first time in my life being the minority. A very different place with very different customs and lifestyles. The beauty of Hawaii will take your breath away, but so will the places where poverty is prevalent. For the first time, I was working with students who were homeless or living in homes with several other families. I can't say that I've found a forever home in Hawaii or made a ton of friends that I will always stay in contact with. The friends I have found are few and far between but I guess that's what makes them so special. They are the people that went out of their way to make me feel at home and include me in their lives.

While here, though, I have seen what our lives could be in the military. The community and the families (I have learned that at the next base I will try harder to get us involved in the military community). I have seen Ethan work harder than I've ever seen him work and be rewarded for all he puts into his service. I've seen him find what he is good at and make the best of situations he may not love, because he loves this country and the Air Force. I've seen him gain a sense of purpose and become the leader I always knew he could be.

As I watched everyone at dinner last night, joking around and laughing, I was reminded of why I do love this life. Even though it is hard sometimes and will get harder. These people are family. They have each other's backs and all share very important things in common; service, bravery and sacrifice. They don't do this job for money (and all you military spouses know that's true) or the glory of it all. It's not always glamorous and it's not always easy. They do it because they love it. Because they felt a call to serve.

So what does this life mean to me? Just about everything. I am proud to be a military wife.



Happy 4th everybody!




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