What Is a “Military Family”?
Living the MilSpouse life means things aren’t always going to go as “planned”. There’s the adventure and challenge of moving to new locations, for sure… but there’s also the juggling act of caring for young kids without other family members around… enrolling older kids in a variety of school systems over the years… and trying to take advantage of opportunities (and missing opportunities) to carry on a career of your own.
But those aren’t the only issues involved in living as a “Military Family”. Guest Blogger Kara Fidd shares a unique perspective with us based on a personal experience she had while her husband was in basic training.
“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight
of the human spirit and human dignity.” — Herbert Hoover
I don’t do personal posts much. Unless I have experienced something that I feel will truly help my readers, then I don’t bother wasting your time. Today I will make an exception, although I hope this article makes some kind of impact. It’s about the day I learned what it really means to be a Military Family. That day was July 4, 2015.
And no, it doesn’t involve Frisbee throwing or potato salad.
My husband had just left about three weeks prior, for basic training. I was alone and HUGE. I was huge because July 4th was my due date. My stubborn baby was supposed to make his appearance, but he showed no signs of doing that so I was scheduled for an induction the next day.
I spent most of my time bouncing on my exercise ball, crying, and waiting by the phone. I hadn’t yet a received a phone call from my husband and I had only gotten one letter so far.
That day the phone finally rang.
“Did you have the baby?” My husband asked. I wrote to him every day but the mail was behind so he hadn’t yet received my letter about the induction. If I know my husband, he was extremely anxious about not knowing when our son would be born, and if we were going to be okay. He was a wreck and struggled to keep it together most nights.
A member of my husband’s flight had earned a phone call that day. He gave it up so that my husband could call me. My husband told him, “No, you should call home.” This amazing young man (who was only 18 at the time) insisted that my husband take his phone call. The whole flight knew that it was my due date and wanted to find out if I had given birth yet. “Go find out if you’re a dad,” he insisted.
The phone call gave me the strength to get through the next (very rough) few days. I just couldn’t believe the selflessness of this young man. For anyone who has been through basic, whether it be the servicemember themselves or their spouse/girlfriend, then you know how important phone calls are. They are better than Christmas!
I know this young man will make it very far in his Military career, he will impact many lives. And I was extremely proud to be able to shake his hand at graduation.
Being a Military Family means that you look out for one another, you experience the hard times and the good times together. When my husband finally did become a dad, the entire flight cheered. Every day when my letters would come, all the guys would gather around to look at baby pictures. The day my husband found out that we were coming to graduation, they all hugged him. They were there for him when I couldn’t be. They were there for him after the baby was born and he became depressed about being so far away. They were his family.
Every single one of them came up to me at graduation to see the wife and baby they had heard so much about. They told me stories, some I had heard and some I hadn’t. I was happy to meet his Military Family, and they were happy to welcome me into it.
“I should be getting another phone call here soon. I can’t wait to hear your voice again, it made me fly that day. :-)” — Written by my husband on July 5.
I don’t think that young man knows the impact he had on my husband and I. He had no wife, no girlfriend, he would have called his grandmother that day. For us though, we needed the strength that we got from being able to hear each other’s voices. We got through that week, and all the weeks after that. In fact, it has now been over a year now. Regardless, I haven’t forgot about that phone call or about that day. I never will.
About Kara Fidd: Kara is the creator of Moms Don’t Sleep. She is the wife of an Airman and the mom of a beautiful little man. She created Moms Don’t Sleep to bring helpful resources and products to other Military Families.
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