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10 Ways the Military Family is Unique

Erin Whitehead
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tagged: family, military life
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whitehead family photo

Photo Credit: Heather Bird Photography

In so many ways, military families are no different than our civilian counterparts. We all have to get up in the morning, get ready for our responsibilities, go through our daily grind, enjoy whatever time we can together… and then attempt some shut-eye so we can tackle it all again tomorrow.

We have successes...and failures.
We have triumph...and tragedy.
We laugh...and we cry.
And through it all...we put our pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else.

But being a part of a military family also presents some unique challenges, experiences, and joys that folks who have not shared our way of life may miss out on.

Here are my Top Ten Ways the Military Family Is Unique...what items could you add to the list?

10) We speak a different language.

At first, I didn't understand half of what my husband said when talking about military-related topics. To be fair, after 13 years, there are days I still wonder what in the world he means. But after all this time, I find myself speaking the lingo more often than not. I am constantly speaking in acronyms, much to the chagrin of my "civilian" friends, and can't help but cringing when someone says they like my husband’s "hat" when he is in uniform.

But, unlike many of my military spouse friends, I never got the hang of military time and at this point I am too stubborn to integrate. It is hard enough to remember what time zone it is in every part of the world where my loved ones are... 17:00 will just have to be five-o-clock. (Wait! Is that right?!) I am too old to learn a snazzy new way to tell time.

9) We are masters at moving.

Sure, we dread the boxes, packing paper and stress of moving just like everyone else... but we probably have a system in place that will blow your mind. Whether we are moving ourselves, or letting the military movers come in and do the heavy lifting... we have done it so many times that it is a science. Those eight numbered stickers on the belly of the dining room table are badges of honor! Give us 2 weeks, surprise orders, three kids, two dogs, one goldfish, and no other choice... we will OWN that move from North Carolina to California!

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