10 Ways the Military Family is Unique
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 8 numbered stickers on the belly of the dining room table are badges of honor! Give us 2 weeks, surprise orders, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 goldfish, and no other choice... we will OWN that move from NC to CA!
8) We are accustomed to getting along with all kinds of people.
Military installations are truly melting pots filled with folks from all walks of life. You will never find that everyone you meet at one base or post is the same. You are from Jersey, your husband is from Oklahoma, and your neighbors may be from Alabama and Spain. Everyone grew up with different religious and political backgrounds, and have all had many experiences since that may have shaped what they believe today. Educational backgrounds vary, and there are numerous cultural differences... all on the same block. I can truly say that my family has become very well-rounded as a result of the many different people with whom we have shared our military life. When my friend from Ireland sings French lullabies to the baby, my husband’s dear friend calls with his thick Boston accent, or my best friend cooks me a pot of Louisiana style gumbo...I know that my life has been enriched by my husband’s career.
Sign up for the Military Spouse weekly email, and never miss out on our most popular topics.
Dear Sally, Military Spouse Ridicule is Making Me a Hermit!
Dear Sally, My husband has been in for 10 years and we have been together the entire time and have kids. Deployments, ups and downs, bad FRG to great FRG, awesome commands to the very worst. I ha...
Six Ways to Stay Sane on Your Road Trip this Holiday Season
Six Ways to Stay Sane on Your Road Trip this Holiday Season For military families the holiday season usually means travel in one form or another. Since we rarely live in the same community as our...
A: Dear Sally, My friend dumped me because my husband was promoted and hers was not, how do I deal with this? -- Rank Ruined Friendship Dear Rank... Read more.
A: My husband comes home from his first deployment soon. We have only been married a little over a year and he has been deployed most of that time.... Read more.
A: My husband is deployed and they are scheduled to be coming home soon. I keep seeing other spouses in the unit posting stuff like dates and locatio... Read more.
A: I know lots of people who hate base housing, but I really like living on base. Well, I did until my new neighbors moved in... they are driving me... Read more.
A: At what point should we let our kids have a say in whether or not we accompany their dad on his next PCS? Our children, ages 15 and 17, have really... Read more.