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My New Outlook on Family

Shawna Robles
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tagged: family, military life
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I had no idea what I was getting into when I married my husband. I don’t think anyone really does unless you were raised in a military family. As a soldier you are sort of prepared for the fact that you will be moved around often, be away from family and friends for long periods of time, and deployed to dangerous areas at any time. The military, in return, offers you compensation via money, medical benefits, education and so on. As a spouse however, you are not as prepared. Most of us are blind-sided by all of the changes and sacrifices we have to go through. I mean, sure we all know that our spouse will be deployed and we will have to move every three to four years… that is pretty common knowledge. However, I had no idea how much these seemingly harmless sacrifices would affect me and ultimately change the way I think about family and community.

Despite all the changes of military life, for the past three years (since I have been married), the biggest change for me has been my family. And I don’t mean having kids and gaining a husband. I mean those crazy people you are raised with. My family was a pretty close one. No one had ever left and started a new life somewhere. So it is a bit of an understatement when I say my family was less then excited about me moving far away and marrying a Soldier. I heard everything from “You are betraying us”, to “He is controlling you”.

This was just the first year I was married.

At first I tried so hard to fix the problems so I could have my family AND my husband. But I was living a life they would never understand and honestly, they didn’t really want to try. Since then I have grown really far apart from them… which is something completely new to me. After all, they have always been there in the past. Lucky for me, my husband has a very pro-military family and they are extremely supportive and understanding. The sad thing is… even with a supportive family back home, you still lose that closeness with them over time. No one had prepared either of us for that.

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