I met my husband when I was 15 years old. Our fist encounter went a little like this: I thought he was the most annoying boy on earth. He showed up to a party at my house wearing Mickey Mouse ears with his pants pulled up to his belly button (a 17 year old boy’s gesture of being humorous) and attempted to make conversation with me. I like to think I was kind to him but I honestly remember wishing someone would deck him in the face and take him home. About two months later I was at a mutual friends home when he walked in the front door wearing his uniform (the old school BDUs). It was like I was in a Men in Black sequel and Will Smith just pulled out his neuralyzer and erased all traces of the Steve Urkel, Mickey Mouse nightmare I had previously been acquainted with. As they say in Hollywood, the rest was history.

Fast forward three years and I found myself engaged to a handsome soldier; who, between basic training, a mission to aid in the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort, and a two year church service mission, spent the majority of our relationship up to that point, gone. In the summer before I tied the knot I realized three things: my husband was a solider first, I had no idea what I was getting into, and lastly, I had no one to explain anything regarding my husband’s “other job,” (You know the one he was ONLY supposed to do JUST one weekend a month) to me.

I like to call the first three years of my marriage immersion. I learned that “one weekend a month, ” was a very loose term and didn’t account for leaps, TDYs, special missions, and other things/responsibilities reservist soldiers are required to do. I had to learn a lot of things by experiencing them first hand.  I never really knew what to expect because I had no group mobilized to help me; at least that I knew of. In our third year of marriage my husband switched his MOS. It was about this time I decided I wasn’t going to just “deal with it,” anymore but rather I was going to embrace the whole army wife thing.  I did my research, I started to ask my husband questions, but most importantly I started to establish a pride for my life as a National Guard spouse.

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