The traditional wedding vow, “I take thee to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,…” might need a few extra commitments experienced only by the military spouse. Like, “for 6-month deployments, crazy work hours, canceled leave (vacation), and yes, not being present for the birth of a child.”
Choosing to marry a service member, you also choose to join a small community of people committed to serving their country. And by default, you will personally grow more assertive, self-assured and make lifelong friends along the way. The military spouse is a vital part of the military itself, playing a significant role in keeping service members happy, healthy, and ready to serve.
MilitaryOneSource.com describes today’s military spouses as skilled, diverse, and motivated, with sound work values and a strong work ethic – characteristics highly valued by America’s top employers. Military spouses are also young, tech-savvy, mobile, and more educated than their civilian counterparts. More than 1 million military spouses — 91 percent — are women.
Kira Menken is a new Air Force spouse and pregnant with their first child. As her husband is completing recruit training, Kira quickly learns, ‘overcome & adapt‘ is not just a funny military cliche, but the missing ‘wedding vow’ that every new couple needs to embrace.
Kirs’s new blog post, The WifeofaHero.com, provides a glimpse into her new military spouse life. Her first article uses a clever acronym, P.A.S.T.T. – yes, she is already adapting to the world of military odd terms and words.
- PREPARATION: It is important to remind yourself that no one could have prepared for this, so be kind to yourself. It is okay to have all different emotions: sadness, frustration, irritation, etc. Allow yourself to sit in these feels and feel them all, do NOT suppress your feelings during this difficult time.
- ACCEPTANCE: I cannot stress this enough. The first step s accepting your spouse’s decision to serve and that from here on out, everything is out of our control.
- SUPPORT: It is VITAL that we support our loved ones in the service–it is hard for us to continue our everyday routines without them, but it is even harder for them as their lives are entirely different from before. We have ways to stay connected to family, friends, media, etc. In boot camp, they do not have access to that, so it extremely important to be supportive as it can be a bit of a culture shock for them. When you do have the opportunity to speak with them, make sure you are positive & reassuring them that they have made the right decision & you are behind them!
- TRUST: Trusting in their decision is vital in supporting them on this journey. Each individual who joins the military is an adult & they chose this path because they wanted to.
- TIME: The time will fly! Think about the last time you had a milestone, Holiday, or birthday. I bet it doesn’t feel as far away as it was. Keep busy & time will continue to fly.
To follow Kira’s journey subscribe to her blog: WifeofaHero.com