You think over the course of your life you will become stable once you reach the age of 30, may be you will may be you want. I didn’t. My husband joined the Army after we were married for 5 years. There was no indication that we were moving in that direction prior to this change. In fact, I did not know he even wanted to join. Let me start from the beginning…..
Our lives were not moving in the direction we would have liked. We had very little money and the bills were coming in. My husband was playing at church on Saturday and Sunday and being paid to do so. In spite of all the money he made, we still could not keep our bills paid on time. In fact, it seemed we would lose our home. I wanted to go to school so we moved to Tennessee. I enrolled in the Nursing program and my husband worked as a musician. He was making much less and we were without a home. We lived in a long-term stay hotel. God blessed us with a home. We moved in Feb. 2008. I was so excited but afraid. How would we meet the payment each month. One day I asked my husband if he would like to revisit the Military life. Ok let me back up. You need to know why I asked this question.
Here is the story my husband shared with me.
I had long wanted to be in the Navy, where, as the Navy says, I could “Accelerate my life”, and I even had a chance to enlist, but I didn’t do so at the time. My wife teased me about ‘chickening out’, but I knew the real story. I frequently talked about it, and what it would be like to be a military family. One day, she asked me the question, “What do you think about joining the Navy?”and it was like the dream was reawakened within me. We pursued it with full vigor. However, the Navy seemed to be dragging its feet after a whole month of persistent contact, so we checked out the Army. Within a week we were on our way. By the grace of God, I sneaked in. I signed up 4 days before the cutoff age for enlistment came back down from 42 to 35. We were so happy.
I knew it would be physically demanding, so I worked on my PT before going. Even though it was almost half-hearted on my part, my wife made sure she reminded me daily to work on it. She was a taskmaster cracking the whip at times. But she was right in making me do what I had to do, and I thank her for it. I wasn’t prepared enough, especially at my age. The part I hated most was running. I discovered how out of shape I had become, knowing that I wasn’t that bad off when I was younger. She even made me learn the Soldier’s Creed:
I am an American Soldier. I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in
my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United
States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
The day came when I went to MEPS for the last time (I had been several times), and I was excited. I would be going to swear in on that day. My wife made sure she was there to see it. We went into a room and Captain Williams, USMC, performed the ceremony.
“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
support and defend the Constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear
true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey
the orders of the President of the United States and the
orders of the officers appointed over me, according to
regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
So help me God.”
We recruits raised our right hand and entered into that special group of individuals called the United States Military forever. Nobody was more happy than my wife. We took pictures before, during, and after the ceremony. Then came the waiting. We waited until May 23, which is when I actually went to the MEPS for the last time. That was the day we boarded the shuttle bus to the airport. My wife met us at the airport and I kissed her goodbye. I watched as she walked away. I was sad and excited all at once. I knew that after that day, our lives would be changed forever.
I flew American Airlines. One of my battle buddies from MEPS flew with me on American and actually wound up in my company. Another one of my battle buddies flew another airline, but also wound up with me in my company—my platoon, even! We first landed in Washington, DC Reagan National Airport for a stopover. We almost got left by the transfer plane! Fortunately, we were able to go straight to the front of the line and get on board. We then landed in Saint Louis, MO. We went to get something to eat, and found the USO downstairs in the airport. We waited about 4 hours for our bus to come. Finally, it came and we boarded. We then had another 3-hour ride to Fort Leonard Wood. We arrived about 3 a.m. We napped for about an hour, and then the fun began.
We later got a 5 minute phone call to our loved ones to tell them we have arrived. Again I was sad, yet excited. This was it. I was on my way to becoming a US soldier. I told my wife I was appreciative of her reawakening the dream within me, for it had died. Now, I was on my way. 11 weeks later, I was, as the Army says, “Army strong”. Hooah!
And so it was, we are a Army family now. I am excited to share this life with you and my life as a Nurse (once I become one) hahahaha
Over the next few years, I will share my life in Nursing School, being an Army Wife and becoming a Physician Assistant. I hope you enjoy this adventure and share yours with me. I love sharing and helping and would like to invite you to a new forum I started. It is Christian forum. http://www.thethreeam.com/