Post Marine Corps Life…So Far

Jeremy officially picked up his DD214 last Friday and arrived in WI (with all of our household goods) on Monday!

So far, EAS life has been good to us. My job allows us the security to rent our own apartment and have a stable transition from the military. We even decided we could afford for Jeremy to get a new truck, something he has been wanting. Plus, the extra money we will get for moving ourselves is going to buy new couches and a living room set!

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Jeremy has been attending numerous job interviews, and it seems like it won’t be a problem for him to get a job in his field. Unfortunately, the pay is less than we expected. Because his work in the military doesn’t transfer over to the civilian world (with certifications and such), he has to start at the bottom and work his way back up. It’s been frustrating for him, understandably, that his 6 years of experience mean nothing and he is being offered the same pay as young guys fresh out of school.

But there is a lot of potential for him to move up in the next few years, and he already has plans for college and what he needs to do to move his career to where he wants to be.

12002934_10153196589581819_1307070056759988120_nWe now live two hours from Jeremy’s family, and we have been visiting almost every weekend. Next weekend is our nieces birthday party, it’s so nice to be able to attend! We have plans with his siblings to go camping/horse back riding, to a local Fall Festival, and just to get together to watch the game. Being back in WI close to family has been everything we hoped!

Jeremy hasn’t changed at all since getting out. I had hoped that he might be “happier” (not that he is mean or angry or anything…but the military was stressful), but his mood seems to be the same. I guess life/career/marriage is always stressful, even away from the military. But I suppose no change is better than a change for the worst!

In other bigs news…a few days after Jeremy went on Terminal, he was selected for E-6! He had put in for non-promotion, because he was getting out, but apparently the Marine Corps didn’t notice or didn’t care, and selected him anyway. Jeremy is conflicted over the selection; while part of him is happy for the recognition that he deserves E-6, he also knows that his selection took away a spot from someone else. I understand his feelings completely, but as a spouse, I’m leaning more towards being proud of him and happy for the selection; he deserved it! The downside being that he won’t actually get promoted, since he is on Terminal Leave. Bummer!

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Greetings from Wisconsin!

I type this post sitting on a twin size mattress on the floor of the master bedroom of our new apartment in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

11659279_10153051605611819_5460364305688212637_nI left sunny San Diego on Thursday and spent three days driving cross country with my dog and my cat (NEVER doing that again!). The drive was long and tedious, but so very beautiful. The further away from SoCal I got, the more beautiful the landscapes.

I had a few moments of panic. Thinking, what am I doing with my life?! I’m moving by myself to the other side of the county!

Then other days, when the landscape turned into the stunning corn fields of Iowa, I would be reminded again of why we are making this move. Small town Wisconsin is where I want to raise my children. Seeing the families out walking their dogs, kids riding their bikes to the public pool…that is what I want. That is what San Diego was never able to offer us.

I arrived in Kaukauna on Saturday afternoon and spent the night with our friends. While I am so gracious for their hospitality…two people, a 3 year old, 3 cats (one of which was mine) and a dog do not mix well together.

Thankfully, I had an appointment the next day to check out an apartment that we had put a deposit down on. It turned out to be suitable and I moved my stuff in that day. Moving took all of about an hour…since I only had what was in my car.

I’ve spent the last few days running errands (setting up internet, buying household essentials, etc.) and exploring my new neighborhood.

One of my favorite things about our new apartment is that we are walking distance from an amazing dog park! It’s about 2 miles round trip, so I’m hoping to make it a daily trip with MacGyver after work.

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Jeremy will be joining me on August 24th, and then driving back to CA with his brothers to get our stuff and officially terminate with the Marine Corps! EAS is so close, and we are looking forward to starting a new life together in Wisconsin.

EAS Fears

Well, looks like our time as a military family will be coming to an end in a few months. Jeremy has decided to EAS at the end of his current (second) enlistment, after nearly 9 years of service in the Marine Corps.

It’s a decision that I still struggle with. I am happy as a military family; it’s a life that I have thrived in during the last 7 years, and I imagine I would continue to be content for another 11 years until retirement.

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Jeremy is a wonderful Marine. He will be promoted this year if he stays in, and I know it’s hard for him to walk away from a career that he has dedicated 9 years too. I know it will be a struggle for him to start over, to go to college and be the “old” guy applying for jobs.

I also can’t help feeling responsible for this decision. Jeremy is getting out because he doesn’t want to have children in the military. He has seen his co-workers break down on deployments being away from their children. Combined with his own less than stellar childhood, he doesn’t want that life for our future children. Because I am the one who wants children in the next few years, this decision to EAS now is being sparked because of me.

Logically, I realize that it’s not all on me. It’s his choice, and I need to respect that.

But I’m afraid he will come to regret this choice. I’m afraid he won’t be happy with a civilian career. I’m afraid that I won’t be as happy away from the military life. I’m afraid we will struggle financially and I won’t be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m afraid we will struggle financial in general. I have so many worries and fears.

But I suppose that is normal with such a big change.

I’m trying to think of the positives…being near family, buying a house, no more moving, being able to settle into a career, having my husband home every night, etc.

breath in…breath out!

5 months and counting down!