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!

Military Spouses: Don’t Sell Yourself Short

There seems to be a fine line between not taking any credit for being a military spouse, and taking too much.

I think we are all familiar with the “taking too much credit” ones. Having “Proud Army Wife” as your FB job is a dead give away. Along with the ACU purse, with name tapes and rank. These are the spouses that get nicknamed “dependapotamus” and end up on OSMW and Dear Dependa.

BTW: This guys comic strip is hilarious. He has a FB page and a Website

These are the spouses whose entire identity revolves around their husband’s career in the military. They are first to tell everyone they meet that their husband is in the military (if they can’t already catch on by the PT shirts and “Marine Wife: Toughest Job in the Corps” sweatshirt), and then expect the sympathy and “thank you for your service” comments. They are the wives who get offended that not everyplace offers a military discount to spouses, stating that they serve just as much as their spouse.

But then there are the spouses who take no credit for being a military spouse. They are harder to find because they stay under the radar.

I went to an event on base a few months ago called “Heroes at Home”. It was a motivational speaking event for military spouses, the Commandant of the Marine Corps wife (she is hilarious!) was the guest of honor, along with other military spouses who had written published books relating to military life.

After the event, one of the wives that was there said to me, “I wish they wouldn’t call us ‘heroes’, we aren’t doing anything different than civilian spouses”.

This stuck with me, because I do think we do more than a woman married to a engineer or most other “normal” civilian jobs.

I’m not one to think that just because I’m married to a Marine that my marriage or my husband is “better” than any other, but I do feel that it is different.

If I wasn’t married to a Marine I wouldn’t have had to cancel our vow renewal because he was told he was deploying, only to have them change their mind at the last minute. If I wasn’t married to a Marine, my husband would have been at my college graduation instead of being in Afghanistan. If I wasn’t married to a Marine I wouldn’t have spent almost 2 years of our 5 years of marriage with him off to some other part of the world in service to his country. If I wasn’t married to a Marine I wouldn’t know a 20-year-old widow whose husband died while serving overseas.

So don’t downplay the service that you do as a military spouse.

Don’t downplay having your husband miss your child’s birth. Don’t downplay the fact that he won’t be meeting your son until he is 6 months old.

I’m not saying that we should all take it to the extreme like some do; there is a difference between acknowledging the challenges of your life, and making your life onlyΒ about those challenges.

Military families do serve their country, but in a different way then the service members do. It’s not the same; I would never entertain the idea that staying home and waiting for my husband for 7 months is at all comparable to him serving in Afghanistan.

But I do believe that holding down the home front while he was gone is something I should be proud of. It’s something that I should acknowledge in my life.

I do feel that it is true that “any wife would do the same thing” if she was in my position. I’m not stating otherwise. But what I am saying is that not every wife has been asked to. Not every wife is a military wife.

They may have their own challenges that I will never experience, and they should be proud of overcoming them. Just as I am proud of myself for being a military wife and supporting my husband through 2 deployments, numbers trainings and school and a duty station change.

To my fellow military spouses, don’t sell yourself short.

But also, don’t take it too far, it’s annoying lol.

The Friendship-Dating Scene

This post was shared on Facebook today, and the story really resonated with me.

Dreading the Friendship-Dating Scene, Again

Yep, that’s what I have to look forward to after we move in December. Unfortunately there are no such sites as militaryspousematch.com lol

Only once have I have I moved somewhere new and known absolutely nobody. It was my freshman year of college and I moved across the state to go to a college over 500 miles away from my hometown. I didn’t know a single person in San Diego. I had to start completely over building a life for myself and making new friends.

But I think moving off to college is easier than moving to a random new city. When you start college you have a cohort. Everyone else is in the same situation. Everyone else is new to town and looking for new friends.

I think the same can be said for military bases. There are always new families being stationed and PCSing, rotating new neighbors. It creates an easier environment for making friends because people are always looking for friends.

When we move off to Wisconsin, I won’t have that. Everyone we meet will likely already have a life and established friends. They won’t necessarily be looking to expand their friendship circle like many military spouses and college students.

So I will have to dip back in to the Friendship-Dating Scene.

I won’t have other spouses to connected with, I’m not in college anymore and I don’t have kids, so I guess that leaves work! I better gear myself up to be that overly friendly new employee asking out the girls for happy hour! lol

Anyone have any tips for meeting people in a new area? How have you made friends when you move to a new city?