I met Julie at a last year and we hit it off! She and her husband are both Active Duty currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Today she’s sharing what her life is like.
After meeting Jessica at a baby shower for a friend, I started following her blog. I am honored to be able to share what it’s like to be more than a military spouse, and in this case, more than just a military service member!
Dual military spouses—this is the title both my husband and I have in this crazy Army life we live, and it definitely has its own set of challenges. Casey (my hubby) is an active duty Infantry Officer currently deployed to Afghanistan, and I, Julie, am an active duty Medical Service Corps Officer stationed at JBLM.
Casey and I have been long distance from day one- he was finishing Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Benning, GA and I was working on my masters degree and a ROTC Commission from Florida State University. We traveled over 6 hours round trip to see each other on weekends for one year while Casey finished all his training (including: OCS, Basic Officer Leader’s Course [BOLC], Ranger School [which was the toughest challenge], and Airborne School) and I earned my masters and Army commission.
Our challenges have included having almost three and half months of communicating only by letters while he was at Ranger School and then I at my own training, flying across country to see one another when he was stationed in WA and I was still in FL, and not having the ability to be in the same place together for more than a few weeks at a time. Since meeting Casey, the MOST time we have ever spent together in the same place has been around two months! TWO MONTHS! That’s crazy right? But because of the training/schooling we have both had, and then Casey’s Afghanistan deployment, this is our life of distance and maintaining a marriage through letters, emails, and phone calls.
Being a dual military spouse, I worry that our assignments won’t match up (however there is a program called the Married Army Couples Program that helps dual spouses to get stationed together, but there are certain times this is impossible). Or that our training dates will keep us apart for longer; for example I had to go to my BOLC in October 2012 and Casey deployed in November 2012, which meant one extra month of not seeing one another in an already daunting 9 months apart. There are times when Casey calls from Afghanistan that I can’t drop everything to answer, since I am out “playing Army” myself.
Military spouses know how frustrating it can be to make plans in advance, since you really can never be sure what the Army has in store for your loved one. Being dual military means DOUBLE the frustration and planning around two unknown schedules. However challenging it is, there are also really good parts to it too: I never take any time with my hubby for granted, we get two BAH’s (at the without dependent rate), we understand the lingo and never really have to decode Army speak for each other, and we both get to feel that sense of pride in serving our country. Sure it makes for many lonely nights apart, but those days that we say hello again are the best ones in the world.
Thanks so much for sharing Julie! Any of you ladies serve alongside your husband? If you’re interested in sharing your story email me!