This I Believe

Jill - Bremerton, Washington
Entered on March 11, 2007

My first day in Washington State was also my first day as a military spouse. I’ll never forget crying in my husband’s arms. Change is difficult to manage. Beyond the warmth of familiarity, there lies a world where things are uncertain. I have always lived in a civilian community; so, at first I was very bewildered by the regulations and traditions of the service. I felt weighted down with experience I never had and I was frightened of the uncertainty.

Being a new military spouse, I recognized the need for me to have a better understanding of the service. I found readily available information and fortunately, it was provided in a language I easily understood. I now understand my husband’s job and I do not feel confused and alone, because I know that I am part of an immense corps of navy wives working together to help each other.

I believe that being a military spouse means I’ll have to face uncertainty every time we move to a new location. I’ll also have to face uncertainty when my husband goes away on deployment. Being a military spouse also means that when the world may seem very grim and humorless, I believe, I have the opportunity to share rich joy and laughter! For the absence of my husband I sense the real presence of friendship.

I believe being a military spouse means sharing. Sharing creates togetherness, but more importantly it fosters unity. It means believing in SPIRIT, which I believe represents: Special People Initiating Real Involvement Together. It means during times of need I am able to seek guidance from a vast corps of navy wives working together to help each other. This support and acceptance of me as a person helps me to maintain my positive self image and to look to the future with a feeling of confidence. Being a military spouse means having responsibility. During his deployment time I am the sole responsible leader for our family who shares every joy, every care, every hope, and every prayer. Being a military wife means having to face the tremendous challenge of becoming a household: to establish a place of belonging, stability, and love in a seemingly unstable and sometimes lonely time of separation. Balancing the various aspects may be a problem. For example: A wife may be preoccupied with several preschoolers, a seriously sick child, a teen who is a living challenge on every front, volunteering for the local church, taking up a hobby with her youngest child, and becoming absorbed in a part-time job. The demand of this common task may be very draining and lead more to fatigue and irritation than to fulfillment.

For all the time that I have been a military spouse, I believe it means I will always rejoice in my husband’s victory. He will be welcomed home with open arms, and that tight-throated, watery-eyed sensation that I feel because I believe my husband and his career are so expedient that I deem them worth investing my life.