I love how each branch of the military is a little bit different, from their mission to all the small things that make them unique, the diversity is invigorating. I have been an Army spouse for almost 12 years now. And I am proud to be a part of this branch.
Here’s how you know you are an Army spouse. . .
You live on an Army post. . . not a base
Almost everyone refers to military installations as a base. In the Army, you are going to a military post. Even so, we Army spouses sometimes use the phrase “going to base” even if we know it is not technically correct.
You shop at the PX
It’s the PX here and will always be. When I am traveling and see a BX, I get confused for a second. When we call it the Exchange, all branches know what we are talking about.
Enough said. If you are an Army spouse, you know what that is about.
You would love to be stationed near the ocean but. . . Army
While it is possible to be stationed by the ocean in the Army, your options are a lot more limited than other branches. Then again, the Army does have a post in Hawaii. Keep your hopes up; the beach can be in your future even if you are not married to a Marine or sailor.
9-month deployments feel too long, even though you know they could be worse
Back when the Army was doing 12- and 15-month deployments, I couldn’t wrap my mind around a short four-month deployment I saw some of the other branches going through. However, when my husband deployed for six months, I realized it didn’t matter how long he was gone. A deployment is a deployment.
If you had a dollar for every person who asked you about Army Wives
If I had a dollar for anyone who has asked me if my life is like the show Army Wives, I could take you all on vacation. But seriously. While there are a few similarities, Army Wives is a drama, and there isn’t a whole lot going on with the show that is very real. Would Roxy and Claudia Joy really be friends? Is that how deployments really are? Is he wearing his uniform the right way? All of those are questions we ask ourselves when watching the show.
You have ever been stationed at Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, or Fort Bragg. . . and maybe more than once
These three bases are quite the popular spots to be stationed. In fact, a lot of times people go back to them time and time again. They all have a lot to offer and can be the right place to call home, even after military life is over.
You are jealous of Air Force housing
Army spouses are a bit jealous of Air Force housing. Whenever we are visiting an Air Force base (thank you, Space-A), we tend to compare housing areas. Some Army housing is just as nice, and there really is no point in wishing we had something we don’t.
The Army community is a small one
If you have been an Army spouse for a while, you have probably noticed how small the Army world really is. You never know who you will run into from past duty stations. Your next door neighbor could have been stationed with your best friend, your child can make friends with the son of your spouse’s previous co-worker, and your friend from 10 years ago is moving near you once again. Within this community, you can find strength through the support of other spouses, wisdom from those who have come before, and love for the Army itself.
Proud to be married to a soldier
Whenever I hear the world soldier, I start to smile, and my heart is filled with pride. Being married to a soldier can be stressful. . . but worth it. Knowing that they are a part of this amazing branch and that they are tirelessly protecting our nation, well, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
By Julie Provost
Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.