Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Real Military Wives of Blogland

Today I'm joining Mal and Samantha (a little late in the day!) for their new link-up called The Real Military Wives of Blogland.  It's basically a chance to get to know real military wives and to squash those nasty stereotypes that are out there about military spouses.

I'm Rachel, I'm married to Brian who is an Air Force pilot.  We first met back in junior high and started dating in the 9th grade.  I had no clue that Brian was interested in joining the military at all so in 11th grade when he said that he applied to the Air Force Academy I was really taken aback.  Not thinking there was even a chance that he'd be accepted (his words, not mine!), I completely took it off of my radar.  But as luck would have it, Brian did get accepted and so began our journey into military life.

I stayed in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota while he went off to Colorado to begin the Academy. 
Ring Dance at USAFA May '07

We were long distance for 4 looong years and I'll admit that it was hard but it was an excellent introduction into what life in the military would be like.  

We married shortly after his graduation from the Air Force Academy and after 60 days of leave moved to Columbus, Mississippi for Brian to begin pilot training.  It was an interesting first year of marriage We started off neither one of us having a job and spending literally almost every minute together. We did so many fun things and just had time to finally be together. It was one of the best times of my life. But then pilot training started and I got a job and we started our new normal. 12 hour workdays followed by 5/6 hours of homework, it wasn't easy but we made it through and in January of 2010, Brian earned his wings.

I was also 24 weeks pregnant with our first child. Shortly after that we made the move to Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska where Brian learned to fly the RC-135 and we settled into life in the Midwest again.  We had our first couple real separations, TDY's, deployments, and it was an adjustment.

We had our second child, our daughter in May of 2012 and 3 months after she was born, Brian left on another deployment.  The ops-tempo of a flier is hard. He would be home some, gone some, and you always knew that the next separation was just looming in the near distance.

 We're currently at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL while Brian is going to squadron officer school and shortly after we return to Omaha we'll be making the move to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO where Brian will teach gliders.  

This life is a wild ride.  Most of the time it's great and exciting and we're offered opportunities we wouldn't have in the civilian world. I have met the most amazing people (most of whom are drama-free, unlike the stereotypes!) and truly feel like I have the best military family outside of my immediate family. It's been so neat to meet people from all over the country and know that any place we visit we most likely have friends there. But, there's also the downside to the military. The stress of not knowing your future (as in where your husband will be the next week), the separations, the long hours, the frequent moves, the inability to plan things, and the limited amount of freedom when it comes to taking vacations, it can be hard.  

But the thing I want people to know about mil spouses is that we're just like everyone else.  Yeah our husbands signed up to do a job that is a little crazy but we're just like you.  We have children, we own homes, many have careers, and we're out there in the community.  Yeah sometimes we're doing it on our own for months at a time, but we strive to be as "normal" as possible and raise our children to the best of our abilities. I have nothing but great things to say about the other military spouses and families that I've encountered over my 5 years of being an Air Force wife.  I look forward our future and what the Air Force has in store for us in the coming years! :)


KelseyB said...

I totally agree, we are all just normal. And I feel like if we keep that train of thought it make the daily craziness of military life just a little bit easier ;)

Munchkins and the Military said...

9th grade! What an amazing journey it's been for you!

Hana R said...

Wow, y'all have been together a while!! I agree, trying to keep life as "normal" as possible makes me feel like a "normal" wife. Normals not bad sometimes!

Amanda Karl said...

You guys have been together for so long! How cute!! We have friends teaching at the Air Force academy right now and LOVE it!! We are actually getting ready to PSC to Florida bc my husband is a KC-135 pilot. We are so excited to get to the beaches and out of the midwest! :)

Amanda // Happily Ever After

Shannon said...

I love that somehow I started following military spouses on blogger. I feel like I've learned so much about them in the past year or so.

Love your back story. High school sweethearts are the cutest!

Traci@TheHallway said...

Great words!! I'm hoping to link up today or tomorrow!

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