It's the Army in Us...

 Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

 Sometimes I will be having a conversation with friends or family, and they act like I have a weird opinion on something. There's really nothing to do except shrug my shoulders and say "It's the Army in us."

Example: When my husband gets stuck at work during a hurricane and my parents act like it's unreasonable to leave me and my daughter alone during a natural disaster...I just shrug and go "He's safer there, at least he's guaranteed electricity and we'll be able to text at some point. We are stocked up here at home and can stay safe for a few days if needed. At least he's not in Iraq."

Example: When our friends have a baby or are just stressed out, and we offer to babysit or bring dinner or basically act like family, it's hard to get them to believe that we mean it and are 100% there. Because...we've been in the situation where there was no one but friends, and we know how to step up. Apparently this is not exactly the same in civilian culture.

Example: When we are always early for events, and everyone else is late, we say "Well we aren't 15 minutes early so really we're late." Because in the Army, on time is late and early is on time. 

It feels weird to say because at this point, Hubs has been out longer than he was in. 

I had the realization the other day that I have driven in Hometown longer than I ever drove in Birthplace*. I left for college at 18 and then moved to Texas when Hubs came home from Iraq so I really only drove there for 2 years, 3 if you count the year I had my permit. We've been in Hometown for over seven years now. We've been in our current home for six years now...we lived in five different houses in the six years before we bought it.

*decided to call the place we currently live (and have no plans to leave) Hometown, and the place we were born/my family still lives as Birthplace

Sometimes I wonder if we can blame the age thing- Hubs enlisted at 18, had technically signed his contract before graduating high school I think. So I was 17. We got married at 19 & 18...he was out by 23. Those are very formative years, both as individuals and also as a couple in the early years of our marriage.

Or maybe it's just that military life is inescapably intense. I'm sure not everyone has this experience, or maybe it just manifests in different ways. But most people I know who were in have some characteristics they just can't let go of.

Or maybe it's all just a convenient excuse, because civilians can't really tell if it's true.

But it doesn't feel that way. It feels like no matter what, that is our foundation.

And I'm saying our, but I wasn't in! I didn't live near a post for half of his service, and we never lived on post. Yet even I still feel the effects.

It still feels like the foundation that we were built on. And it's still a reminder that we are always just a little bit different. Can't tell if it's easier or harder knowing why...or if it just is.

2 comments

  1. Maybe it's a DoD thing, because the ability to cope with limited to no options or to endure the shittiest of shit formed when I was in the Navy. Same with accepting a group of friends as family..

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  2. It's definitely a foundation for you as people and a couple. I think it's important to know where we're coming from and why we approach situations the way we do.

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