In the Army Now

24 Aug

I guess it’s a high time I talked about this. Time to bring it all out into the open. Time to let you know what has been on my mind besides babies and books.

I should preface this by saying that my husband’s job with the Army was never a long-term, definite thing. I entered in to my relationship with him under the assumption that he would not be staying in any armed forces until retirement. We weren’t “lifers”, as the military community often refers to it.

Captain J did his duty, deployed to Iraq once back in 2008-2009 and made the decision that once was enough for him. Together, we decided that when the rest of his commitment was up (about 15 months from now), we would happily make our way back to Tennessee or some neighboring Southern state and start new jobs and add to our family.

To be fair, J has always had big dreams that change pretty frequently. I knew this about him. During deployment, we read this blog and fantasized about buying a sailboat and cruising around the Caribbean for a year or two before finally growing up, getting jobs, and starting a family. After he got back from Iraq, our desires seemed to shift. We knew we wanted a child so we started thinking that our boating/vagabond plans could wait until we retired. We then started imagining ourselves somewhere in a small town with lots of land, a small hobby farm, and a couple of kids running around. It has only been until very recently that these daydreams have started changing yet again.

Captain J came home from work one day and caught me completely by surprise saying, “How would you feel if I didn’t get out of the Army?”

Umm, excuse me? Had I just heard him correctly? ALL of our plans, varied as they may be, had one thing in common and that was freedom. No more looming deployments or time out in the field. No more being owned by the U.S. Army. I thought he was more than ready to be a civilian again. Heck, talk to him long enough about growing a beard and you could probably convince him to get out in a heartbeat!

I answered his question truthfully: ” I don’t know.”

I really don’t know. Here’s what I do know-

I know I want J to be happy. I don’t think he will be happy in a job around our home town. He feels led to do something different, but he isn’t sure the transition from Infantry Officer to civilian desk job would fulfill him at all. The pay cut we would experience would definitely be a bummer, too. I would likely have to go back to work immediately as opposed to enjoying my time with Baby K before he enters kindergarten (Yuck! He can’t grow up!). And we come to my only reservation about staying in…

Baby K.

I want him to know his family. Both of our parents live in the same area, the area that is nowhere near any Army post. I think the closest we got to them was during our brief stay at Ft. Benning. I’m afraid of not having their influence in his life. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and I want him to feel that, too as he grows older (Again, can I make that NOT happen?).

Anyway, the decision is still up in the air, but J is leaning towards staying in the Army, at least for a bit longer. We have already discussed and submitted our wishes for our next duty station. There are some exciting options in the works, but who knows what will happen. He still has plenty of time to decide.

And I still have plenty of time to fret over this. I think I’ve been doing that since I met him. If you’re thinking of getting hitched to the military, you should probably go ahead and disregard all plans you may have made in your pretty little head. They’ll definitely change. But you know what? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. So, my Master’s degree was put on hold for a few years…so what? I’m working on it now. In the mean time, I’ve made some great friends along the way, been fortunate enough to see much of this great country of ours, and have become a stronger person directly due to some of the things I’ve faced because of my husband’s job in the Army. It won’t be so bad if he decides to stay in. It might just be another adventure.

I’m still at the beginning of the last adventure he asked of me, though! 😉 It looks a lot like this:

Here’s to adventure! May God’s plans for us be our plans, too.

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8 Responses to “In the Army Now”

  1. Alyson H. August 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Good luck with whatever you guys decide Kacy, let God guide you. And super cute pic!!

  2. ACUs and ABCs August 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I was in the same boat as you not too long ago. My husband came home one day and completely caught me off guard! I thought we were definitely, 100% getting out and soon – like 2 months from then. We weighed all the pros and cons and he ended up deciding to stay in, at least for another couple years. He had a lot of the same reservations as your hubby does. As crazy as it is, the Army just made sense for us at this time. Here’s to the adventures!!

  3. Nina August 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    God will always help us to find the right path.

    The Army as a career is not a bad option. It’s a rather secure income compared to many other fields out there, and even if it takes a lot, it also gives a lot. While there can be separations from the family, there are also means to communicate and give Baby K all chance to get to know his grandparents. But at the same time you all as a family are able to experience things that some people can only dream about.

    I don’t know where I will be next year. I don’t know if I can keep my current job that I like. I am making tons of plans regarding my PhD, which should be doable in many (or most of the) locations. So it’s all about the uncertainty as well as the adventure. And I couldn’t think about life without the Army. I can’t even picture my hubby doing an 8-5 desk job in the civilian world. If I didn’t have the freedom with my job that I have now, and plans for the PhD and hopefully doing private clinic and consulting type of psychologist stuff in the future, I would join the military myself. I am sure the grass looks always greener on the other side of the fence but Corporate America has its negative sides too. Sometimes more so than the government….

    However, you’ll find the path that makes you and the whole family happy. Tons of hugs from Alaska 🙂

  4. Jenna August 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    We have discussed this time and time again as to whether or not hubby is staying in or getting out since his commitment is up. He set a goal for himself that he would give it until after he took command before making a decision. He will have to take command at our next duty assignment that is creeping up fast. Like in 4 months fast.

    What I can tell you about extended family is only what I have seen work with hubby’s family. Most are in the military or married into te military. It seems to take effort from everyone involved. Grandparents traveling to see you all and you guys traveling to see them. Lots of video chatting and phone calls seem to help to. It might not be what you thought it would be but it will be his normal. When I asked hubby what he thought about moving all the time an vein away from grandparents he said it wasn’t a issue. He felt it made his family closer and stronger over time. He added that with lots of communication among his family he didn’t feel he missed out on much.

    I do totally understand where you are coming from. My sister in law Leah is excited for us to start having kids so that we can have children the same age who can be close because of that. In my mind I just keep think that while it might be true when would they really get to see them if we are moving all the time? I think it is something having not been in the military that we feel like our kids will lose out on what we had.

    Oh and you have text me your picks. Our list is coming out and we should know in a month or so where we will be going.

  5. Haleigh Steele August 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I love this post!!!!:)

  6. Becca@ The Finish Line August 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    It is a wild ride, isn’t it? It is interesting how motherhood changes your entire perspective on plans and future plans even more than military life probably will. Hopefully you won’t have to put off your Master’s stuff for very long, but in light of the type of work you want to do with it, I can see how gaining life experience could only enrich your education once you get to that point. I have a writer friend who is an author as well as a pastor and marriage counselor. He wrote a book that I read recently and I noticed that most of his essays were based on his and his wife’s/kids life experience. It wouldn’t have been nearly as credible of a book or as rich without that stuff.

  7. cloudedpink August 28, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    What a precious little guy you have there! Keep praying for God to show you (both) the direction you should go. He never fails…

  8. Kristin September 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Oh have I been here before. Hang in there – anyting is do-able! So glad I found your blog. I haven’t updated mine in a while and just saw your comment!

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