Spouse’s Branch of Service
United States Marine Corps
Time in Service
My husband was active duty for 22 years and I was along for the ride for 12 of them!
What are you most grateful for during your time as a mil-spouse or up to this point?
I’m grateful that I found a portable career early on in my days as a military spouse. When we moved to Okinawa, Japan a few months after we got married, the on-post jobs were limited. I’d worked all my life and earned an advanced degree; I intended to continue a professional career alongside my Marine. Luckily, I found my way into government consulting and was able to maintain my career across four duty stations and 11 years.
My husband retired from the USMC four years ago and now, we happen to be living our best lives because of the choices my spouse made when he was 18. He (almost) always intended for the military to be a career before he had a family to consider. Our sons will benefit from his transferred GI Bill, and we will benefit from the outstanding health care and military pension for years. I’m grateful for the choices he made then.
What is one challenge you have faced as a result of your spouse serving in the military as it relates to life at home, family, jobs, etc.?
My biggest challenge was in our first few years of marriage. He was gone more than he was home, so it was hard to build a foundation together. When we were stationed in Japan, I was discovering the world and learning about military life, but he wasn’t there.
What is one piece of advice you have for new mil-spouses that just started their journey?
Figure out how to make the military life work for you. If working full time is your thing, then do it. If volunteering or joining the spouses club is your thing, then do it. The military spouse archetype of today is different than previous generations. Being a military spouse is an identifier, but not your ONLY identity. Find your people fast and love them hard because you don’t have enough time to dip your toe in and test the waters at each duty station.