Army life. Army wife. I’m throughly enjoying both right now and I thought it might be fun to give you a peek into why that is so!
5 Reasons I Like Being an Army Wife
Connections with people
I have met some pretty amazing people in the last few years–people who inspire and challenge me, encourage and deepen me. The connections are made quickly because of the similarity of circumstances and then enforced by time, common experiences, and need for a support system.
It’s still amazing to me to hear Army wives talk about being together in Korea, Germany, Colorado, or Washington and now being stationed together here. Even when goodbyes are said to friends, there is an understanding that we might see each other again at some point, at a different duty station!
I was even able to connect two Chaplain families. See if you can follow me here. A couple we met when Ron was at Chaplain school (CHBOLC), and have kept in contact with, is currently stationed in a particular place. A couple we got to know here in Texas during the Family Life training course was sent to that same particular place after the training course was finished. I was able to get them in contact with one another and now they are good friends. That just makes me so happy!
Yes, I firmly believe the Army (or any other branch of the military) is a mission field and opportunities abound to share the True Life with people who desperately need him. And I’m not just saying this because my husband is a Chaplain. He gets to minister in various ways, but so do I.
Just as one example, not too very long after we got here, PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) was going to start their fall semester and needed small group leaders–so I signed up. Never been in PWOC before, except for that summer session right when we got to Texas, but I knew I could lead a small group of women. I’ve done that before!
It was an amazing semester of learning, discovering, praying, and crying together.
God saw that group through a tremendous amount of heartache, difficult circumstances, and joy and it was a wonder to behold and be a part of. Yes, I’ve had somewhat similar experiences with leading women’s Bible study groups, but this was different. Something about being in such similar life-circumstances creates an atmosphere for ministering to one another unlike anything I’ve seen before.
I know this is a sometimes “controversial” subject among military families because some have had not-so-great experiences with the big military healthcare organization that is TriCare. Personally, we have benefitted greatly from having it as our healthcare coverage. With our country’s current economy and (ahem) healthcare regulations, I am very grateful for the coverage we get at an absolutely unbelievable cost! 🙂 I have nothing to complain about.
And though this is not everyone’s story, the treatment we’ve received from the providers, specialists, and technicians so far has been very good. (Please don’t throw darts at me if you’re an Army family who has one of those horror stories! Because I’ve heard some of them, and I am so very sorry for your experience.)
Army post life
I wrote about the crazy idea we had of moving on post and after being here for 2 months, I can honestly say it has exceeded our expectations. We love living here. It’s such fun to drive down the street on any given evening and have to creep along because entire families are out on the sidewalks and in the street talking and playing together. I’m thrilled when my good friend says, “I’m out walking and I’ll be at your house in a few minutes. Want to continue on a walk with me?”
I thoroughly enjoy getting to the commissary in about 5 minutes, and shopping there in a calm environment (as opposed to the craziness that is Walmart)! I like being 5 minutes away from chapel and the bank and a small private gym. (Not that I personally have taken advantage of it regularly, but my daughter really enjoys it!)
Sense of being part of something
This is a little harder to define than the other reasons. The Army is huge, so it’s not that I have this notion I’m some integral part of an elite group. But there is a sense of being a part of something bigger–something important. I wrote a post about this quite a while back, and here’s part of what I wrote then:
I believe God has given us an innate desire to know that what we do matters…that our lives are purposeful and part of something bigger than just ourselves.
As Christians we can see and understand this through our relationship with our savior and our participation in the body of Christ. We are each given a unique purpose, a special set of gifts, and a community within which to live all of that out.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts to grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
Recently, I’ve come to appreciate this in a different setting as well.
The military is a community that exists for a unique purpose. From the newly enlisted’s oath to the highest ranking officer’s duties, there is a sense of purpose and service to something bigger and grander than oneself.
There’s always stuff to criticize and complain about. The Army has its flaws and frustrations. And truthfully, others who have been in the life for way longer than I can speak with much more authority on the details of what it’s like. With only 3 years under my belt as full-time Army wife there are many aspects of it that I have yet to experience.
Nonetheless, all I can speak from is my experience. Do I see some of the cracks and potholes? Yep. But I wanted to focus on what I have seen and experienced so far that makes me so proud and happy to be a part of this big Army family.
There are more reasons than just these five, but I do believe these are the top ones. And now I’m going to swing by the commissary to pick up a few groceries.