Today you get to:
What branch of the service are you in, and how long have you been in?
Army; total of 11 years–8 of those active duty for my husband. I was also enlisted and then in the Reserves for 10 years, the last 2 of which I was activated.
Can you tell us a little about your family?
My husband and I met in high school Sunday School class, but didn’t really like each other until he came home for Christmas after Basic, Jump School and was in Ranger Bat, Fort Lewis, WA. We dated long-distance for a year, getting married when he was 20 and I was 19.
I entered the military a year after we married but later we took a break from active duty to pursue education–9 years straight through seminary. Ben chose to gain experience in the military as a Chaplain before pursuing a pastorate.
We have 5 active children, and we love being active with them.
We have also never been stationed any place longer than 2 years. The constant movement is beginning to wear on us.
If you get free time as a family, what do you enjoy doing?
We do a lot of hiking here in Alaska. We also fish, pick blueberries, cross-country ski, sled, hang out with friends, and explore! We try to see as much as we can, every place we live, so that we can gain those experiences with each other.
The kids have become hooked on the history hunting that we adults love doing. We did as much of this as possible while stationed in DC, but not nearly enough!
What is the best place you’ve lived (or visited) and why?
We loved being in the DC area. There were so many things to do and see! There were many historic sites within a day’s drive, not to mention the museums.
We also had a church family there that became our family. They welcomed and loved us right away. We became involved, plugged in, and we thrived. It was so hard to leave it behind for orders that we did not ask for.
What do you enjoy the most about being a Chaplain’s wife?
I am sought out at functions for encouragement and support. I get to pray with people or answer parenting and homeschooling questions. Thankfully, I am married to a good Chaplain; people admire his intelligence, and I get a bit of that credit and fame. 😉
What do you like the least about being a Chaplain’s wife?
There have been units where I was avoided or shunned. Sometimes we are not invited to parties or gatherings because people don’t want a “conscience” around.
There are also limits to what I can offer as support because the nature of what my husband does means that I must play ignorant of a plight or struggle. Where I would want to bring food over or be a comfort, I must keep my distance because it is often “not my place” to provide such things. That saddens me.
Also, as the years go by, it is harder to leave friends. We had great friends at Ft. Bragg, NC, and in the DC area who I miss terribly. Leaving is HARD, and you never get used to it.
What is that ONE thing you wish you could tell civilians about life in the military, or about being a military spouse?
I get a little tired of everyone claiming to have the corner on “the hardest job,” including military spouses. But, our lives are different in that they are not our own. Our husbands can’t always keep a schedule, date, or dinner because they work for a boss who gets to command their time whenever they want, as late as they want, or wherever they want.
Our lives are not our own in that we don’t stay in one place long enough to call it home (at least we haven’t). We hardly get settled into a routine before new orders come and life changes again.
Don’t get me wrong–the adventure of it all is exciting! The new places and new faces are fun. But after 5 moves in 7 years, I am tired of it. I long to have a home I can claim as mine, to do whatever I want with! I want to know exactly how far it is to my family so that I can plan a trip. I want to have those “coffee buddies” right nearby who will drop everything to meet me someplace just to hang out. I don’t get that every place we move, and I miss it.
However, God has brought me to this place in time. Thankfully, He has given me all I need to thrive in it: my husband and my children. I can drum up the excitement for a new duty location, new people to meet, and new adventures to be had. With God, all things are possible…even the military spouse life.
What are some of your personal hobbies and interests?
I love reading, horseback riding, having coffee with friends, playing around with my blog, watching movies, and spending time with family. If we can do that in front of a fire, it’s golden!
Do you have a website, blog, or home business you’d like to share with us?
You can find me at my website: Kay’s Little Korner.
Thank you, Kay, for sharing your life and thoughts with us today.