As you are already aware, the time my Husband was gone last year for BCT/AIT was rough! Five and a half months didn’t seem like it would feel like eternity… yet somehow it did. My marble jars helped a little, I’d go to the mail box every day in hopes of getting a letter from him. I relied so much on those! He wasn’t able to write me as often as I did , he did about one a week, but oh how I held hope for those and cherished them. I knew if I felt so reliant and happy over those, that he would need them even more. So every single night I would write him a letter and add my customized photo stamp to it! I found a fun website that lets you customize your stamps with a photo, so I found a picture of he and I and wrote I love you on them! He loved it!! I highly recommend it!
So much happened during those 5 months.. I got shingles from the stress, had a terrible kidney infection, got in a car wreck, had my bank account compromised, not to mention I was pregnant.. and the list goes on! But I tell you what, God has ways to show you your strength. Every time I fell to my knees and said to myself, “HOW can I do this without my husband!?!”- somehow I did it without my husband. I learned how strong I was. I learned how independent I am. I found my ability in being a rockstar “single” parent. I say “single” parent because during that time, I was acting as one. I had no option. Aside from a weekly letter, I only got a weekly 10 min call from my husband. So I didn’t have any help from him at all. None.
I did have my mom though. She gave up a lot of work, to be by my side and help me through this and for that I will be forever grateful.
When the time came to watch my husband graduate BCT/AIT, we were ecstatic! We had prepped and picked. I rented a minivan and planned the 21 hour drive. Unfortunately this is one of those trips that failed. It took a turn!
At 5 months pregnant, I packed the car, loaded all 5 kids at 1:30 a.m. on a Thursday and started driving. I had a long road ahead of me, as I had no intention to stop- aside from gas and potty breaks. I had packed a cooler of food, drinks and snacks. And sure enough, that is all I stopped for.
It was terribly hard! For the first 5 hours I struggled. It was dark, the roads were empty, my children were asleep. I prayed and pushed through. Once the sun rose, I had this burst of energy that did not leave me until I got to the parking lot in the hotel. I am so grateful for that! That was a rough, rough, rough road trip.
We arrived to Lawton/Fort Sill, OK late. We couldn’t find food anywhere and we’re tired, so we ordered pizza and stayed in the hotel.
This part is where I had a breakdown. I just called my parents and bawled. I needed rest and was very unimpressed over the hotel. The windows were taped with cardboard, there were dead worms in the carpet, the bathroom light didn’t work, the sheets were dirty. It was 100% not the same as the hotel I saw in the pictures! The next morning we went to go watch my husband graduate. As we drove there, my military “IT FELL in a slit of the car! “SERIOUSLY!” That’s all I could think! I had to find out from the gate guards where to go get a visitor pass. Thankfully I was smart enough to leave early, because everyone and their dogs were at this place to get a pass. I was a stress case! We made it on to the base with a half hour to spare. (Thank you Lord!). So many people were there, so we just stood by the entrance and a little to the side. I kept contemplating moving, but wasn’t sure where to. I am GLAD I didn’t! The soldiers began marching in and singing a cadence. By the grace of God, my Husband stopped directly in front of us!!! He had no idea at first because he wasn’t facing us, but once he turned, happiness and shock were present on his face! That right there made everything worth it! All the stress faded. I was so thankful! At the end of our trip I had decided that I was NOT driving again (haha), so I purchased plane tickets and was ready to go home and relax.
Leaving my husband again (for AIT) was rough though. I cried and cried. The kids and I got to the airport and boarded our flights with no issue. Which was a sigh of relief! As we get above salt lake county, we had to do circles for what felt like a half an hour! Apparently Utah was having major crosswind issues. They get the clearance to land, and we start descending, all of a sudden the plane shoots you and turns and we start gaining altitude again! I guess the runway was shut down because of the crosswinds, so we ended up in Colorado. We sat on a runway for FIVE hours in CO awaiting the winds to die down. They wouldn’t let us leave the plane because some post 9/11 rule. There was no food, water or air. It was a disaster! I couldn’t believe it! We finally were able to land and my poor mom had been waiting for us there for 5+ hours. I couldn’t wait to go home! The next day, I could hardly move. I had a fever, chills, major pain in my lower back and stomach. I swear I thought I was in labor! I could hardly walk. My sweet mom came to pick us up to go to L&D at the hospital.
Everything went though my head! I was in so much pain and just “knew” I was in labor. I tried calling my husbands Sargent but they wouldn’t let me get a hold of him, so I called red cross, and they wouldn’t let me reach him either. I was a mess. I was in so much pain that I threw up on the nurse helping me! I felt horrible that I did that to her!
Fortunately they found out that I had a UTI and severe kidney infection. Not labor! I was so grateful! Golly was I grateful!
Because of my pregnancy and our past experience traveling to see my husband, I wasn’t able to make it to his AIT graduation, but we proudly watched online as it live streamed! He was honored with Distinguished Honor Grad and got to lead the entire graduation!
My husband returned home at the end of May 2018.
Picking him up from the airport was such an amazing feeling. He had lost over 30 pounds and seemed so happy to be home! We didn’t tell the kids he was coming home, so we showed up to their school and surprised them. It was such a beautiful moment! I am so proud of my husband for enduring all of that for us. He is so strong and such a wonderful man. I am proud to call him my husband.
Has anyone else gone through the army life as a spouse? I’d love to hear input.