this is to you, the military wife

This is to you, the one who married the uniformed man. To you, the one who stands beside him. You, the one with whom he links arms, but not hands, because, of course, intertwined fingers aren’t authorized while in uniform.

This is to you, the one who planned your wedding alone while he was across the globe. To you, the girl who met him at the airport and drove straight to the rehearsal. To you, who spent one week with your new husband before he boarded a plane and flew away for the first six months of your marriage.

This is to you, the one who plans your career around being transient, knowing you won’t stay anywhere long. To you, the one whose resume is a mile long, but not because you can’t hold a job. You, the one who works at the bank, the salon, the retailer, the clinic, the studio, logging long hours to supplement military earnings.

This is to you, the base housing goddess. The one who reuses curtains, rearranges furniture, and transfers the pictures from one faded white wall to another. The one who hopes for an address in the good neighborhood, prays for quiet neighbors and crosses your fingers for appliances constructed during your lifetime.

This is to you, the off-base dweller. The one who dreams of paying a mortgage instead of rent. The one who forms community with people who don’t always understand the demands on your life, people who have family nearby, people who don’t plan to move away in three years. You, the one who ensures the military clause in your lease, ever prepared to break the contract if you’re ordered to move in less than a month.

This is to you, the one who hasn’t been home in two years, because your parents are thirty hours away and plane tickets are expensive. To you, the one who sends photos and plans Skype dates when new babies are born. You, the one who spends Thanksgiving with friends you’ve met at church.

This is to you, military wife, the one who delivers a baby without him. The one who calls your friends to drive you to the hospital, to hold your legs while you push. This is to you, the one who talks to him on the phone, tears staining your smile as you describe to him his newborn’s face.

This is to you, for when you felt yourself slipping, darkness pressing close, and everyone told you to buck up, told you it was just stress. To you, the one who heard that weakness is failure and that admitting it would harm his mission. To you, for when you went to the clinic doctor anyway and were strong enough to ask for help.

This is to you, the one who stands in the dining room, wiping the table with a rag the night he comes home and announces he has orders. To you, whose heart drops to your feet as your eyes lock with his. To you, the one who breathes in sharply, who feels your throat tighten. You, the one who wipes tears and stands taller and feels ill and immediately begins to compose a mental checklist.

This is to you, the one who wakes at 3am and bundles the little ones in blankets. To you, the one who drives him to an empty blackened parking lot. You, the one who waits in the cold while he loads his sea bags, gathers his weapons.

This is to you, the one who clings to his neck, who kisses his lips, who waves your hand high while he drives away on a full white bus.

This is to you, the one who waits for a call, who keeps your cell phone glued to your hand. To you, the one who checks the mailbox incessantly and refreshes your inbox ten times an hour. You, the one who quells the ever present pit in your stomach and refuses to listen to the news.

This is to you, the one who holds your little ones when they don’t understand. The one who explains why Daddy is gone again, or why he’s working so late each night, or why it’s time to say goodbye to their friends yet again. This is to you, the one who steels yourself, for them, when your own heart breaks.

This is to you, the one who maintains the routine, who moves through the days, who sits in the quiet of the evenings. To you, the one who pays the bills, mows the lawn and takes the car for its tune up. You, the one who falls asleep on the couch, who tries to fill the bed by sleeping diagonally.

This is to you, brave military wife, the one who counts the days and then the hours and then the minutes until he returns.

And then he does.

This is to you.

 

This is to you, the one who makes it to ten years, and then to fifteen, and then to two or three decades. To you, the one who thought he’d be out by now. To you, the one who remains as he reenlists, as he pins on rank, as he earns medals. You, the one who holds him close, knowing he’s yours, but sharing him every day.

 

This is to you, Marine wives, Army wives, Navy wives, Air Force wives, Coast Guard wives. I raise my glass to you, the brave and proud ones, strong and valiant ones, veterans in your own right.

This is to you.

This is to us.

 

***

Thank you to the women who shared their photos and personal experiences for this post. You are heroes.

Bonnie Chorlian
Cindy Griebe
Stephanie Baker
Sidnie Miller
Jennifer Wilshire
Katie Brown
Gabrielle Thompson
Susan Smith
Lindsay Slaughter
Sarah Prox
Rebekah Gooch
Brooke Lopez
Amanda Fox
Kate Pomelow
Melissa Lyons
Kristen Strong

Professional Photography Credit:
Bethany Pryor Photography (photos 1, 20)
Gayler Photography (photos 16, 22)
K.Brinklow Photography (photo 15)

216 Responses to this is to you, the military wife

  1. Tracy November 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Yeah it is always about the active member or military wife. No one ever mentions the military husband but what do I know. I only raised 3 kids while she served 22 years. Talk about feeling like a second class citizen.

    • Taryn November 18, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      It does sick that you guys are so often overlooked. You’re a smaller group and less noisy about your sacrifices. But don’t think that you’re unappreciated or forgotten. I am a Marine wife and when my husband retires will be the Sailor leaving our girls behind to be raised by him. I know in the end I will have had th easier path because I am recognized by society as a whole. You guys are awesome for doing what we all do and for doing it without the same kind of support system.

  2. lilian August 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called ojooja has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, I was married to this man called Steven we were together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when I was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can’t continue anymore then I was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email(ojoojasalvationtemple@gmail.com) then you won’t believe this when I contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and after a month I miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great ojo oja for what you have done for me.

    • Morgan September 20, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      Hi! I loved reading this in the middle of the night, when my man is still months away from returning home. I am not a military wife or a fiancé to a military man but I am a girl friend to an incredible man that is on his way to be in special ops. I miss him so much, I can’t go to certain places without a tear slipping down my face because in my heart those are our places and no one else’s. I don’t know if I am strong enough for him but I want to be. I want to be able to be his rock so that he can relax when he needs to. Just wanted to say thank you for writing the article. And thank you all who serve and thank you to the families of those who serve!

  3. Karla June 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    I am the daughter………….I had a remarkable Mother who was married to my Dad (a career Army Medic). We moved I know now 10 times in my 12 years of public education. She was like many military wives…..alone with children to raise as husbands were off busy with honor & duty to this wonderful country. My Dad did a tour in Korea, 2 tours in Nam, came back slightly different each time………this was before any such diagnosis of PTSD was ever thought up. She had to deal with the aftermath or side effects of war on her husband. I only fully realized how much my Mom did to keep the home & family together after I was grown & married with my own children. My Mom stayed home through all the formative years of our ( 3 children) childhood. Mom didn’t get back into the work world until my Dad had retired & all of us kids were preteen to college age. I truly applaud my Mother & all the spouses who have waited for their military spouse to return from duty. It is unbelievable what some of these spouses & families have to endure while their enlisted loved one is away & unable to help. Also, for these spouses who I see as Super Heroes because they have to be both parents intermittently throughout the career of the military spouse. I want to say THANK YOU MOM! & We should Thank ALL the spouses that are left at home………….. I wish I had said this out loud to my Mother before she passed away in 1996. I hope that your children have the fore sight to do this with their Mom or Dad who stayed home to raise them when the other parent in the military was away. Love to you all.

  4. David May 12, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    My wife is in the Army and I can’t take it. I was abused my entire childhood. Had things done to me that evil step parents in horror movies don’t even do to their kids. I don’t want to go into specifics because that’s not the point of this post, but my wife knows everything. We’ve known each other for 5 years and been married for 2 years. She saves my life on a daily basis. She is the only reason I live. She is my mother, my sister, my best friend, my daughter, my lover, my everything. I don’t know how to survive without her. Her parents lied and stole our children. Another long story I don’t want to get into. Basically because I have no family or friends they knew they could lie about me and no one would defend me. Plus I’m dirt poor because I am so mentally disabled I cannot function in society. I’m telling you, my parents did some things to me that are…unbelievable. Anyway, we decided the only chance we would have at getting our kids back is if she joined the Army. It’s the only way we could financially support them plus it looks good to the courts if you’re in the military. But my wife was only 3 weeks into Basic Training and I had to call her back on emergency leave for a week to come take care of me. Now she has been gone a week and I’m beginning to lose it. I feel like most guys would be more than happy to sit at home and collect his wife’s paychecks, but I don’t care about the money, I just want my wife. I don’t want to ruin her life though. I feel so worthless. I feel like I should end my life so she can be happy. I don’t belong in a mental hospital. I’m not crazy, I’m just emotionally broken. I can’t handle any type of stress. I told her I didn’t want this the entire time but I also helped her train for Basic because I was in the Army so I knew what to tell her to expect, so now she’s confused and asks me “why did you help me if you didn’t want me to join”. Well I didn’t want her to join but I wanted her to be happy and I knew SHE wanted to join. I was trying not to be selfish. But I’m literally losing my mind. I’ve been up for 24 hours. I just need my wife and I feel so pathetic for being this needy and being a 28 year old man who can’t take care of himself. I’m trying my best but my best is no where near good enough. I love her so much and I want her to be happy and I want her to have what she wants which is a career in the military but what do I do? Please tell me.

    • Patrick September 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      David, I pray all is well, being prior military from a military family for many generations, I know the pain. I also know that the past is behind us, it has made us knowledgeable therefore wiser than those with perfect lives.
      Step forward, one step at a time, one second at a time when need be. Forward movement places the past farther away from us. The past becomes memories, the future bring new memories that soon enough will outweigh those old memories, that given time just becomes just a dream of times forgotten. Hold on tight to the new experiences, the morning sun arising, your wife coming home.

      Bless you my brother, your never alone.

    • Ashley September 6, 2014 at 4:35 am #

      Hello David, I’m very sorry you’re going through so much pain. I’m prior army and so is my husband. It sounds to me like you need a support system if you’re going to make it through her army career. Take up a hobby, join a support group of some kind, or call up old friends. I have been living with being bipolar for over 25 yrs and I can empathize. You can also call military support systems like army onesource, talk to a military chaplain or see a therapist. Please, whatever you do, don’t take your life. She will not be better off without you. She loves you and needs you too. The past is the past, try not to let it control your future. I know that’s easier said, but I also know that I’ve had to overcome my messed up childhood as well. Peace brother.

  5. Alice Nye Fitch March 1, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    My husband, as a career Army man, had two tours in Viet Nam. He left for the first just days after our wedding. We survived both and have been married for 47 years and enjoying some of the best years of our life together. As difficult as those two separate years were, that did not hold a candle to what military couples endure today with repeated deployments, etc. I honor them and thank them.

  6. Jamie Dement (LadyJai) February 22, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    It took me a week to read this all the way through. And I read it througha watery veil, with tears streaming down my face. Thank you for your beautiful words and tribute. I’ve been struggling with my own demons as a caregive, trying to work through the pain on my blog. It is such a blessing to see that we are not forgotten.

  7. Jalaine Stallworth February 7, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Thanks for this amazing tribute to Military Wives. This is so TRUE!! Thanks to my Husband for Serving our Country. As a Army Wife you have covered 27 of my years pretty well. We are Brave, Proud, Strong Army Wives. Blessings to you all!

  8. Bain, Kimberlin R SFC/E-7 February 4, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    I just wanted to say Thanks to all those dedicated women who have been so strong and holding up the home front while your soldier husband is deployed over seas.

    I will always say the women are the Hero’s during these deployments, I will never forget all the nights my wife stayed up late waiting to hear my voice for 5 min, then she could rest and let herself relax knowing I am alive.

    I as a soldier and husband will say we owe it to the women in our lives that keep us sain and everything together while we are gone. I love you and cherish you for the rest of my life.

    Love your husband and cherish the moments
    Dedicated to my wife Judy L Bain

  9. Emily February 4, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    There was a chance that my husband would have been sent out to another country for field work (from Germany to a random place -can’t remember) and they put him along with other married soldiers on the list to go despite my due date being just 3days away… He ended up not going because they had realized their mistake but I don’t think I could have had our very first baby with no freakin epidural in sight without him… it was hard enough as it is :/ I couldn’t imagine… I wouldn’t want to- 1and a half more yrs until we get back home! -at least for 30days :p All of this really hit right on the mark! -I never knew it could be THIS hard! :/ <3 <3 <3 Love to all the strong spouses out there!

  10. m February 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    wow….I have not sobbed that hard in awhile… I think its having someone put to words my heartache my trails..someone else gets itvandci feel less alone..
    thank you for getting it

  11. Shereece Payton February 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    I Thank u Taken the time to Honor The Military Wife I been One for 18 years and still going strong That u Lord For a God Man and Father and solider

  12. Crystal February 2, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    I don’t understand the need for these “recognitions” of army wives. Before you get offended, hear me out. You see these all the time—from bumber stickers, to facebook pages, to articles like this, paying tribute to the sacrifices that military wives make. The military is changing. There are military husbands now supporting their soldier wife. There are no support pages for him. He can’t go to the playgroups and other “wife” functions because he’s a man, and they don’t feel “comfortable” around him. He gets told that he’s “lazy” because he is a stay at home dad and doesn’t work (yes, people have seriously had the audacity to say that). If he chose to be the homemaker when they don’t have kids, the comments can be worse. You think it’s hard as a woman asking for help when “the darkness is pressing close?” Imagine how a man must feel. Talk about people thinking their weakness is failure. They might not give birth alone, but they are the ones to get the 3 month old baby for a when their wife deploys or leaves for training and have to play the role of both parents. You NEVER see any recognitions for the military husband. You don’t see them writing blogs about how tough being a military spouse is. Why is this? Military husbands are equally amazing. Your sacrifice is just as much as the military wives, and you never ask for any recognition. This is for you.

    • Amy Bushatz February 2, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      I’m sorry — I have to jump in. What you’re saying is not true. Military spouse dudes are out there, and they are seeking recognition. Check out MachoSpouse.com, for example. And what about Jeremy Hilton, Military Spouse Magazine’s military spouse of the year in 2012?

    • Spouseofasoldier February 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      We have a lot of military husbands. They DO participate in play groups, spouse functions, and all the other types of activities. The Army wives love to include the Army husbands and usually consider it a victory when they choose to participate. They bring a different viewpoint to everything and it only enhances whatever we are doing.
      It does not say something bad about the husbands to say something positive about the wives.
      I don’t know who you think is leaving out the military husbands…but it’s not the military wives, I assure you.
      And believe me–we would never say or think he was lazy. We know what job he does…we’re doing it too. We know exactly how hard it is.

    • Tiari February 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      I could not agree with you more. And what about the dual military? We suffer too, the both of us.

      • Jenna August 18, 2014 at 8:51 am #

        Agreed. My husband and I are dual military. I have to take care of the kids, the house, everything, while being a soldier myself and dealing with my husband being deployed.

  13. Tiffany Pennell February 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    This was very beautiful to read and it is so very true. I never knew the life of a military wife was so different then the normal role of being a wife. But it really is. I read this and it brought tears to my eyes, I am currently going through a deployment and this hit really deep because it is so true. We do it for our men and our families that we have started.

  14. Lynn Kramer January 31, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Glad to see the wives recgnized for all they do and the hard life they have. It’s sacrifices of the entire family, not just the service person. A huge thank you to the entire families.

  15. Gloria January 31, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Please don’t get me wrong, I loved every moment of the 20 years being an Army wife. And to all military wives, you are the heart and soul of the Armed Forces.

  16. Catharine January 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Thank you so much for putting into words how strong our family units have to be. This was moving and beautiful!

  17. Laura Bozeman January 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Thank you for including one picture of a dual military couple. My husband is medically retired from the Army and experienced ostracism and isolation when I was deployed to Afghanistan. My unit didn’t want to take care of a military husband–just the wives. I hope things are better for other female Soldiers.

  18. Ciara Lawson January 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    I read this and cried so hard. It explains my life as an army wife. My husband left for Afghanistan 7 months into our marriage and we had only been together a few days short of our one year anniversary. It was so hard and when he left I was pregnant with twins. I made it to almost five months and lost my babies. It was so hard to cope without him. I would wait every waking hour by the phone and my laptop waiting to Skype waiting to hear his voice. It was so hard being so young and married. And with the love of my life thousands of miles away I couldn’t handle it. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it. But I pulled through and now we just had our first child. My little baby boy urijah lee. And now we have been married almost three years. I adore being a military wife (;

  19. Gloria January 30, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    I was a military wife for 20 years, went through separations, Viet Nam, Thailand, month long field duty in Germany, but I hung on and did my best to raise our two children. Kept the home fires burning until the last 12 month tour of duty in Korea, he came back from that just to tell me he did not love me anymore and had not for some time, all the time he was over there he sent me love letters so I was totally shocked, but he went right back over there and married a Korean woman and brought her back to the states, set her up here and divorced her also and went back for another one. I have none of the benefits that they enjoy as a spouse to a retired military man. Oh well, guess that’s life, sad but true.

    • Marcia February 10, 2014 at 2:49 am #

      Hi Gloria, it is exactly what is happening to me right now, my husband went to Korea on November 2012 for short tour of 1 year, he went by himself, while he was there he spent all his money, by October he sent me an email telling me that he met a married Korean woman that she is already married, but he is in love with her. He came back we moved to his new home base Fort Carson, CO. They chat in the phone everyday, he want the divorce and have plans to go back there in this Summer. I am going to start the divorce process. It is very sad but necessary. I understand how you feel, but I am going to fight for all the benefits that I can get.

    • Mariuxi February 10, 2014 at 2:51 am #

      Hi Gloria, it is exactly what is happening to me right now, my husband went to Korea on November 2012 for short tour of 1 year, he went by himself, while he was there he spent all his money, by October he sent me an email telling me that he met a married Korean woman that she is already married, but he is in love with her. He came back we moved to his new home base. They chat in the phone everyday, he wants the divorce and have plans to go back there in this Summer. I am going to start the divorce process. It is very sad but necessary. I understand how you feel, but I am going to fight for all the benefits that I can get.

  20. Renee Robles January 21, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Not sure you understood what this was all about, or maybe you can say I didn’t. It’s about “Milatary Families” as a whole. It goes on to say all that the wives go through, while their husbands are out defending our freedom and humanity. It could very well be the wife that is serving and the husband that sacrifices for his family. I feel the husbands and wives ARE included. It just teaches us some of what their families go through as a whole. There are no unsung hearos if you take a minute to read in between the lines. You see nothing but heros In every entry. Looking at the pictures you see babies and children and you can just imagine what they go through. Ithink it’s fair to say they’re heros also.
    I feel this blog if you will, was posted to let these families know and remember that they are not alone, whether physically or emotionally. No one was meant to be hurt, left out, or reminded of maybe not-so-good experiences. I feel it was well written out of pure human compassion and love for our fellow men and women. No bias towards anyone. Love and Friendship. Be blessed.

  21. Tabitha January 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    What about if you were that loyal spouse but your husband cheated and stranded you far away from your family and friends? I left so I can sit at home alone sending packages and waited by the phone for some one that didn’t deserve those things. I waited he had a different girl in ever port. He spent money on hotel rooms my rent check bounced. I let it go he said he wanted to sleep in a real bed and have a bath. I was so blind and trusting. The military doesn’t care that he cheated and stranded me here. The judge didn’t care either about that or the damage he cause to a motorcycle the judge made me take and pay for. I loved supported worried and planned my life around a person you used me, ruined my self esteem, bankrupt me and abandoned me thousands of miles from my family. The military will send them home but do we go home? NO, I want to go home and I can’t afford to. I want to see support for the women who support their spouses who didn’t deserve all that was given them.
    I want to start a charity to help EX military spouses. Some support for the ones that stayed at home. That military personnel will be fine but what of the people they leave behind damaged?

    • Emily February 4, 2014 at 3:15 am #

      I have no idea what branch yall are involved in, but- in the Army at least— They take adultery veerrrry seriously even if *divorce* is pending. They also have informed us spouses that if we ever decided to divorce said soldier, that they would EROD meaning move you back at no cost and the turd would be forced to move back in the barracks. -Children, no children, pets, no pets…… It’s sad to hear how the military refuses to educate army spouses of the benefits they CAN receive- I’ve had to find out almost everything on my own. :( It’s ridiculous they are making you have no choice but to stay until you can afford to go home. :/ -also, I know that they lose their rank and become *unpromotable* for almost 6mos to a year which in my opinion isn’t enough punishment. Their pay should be messed with severely if you ask me. I hope you find your happiness again very soon!! Stay strong! -we (the spouses) are the ONLY reason why they get a house they can call home rather than a crummy barracks room half the size of a child’s bedroom. :p -unless they pay out of pocket themselves at a certain lonely rank.

  22. Kaz @ Melting Moments January 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    So moving. Thank you!

  23. Sara Rudy December 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    I just wanted to add it is not always good. My husband came home from his second tour of the middle East and told me he didn’t love me anymore. I had prepared for this by saving a very strong med, pill by pill while he was gone. After he told me he didn’t love me I did a massive overdose ending in ICU for days. Military life is hard

  24. Shirley Bryan November 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    This was beautiful thank you from a army wife of 22 1/2 years and 3 year retired army wife now this was so well said and is very touching thank you for your beautiful words.

  25. Steve November 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I love seeing the human emotion surrounding family. Very beautiful.

    War is such a horrible thing and it is really terrible that families face these challenges and hardships because of it. Any form of fighting or war really is sad and most people forget how it effects those back at home as our nations invade, defend and fight around the world. Thanks for this and let’s hope we can get rid of the need for armys, navys and the like in the future :)

  26. Jenna November 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! I didn’t start crying until the part about leaving right after being married.
    This is truly amazing, thank you so much for this.
    <3 <3 <3

  27. Moira Tollan November 8, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    How beautifully written, brought tears to my eyes and makes you understand more vividly the sacrifices these husbands, wives, girlfriends and the children make while their loved one’s are away. My heart goes out to all of you. Stay strong!..♥ God Speed♥

  28. Eve Flitcroft November 8, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    What about the military husband.
    I’m a serving member of the Armed Forces, married to a civilian . I find that the (few) military husbands out there are the unsung Hero’s

    • Renee Robles January 21, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      Not sure you understood what this was all about, or maybe you can say I didn’t. It’s about “Milatary Families” as a whole. It goes on to say all that the wives go through, while their husbands are out defending our freedom and humanity. It could very well be the wife that is serving and the husband that sacrifices for his family. I feel the husbands and wives ARE included. It just teaches us some of what their families go through as a whole. There are no unsung hearos if you take a minute to read in between the lines. You see nothing but heros In every entry. Looking at the pictures you see babies and children and you can just imagine what they go through. Ithink it’s fair to say they’re heros also.
      I feel this blog if you will, was posted to let these families know and remember that they are not alone, whether physically or emotionally. No one was meant to be hurt, left out, or reminded of maybe not-so-good experiences. I feel it was well written out of pure human compassion and love for our fellow men and women. No bias towards anyone. Love and Friendship. Be blessed.

  29. andrea October 31, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    you just broke my heart and healed it all at once.
    thank you

  30. Anita E Hunt October 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Loved it!

  31. Amanda October 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    This was really sweet! thank you for writing this! It brought happy tears !

    It really helped brighten my day over here!! <3

  32. Rosemary Alicea October 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    This is my second time being a military wife. I love being apart of the family.

  33. Jenn Brink October 12, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    Very well said. Maybe, I wouldn’t have the tears if not for being in the middle of deployment. Probably, I would.

  34. Amanda October 12, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    This is to only being married for, four and a half years and sending him on his third deployment, spending most of your marriage with your love out of the country. Realizing you have really only lived about a year together due to deployments and training, but loving the time to get with him, and standing by his side even though he isn’t here.

  35. amanda October 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    What about the military husbands.. it seems like everyone always forgets about them

  36. Greg Caudill October 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    So moving, so accurate, and so very, very true. My wife, Barbara, lived it and listened to the military doctors tell her that the illness she felt was all in her mind, it was because it was M.S. She reared our two children, when to school and worked full-time. She became a PT and helped other’s with MS, CP, and a host of other illnesses.

  37. Dominique October 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    This is beautifully written! Brought me to tears. Thank you!

    • Thelma October 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      This is beautifully written and br0ught back memories of years gone by – when he was active duty Army Special Forces and I was having babies while he was gone and raising them alone until his return. It was a trying life, but a really good one. G-d bless all our service members and all the military spouses!!!!

  38. Alyssa Ruffin October 11, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    This brought me to tears! With every line I cried a little more!! Thank you for acknowledging us! I can’t explain how much strength and support this message shares!! Things like this help to keep us going!! Thank you to all of my fellow Military Wives (and husbands), and more importantly all of the men in women in uniform, out there fighting for our freedom, sacrificing everything. I know I appreciate every aspect of the military. I didn’t fully understand all that they give up, until I married my husband SSgt Charles Ruffin, of the USAF. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you! #MilitaryWives #MilitaryUnited #OneLove

  39. Elena Suarez October 11, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Thank You to all our Military Service men and women !!! May the lord always keep watch over them.

  40. cecil quick October 11, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    thank all of you wives and husbands who serve to protect this country and it citizens and our way of life you are some of the bravest people I know

  41. Stephanie October 11, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Thank you for writing something so beautiful and so true to our lives as military wives. As I read this it made me even more proud to be a military wife. Thanks again for such recognition and honor.

  42. Deborah October 11, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Well done Ashleigh! I blinked a tear at ” two- three decades”. I found myself retracing my life as a daughter of a dad serving in the Air Force 22 years , married my husband who served in the Navy 31 years and my daughter’s husband has served 13 years in the Navy and counting. 66 years of service . Add a grandfather, uncles, brother in law and we are over 125 years of services for just our direct family. And guess who also served – all the wives and children. we do appreciate our military husbands too ,supporting their active duty wives. Good times hard times but made better by sharing with good friends and shipmates and people like you. God Bless our military families.

  43. Sunny October 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Crying here. Thank you.

  44. Dan October 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    Very well written and very touched. I am not a veteran, but my daughter is married to one. My son in law is an outstanding Army Veteran, husband and father. I am worried when he is deployed and that my daughter and grandson are home alone. I don’t know how she does it, she is a strong lady. I would like to say that I want to thank every veteran, their spouse and kids for what they go through.
    May God be with you all..

  45. bill simmons October 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    this lady I married is the strongest of two the two of us…she puts up with me and the system///I love her with all my heart and soul

  46. Mary Taylor October 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    After 28 years supporting my hubby in the U.S. Air Force, this brought back many great memories…not the good byes but the welcome homes! You know, while doing all of this with 3 kids growing up and that 28 years, I didn’t think about what I was doing, I just did it. My sister in law asked once how I did it. I told her, there really wasn’t a choice, I just did! Loved nearly every minute of all the moves and adventures that came with those moves. Loved reading all of this. Thanks for the memories!

  47. Maryjane Carley October 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Beautifully written. Thank you for pouring your heart, appreciation & love into words. What an exceptional way to pay tribute to all of “US” – the military spouses.

  48. Carlie Beck October 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    This is to finding out that you can never have kids the day after he leaves for deployment, and struggling to come to terms with it alone. And to having to tell him that a close family friends has passed, and the family is holding off the celebration of life until he is home.
    This was beautifully written, and very true. Thank you.

  49. Nicole October 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! *crying* I love this xoxo

  50. Sara October 10, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    This was beautiful. I can’t tell you how many of those things I laughed through the tears welling up in my eyes, because I was guilty of them… the sleeping diagonally across the bed, phone glued to hand, checking the inbox CONSTANTLY in hopes of a weekly email, sleeping on the couch, taking care of household fixes/repairs and other things usually done by my hubby.

    I would like to add a big thank you to the spouses who have had to continue on when their loved ones didn’t come home and for those who became care givers for loved ones seriously injured. After visiting Arlington National Cemetery this past Memorial Day, I was just moved and heart broken by the number of spouses and families “spending time” with their lost loved ones. That is an image I will never forget.

  51. AmberStarr October 10, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I grew up a Navy brat and you could not have captured what this life is like more perfectly; I still haven’t stopped crying. I have always had so much respect for my mother, I don’t know how she’s managed to keep it together all of these years. Dealing with the bills, being both parents to three kids, moving around all the time, comforting us about not being able to make real friends while not having any nearby for support herself… military spouses are heroes in their own right and don’t get nearly enough praise. [ I ♥ you, mom!]
    Thanks again, I plan to share this with everyone I know.

  52. Nicole A. October 9, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Thank you for this. Of course I teared up. You were spot on with all of this. It’s not an easy life but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

  53. Martrisha Reyna October 8, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    This is spot on.
    All the waiting for your loved one and praying for a safe return home.
    Trying to be handy man and hoping someone can fix it without charging an arm & leg.
    Sleeping in one of his shirts sprayed w/cologne just for his scent and peace of mind.
    Delivering babies without him trying to be emotionally strong for everyone else.
    Constantly telling family/friends when he’ll be home without breaking down.
    Ignoring the CNN.
    Being strong and practically raising a family on your own.Hard work but so worth it when the family is all together. Stay strong ladies/men. Love is powerful.
    So proud of all our military personnel for fighting for us and the ones who have already served!

  54. Marie October 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    I came to this blog post from a friend of mine and fellow military wife; she had linked it from Facebook.

    You nailed it; the deployments, the PCS moves, the whole nine yards. Thankfully, we’ve yet to experience pregnancy and delivery while he’s been deployed. Kudos and much respect to those who have.

    I knew what I was getting into when I married him; he knew what he was getting into when he married me (“You’re stuck with me. HA.”). We celebrated our eighth year anniversary while PCSing cross-country. Gotta love it.

    Thanks for getting all of this down.

  55. Kim October 1, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    I read a lot of “Military Wives” dedication pieces and there might be a little “awww, that’s sweet”…but this, for me, is as real as it gets. You hit on many things I personally have dealt with – sleeping diagonal, sleeping on the couch, driving to a dark parking lot, and asking for help (at the doctor’s). Thank you! It is beautifully written with beautiful pictures. I cried through this. Thank you!

  56. Tiffany Mills September 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    That was absolutely beautiful and full of truth. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us struggle to describe. Absolutely amazing. Thank you.

  57. Cindi Elliott September 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Our family has been retired for 15 years…been there/done that as a wife AND daughter. Oh, the memories … cried, remembering each PCT & TDY as if it were yesterday. <3 SO PROUD of EACH of your families, and will always feel the kinship. WARRIOR STRONG!! May God bless each and every one of you

  58. Armywyf 2001 September 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Everything was said except for when they go through so much and then hit hard times, real hard times…. And I should say we…. Then ask for a divorce. All the trying and praying in the world that he will come back and try himself is taking everything that I have… Please pray for us. We have 15 years in and it’s not always been easy, it’s seldomly been easy I should say…. But I love my soldier with all my heart and he is my hero!

  59. melissa rivas September 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    i love my marine! right now he´s in afghanistan but every day when i wake up i thank god for having him in my life i´ll be waiting for him to comeback no matter what ,he´s my angel !!!!

  60. rose September 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    My husband has been a soldier for 37 years and still going. as a military wife, I have to say that it is very rewarding and it’s not the hardest job. I feel that he has the hardest job. I couldn’t leave being away from the family all the time like my husband does. I feel blessed and pampered. I love my husband ATW, I love my family ATW and I love the Army’s life. Thanks for the article. Nice! :-)

    • Mary Thompson October 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      Rose you said exactly how I feel, I’m honored to be married to him and find it rewarding. I’m not usually a fan of blogs that focus on a spouses hardship but I like this one, but I never refer to this life as a job or being the hardest job. Those who are serving are truly the ones with the hardest job just like you said. And can I say I love the ATW usage, makes guess you are familiar with the 82nd and 18th ABN :-)
      Which is where both my husband and I had dads serving with while growing up and he now 16 years of serving has spent 14 of them at Bragg :-)

  61. easy rider September 29, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    I came over from Oskar’s blog. Thanks for this wonderful post, you made my day.

  62. Emily H September 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    This is awesome!! I’m still a “new” Navy wife! We were married about 1.5 months before he went off to boot. It’ll be a full+ year before we are back together again! I can’t wait to be in those arms!!! Thank you for sharing this!! It’s nice to know that even though we feel alone sometimes, there are plenty of milspouses out there to comfort you when you need it! I can not wait to get to our first station and meet some of the amazing ladies I’ve met online already!! THANK YOU to all those who have come before me and helped pave my way and so many others!! I hope to continue the love and support for many years to come for those who come after me <3

  63. Pam September 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I just found this post via a friend of mine on FB who is a military wife.

    This piece is so moving, so eye opening. Thank you for writing it and especially for living it in service to our country.

    Warmly,
    Pam Hoerauf

  64. alex September 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Please don’t forget about the military husbands too. I am a soldier and my husband has to take care of our three children and the house when I am gone. He also works full time. Any military spouse deserves thanks and aknowledgement of the great things they do everyday. It is hard to be mother and father both when we are gone. Thabk you to all the spouses out there!

  65. Danielle Salter September 28, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I wanted to say thank you so very much! I can to just about all of that! I know the wives don’t get the credit that we deserve most of the time. While this life is not for everyone because its not easy at all. But I love my husband more than the world and I will always stand by his side and support him every way I possibly can. Be there for him how ever I can! I always told myself I would never marry a military guy because I knew that was not the lifestyle for me. But I did and I wouldn’t trade my family I’ve made with him for anything! I loved this piece, I had tears in my eyes while reading this and kind of laughing because I’ve gone through so much of that. And seeing those pictures, they were so beautiful! Thank you again for recognizing what wives go through. We all have to keep our heads high, our hearts strong and have faith! This is what we do for the loves of our lives and our country! Thank you all!

  66. Kim September 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Thank you for this! I’m glad to know that there are people out there that understands how tough it is to be a military spouse. I cried while reading this post. I loved it!!

  67. Martha Vance September 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    As a Mom who held the computer so that her deployed son-in-law could witness the birth of his first child via Skype, I want to thank you for this lovely piece. My daughter is my hero, and I think people rarely think about what the spouses of our military do to make their service possible.

    My daughter is now counting the days and hours until her husband gets to meet his son.

  68. Anita Brown September 27, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Thank you for writing this. I see you wrote it in 2012, but it doesn’t matter what year it is written the words fit the military spouse 365 days a year and for the long haul……..retirement. My soldier, my beloved Redneck heads off for a trip without us across the ocean for another 9 months and this one is tough. It’s tough because retirement is around the corner. It’s tough because its one of our daughters senior year, another robotics season or two, another 9 months of quiet nights without him to talk to and have hold me. He committed to taking me HOME in 2015 after 26 years of military service. I’ve been blessed he was there for the birth of all three of our girls. I’ve been blessed with an extended family that is on two continents and in the Pacific Islands. I’ve been blessed with the fact that I knew the deal when I walked down the aisle to him just about 21 years ago since my mother and grandmother were military wives. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but one I wouldn’t have accepted the challenge without the love of this man, my beloved Redneck.

  69. Peggy September 27, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Oh my goodness! Beautiful pics!! So true! I was a Navy wife for 2o+ years. I remember it all. Thanks for such a beautiful post!

  70. Maurine September 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    And especially to those mothers or fathers who must now raise their sweet children without a parent, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. From one mil spouse to another. Stay strong, thank you.

  71. Becky September 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    We’re retired now. We were in for 27 years. I have always said we, because WE joined the Air Force, We endured all the things that you have mentioned. I do have to say that It is the life and I loved it. I cry now more than I ever did then, because I was too busy with our 3 kids and we (the kids and I) cried together sometimes, but mostly it was me being being strong for them. I have been asked many times how I endured it, well simple, it was our life and we lived it. I used to always take my younger ones to the air port to watch him fly off. It was easier to explain that he was gone. I know about the buses, so sometimes I followed and sometimes I went and said he was on a plane that was taking off. I think my kids got the worst end of the deal. Leaving schools all the time, not getting the grandparent, aunts, uncles and cousin connections. And now they live all over, instead of at home.
    GOD BLESS THE USA, those who fight for her and those that wait at home while they do.

  72. Hilda S. June 20, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Marine Corps wife for 23 years. I was 20 yrs old a d pregnant with my firstborn when he was first deployed to Iraq. After saying goodbye and crying up a storm my car broke down. Pregnant and with the car busted I sat at the side of the road as the “white bus” with him in it passed me by. So yes I guess you can say this really hit home. Now 4 kids later, 23 years of being married to the Corps and 9 deployments later I must admit I wouldn’t have it any other way…love my marine!

  73. Sarah May 9, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    From this army wife of 11 years, girl you nailed it. He was gone when our oldest was born and we do live 27 hours away from our parents. Between the four deployments, TDYs, schools, field missions, etc. he has probably spent half of those 11 years away from us. But I wouldn’t change a minute of it :).

  74. Denise Rayala April 27, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    I’m from the Philippines and I’m an Army wife. Thank you for this heart-warming article Ashleigh. ♥

  75. Barry Sheppard February 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Really beautiful the way you have put it down.
    It’s all of the reasons I opened this site.
    Barry
    Ex Royal Artillery & Army Air Corps

  76. Emily February 26, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    This is Beautiful!!! My friend sent this to me and as an Army wife I felt like you described those moments so perfectly!!! Thank you for that beautiful tribute!

  77. Debbie February 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    I just wanted to thank you for this beautiful posting. Although it’s my daughter and son-in-law that are both serving, i’m going through the same things in my life! I was the one that planned the wedding because they weren’t here and he was being deployed and they only had 5 days ( at Christmas time) to get married. Everything went as planned but with only 30 days to plan around a major holiday for them, it felt impossible at times. He was deployed 2 months later for 10 months and returned to celebrate Christmas. Then, a week later, she was underway for a month, with the threat of being deployed for 8 months within 4 days of returning. Having the deployment canceled for now because of budget cuts in Washington, they are finally getting to enjoy married life and adjusting to each other for the first time. I really don’t know how they do it, but am so glad they found each other. God Bless the Military, each branch is special. Thank you to all who serve.

  78. jamie maclaren February 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    My husband sent this to me today. It has been since October 9th since we’ve seen each other. It has been a really tough time without him. The man who i can count on only 2 hands how many fights we had been in, 2 years prior to his move, believes in me and my strength and for that i am eternally grateful for his love.

  79. Maria Palacios February 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Thank you. Cried the tears that in so many cases, so many nights, they say we shouldn’t because we should all be stronger….. 21 yrs and counting….. <3

  80. Kendra Evans February 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Thank you for sharing….a heart touching account of the amazing women that stand behind the men in uniform. :)

  81. Abby February 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Love this! Smiling with tears, yet find myself almost chuckling at the part about having the cell phone glued to your hand and updating your inbox 10 times an hour…I remember this last time he came home and how I could care less where it was or who was calling…because he was home and that was all that mattered!

  82. Carrie February 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    This is great. I would also like to extend the honor to the military husband. The ones who give up any semblance of a normal career to follow their loved one around the world and raise the kids. There aren’t as many of them as there are military wives, but they are out there. Thanks!

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Amen

  83. Minna February 23, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    This was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  84. Tia @ Military Wife Theology 101 February 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Thank you, Ashleigh. What a beautiful tribute. I am glad to have found you, and to have the opportunity to explore the blogs of the other ladies linked to this post. Thank you.

  85. Kim Chavez February 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Reading through this made me sink into my chair and fight the tears. So many of those things hit home for me, as I know it did to so many others. Thank you for posting this tribute to the unsung heroes, US!!

  86. Megan @TLAS February 22, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    This is beautiful!! So well said! Thank you for this.

  87. MaLissa February 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Thank you this is beautiful. I finished reading this with tears running down my face. This is our life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

  88. Abby Heath February 10, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Thank you! This is so beautiful and true! I absolutely love the pictures. The ones with children always make me cry because I know how hard it is on them to say goodbye. I was Soldier and now a military wife so I know how it feels from both sides of the continent. Thank you for creating such a beautiful post.

  89. Imogene February 10, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Our granddaughter is living this life fight now. Her husband is deployed to Afghanistan. We are going through it with her. All the problems she has to solve by herself, being away from family and friends. Thank God, he can have communications with her during his deployment. She lives for those phone calls. Bless all the Military personnel–wives, husbands, children that are living this life. And thank you for the service to our country—all of you. May God keep you safe.

  90. Alison January 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    From a non military wife to all of the heroes that support and truly serve our country. I don’t know how you girls do it. Just, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. My 4 boys say so often that they want to be a soldier when they grow up. Even as a mom, I can’t imagine all of the sacrifices. Sincerely, thank you.

  91. Alfred Velasquez Sr. December 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    To all the military spouses whose are husbands/spouses are deployed and in harms way, let us pray for their safe return. I myself am a disabled veteran from wounds received in combat in 1967 and this post definitely brought tears to my eyes for the brave spouses married to American soldiers. I am the proud father of a military wife stationed in Aviano Italy whose husband (our son) is an F-16 Fighter Pilot. Let us not forget the men/women who never came home also those men/women who are severly injured that really need our prayers and support.
    Very well written, Thank you so much.

  92. Elena Marrs November 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Cried like a baby because it is all so true, very nice thx…. AF wife of 20 yrs

  93. Kathleen Fires November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful slide show on what my life was like for over 20 years. I am now the wife of a reitred Airforce. We have 4 children, 2 grandchildren now. I did 7 deployments in 10 years, I have had him home for over two years now and this is the longest time we have ever spent in the same house. I am grateful and here to tell you it will be you one day. Your job as a military wife is so important. It takes a very special person to have this llife. You are amazing woman. I cherished my time as an active wife and its even better as a retired Military wife. Happy holidays and stick with other families.
    Kathleen Fries

  94. Sarah Mazza November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Thank you for these brilliantly written words that speak to so many, myself included. Tears over here….

  95. Louise November 20, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Stumbled across it and as a fellow military wife, found the words completely resonated. Love this post.

  96. Janelle T November 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Breath-taking. Just simply breath-taking.

    Janelle T

  97. Jenny November 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Thank you so much! You hit the nail on the head!

  98. karrie November 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Thank you all for your sacrifice for our beautiful country!God bless you!

  99. Bethanne November 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    This morning our pastor choked up during his prayer. That morning they had found out their son was officially on his way to serve his country and I cried too and then wrote this post.

    http://becauseheisgood.blogspot.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-and-veterns-day.html

  100. Becky L November 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Thanks for all you do, military wives. It’s appreciated.

  101. Sharon November 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    This is beautiful. To all of you military wives, thank you for your sacrifice. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  102. Toronto Girl West November 18, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Beautiful

  103. Lori November 18, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    This is beautiful and I had to share it with my readers as well. Here’s to you, to me, to us! Thank you so much for this post. I was having a day… a military wife kind of day and these words brought me back to why I do what I do and I thank you so much for them, for this.

    Mrs. Sergeant
    Air Force. Wife. Life.

  104. Robyn November 17, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Thank you to all the military spouses, especially Ivy, Rebekah, Kelly, Tiffany, my mom Lenni back in Norfolk with my dad the Marine, and all of my friends who support your loved ones who protect and fight for our freedom. It is you that keeps them going and giving them strength. May God Bless You All.

  105. Harmony Moore November 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Thank you. I keep trying to think of something more eloquent to say, but those are the only words in my heart. I needed this tonight!

  106. Elyce W. November 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Sharing him while knowing he’s yours, cellphone glued to your hand, and the dreaded white bus. I so remember…..

    Thank you for sharing. :)

  107. Bonnie November 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! I read it on my flight back from MA and was in blubbering tears. so beautiful & true.

  108. Claudine Hopper November 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Wow! So well said! As I read it, I realize how my girlfriends and I have done all those years, through deployments and TDY’s. None of us see ourselves as superwomen, and maybe we should. I just know “we simply do it…We know it already…that’s what we do…” My husband retired from the Air Force a year ago. I miss my military community. What a great time!

  109. Megan (FriedOkra) November 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Oh wow. Chills, my friend. You speak the hardest things so gently. <3

  110. Molly November 16, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    wow, this post made my cry! such a wonderful toast to the women who stand by their men. i have no connection to the military (other than reading blogs) but this really touched my heart. i am going to hug my husband a little harder tonight when i get home.

  111. Shar November 16, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    You don’t know me and yet you know me. You know all of my friends. You know our every heartache and every burden and every bit of joy and happiness that comes from standing proudly by our men. To you, I thank you for taking the time to honor all of us, and yourself, with your words and pictures. What you wrote was very beautiful and was a great blessing to us all.

  112. mandie November 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    thank you to all of you wonderful men & women.

    beautiful post, girl!

  113. Dani Wright November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Beautifully written and a reminder to us Civilians the sacrifices you make for our country as well! Thank you!!

    A Navy Sister and future Navy Mom

  114. Shannon November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    BEAUTIFUL!

  115. Bethany November 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Crying. Crying. Crying. I could not live this life. As much as think I’m strong…I will NEVER be as strong as these Military Wives. You guys are truly remarkable women. I’ve seen it in my own family, with my Aunt who stayed with my Uncle while he was in the Marines for 24 years. She raised her two kids and moved all over. She lived this life. My great-grandma, who had one daughter already and then gave birth while her husband was in WW2…he didn’t meet my grandma until she was TWO years old. He didn’t see his second daughter’s face until she was TWO. Then he went back for Korea. She was a brave, strong woman. I admire these women for their sacrifices. They are brave soldiers. I love you all, and you are AMAZING, amazing women.

  116. Priscilla November 15, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    This blog was so well said. Thank you!

  117. grace at {Gabbing with Grace} November 15, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    such a BEAUTIFUL post!!!! thank you for helping us all appreciate the sacrifices both the wives and the military men & women make every day. *snaps* & hugs.

  118. Heather November 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I think you pretty much nailed it! I’m a Marine wife and I have to say I went through a lot of that and still do, until he retires! Being a military wife is not for everyone. It def. takes a strong woman to do this job (in my opinion and many of my friend’s opinions). Lots of challenges, sacrifices, stress, tears, fears…etc. But lots of joys, smiles, excitement, learning, meeting new people, new places and more. It’s def. a huge journey!

  119. Helen Campbell November 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you. I know the sacrifices because I have a son who has an amazing wife who has stood with my son in his commitment to our country. Blessings and may you be rewarded greatly for all of your sacrifices. You are all a little more special, a little more brave and a lot more amazing.

  120. amy November 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. Words often can not express what we as military wives experience, but this comes very close! I had tears in my eyes while reading because I have experienced, or know a friend who has, everything you mentioned.
    Thank you. Thank you!

  121. Kelly @ Love Well November 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Holy buckets, I love this, Ashleigh. And you know what I love it the most? Because you have lived every word. (Well, almost every word.) You wrote this with sweat and blood and spilled milk you cleaned up alone. Bravo girl. Bravo.

  122. Melissa November 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    This was beautiful! Thank you for putting this together

  123. Bette November 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    This was very touching and having gone through a few years of this……but, it was during the Korean Conflict. Six weeks after marriage my Love was sent overseas for a year. He is now gone but I now have two grandsons in the Marines.

    Thanks

  124. Sidnie November 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    This is amazing, Ashleigh!

    I wept yesterday when I read it and lingered on all the pictures… And am weeping now, as I read all the comments.

    A beautiful tribute to us all. We are strong, brave, loyal.
    Thank you for this. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
    XO

  125. priscilla November 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Im not a military wife but this was very touching to me as i have friends that have husbands in the military and pray for them and their husbands over there fighting

  126. Dominique @PurpleKale November 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Love this! My best friend just welcomed home her husband from Tajekistan (sp?) and guest blogged about her experience of preparation. http://purplekale25.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting.html

  127. Dianne November 14, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I now can try and understand what my daughter must be feeling while her husband serves overseas. I pray for all of you often for the strength and love to get you through these trying times. Also, for the safe return of all of our military. I can speak for me and my family that we watch over the spouses & families left behind and give as much support and help as we can. God Bless All!

  128. Zrex/Wife November 14, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Welcome to Milatary Life! The hardest Job in the World! It’s all about knowing where YOUR HEART IS! Our job is to keep the home secure. While our Spouse’s keep our Land Secure.

  129. R.T.H. November 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    A huge ‘Thank You’ to all you military families and service men and women who have given so very much.
    May God Bless all of you.

  130. Danielle Cunningham November 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Missing is the “explaining to the two year old why her dad can’t stay with her and dance and play while she is screaming and crying and begging for him to do so…and you have to pick up the pieces and make that day and those after until the deployment is over positive and happy…even while you are broken inside”

  131. Judy Tchinski, Marine Corps mom and mom-in-law November 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    My throat closed up, tears running down my face….so true, so true……..

  132. Laura November 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. Beautifully written and so many truths spoken.

    • Susan Rozanski October 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

      I am very proud to have been an member of this elite groop of women.

  133. Toni November 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Hearing his voice, seeing the gratitude when he opens that care package, being in his arms the moment he returns….makes all of those tears, all of the moves, all of the nights slept in PT shirts with the phone next the pillow, all of the stress completely and totally worth it. Preparing for reenlistment now, and wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

  134. Jamie Horrocks November 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you for this! I am a proud Mariine Corps wife who blogs and this has explained our marriage very well. Definitely a tear-jerker…in a good way!!

  135. Meg Martin November 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    As a young Air Force wife I lost our twin babies when I was almost five months pregnant… Alone in the hospital I fought for the life of our babies and even my own life. After a week of fighting, I lost both of them and almost lost my own life. He never got to come be with me and several weeks later after I lost 20 pounds, I finally got to have his arms wrapped around me, only to kiss him goodbye days later for several more months. Right now we’ve almost made it to ten years of marriage. We’ve been blessed with a miracle daughter, who doesn’t understand when daddy has to go bye bye for a long time on an airpwane. Some days I really don’t know how I can go on another day but then one day at a time, one hour at a time…. one step at a time always gets me through.

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks for adding some of your story, it is very touching!

  136. Vivian Huang November 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Beautifully written and incredibly touching – left me in tears. Though I am not (yet) a wife, I feel a strong connection to this piece, especially with my Marine going through our second deployment. Few have the blessing (and the curse) of understanding the pain and the joys that we go through. Thank you for writing this.

  137. åslaug November 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Beautiful, Ashleigh. So beautiful.
    Thank you for all you do, wives and husbands of military spouses.

  138. nickie hopkins November 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Made me and several other long term military wives cry. Sad thing is this is what a normal military family goes through. Not including those with special needs both physical and mentally. Thank you for this beautiful and touching salutation.

  139. April W Gardner November 13, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Beautiful, touching, and right on target. Fifteen years in and it doesn’t get any easier. But we’re blessed. My husband DOES come home. Perhaps a photo could be added to the wife whose husband didn’t? Those are the truest of heroes.
    Thank you for this tribute. You made me cry. You made me proud to be a military spouse.

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      April, I too had this thought, but I would like to change military wife to, military spouse and family!

  140. Dave Etter November 13, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Very touching, very nicely written – also quite one sided. What about us husbands of military women, who also put their lifes on the line by saying “I will” to Uncle Sam… who get deployed leaving us guys to wipe the tears of our children as they ask where mommy went… who have to share us strong men that they too are strong, if not stronger, facing that enemy with weapons while we men sit at home, dreading the news, facing the enemy within… your prose is beautiful, brought a tear to my eye… but left me standing on the sidelines feeling ignored… I cannot share a cup of cocoa on a couch with you, we would be labeled cheating… yet our spouses know we are home safe. And we wait. And love. And miss. Here’s to you ladies and men who share our spouses with evil. May we always win.

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      I wish you didn’t feel on the sidelines! I agree totally with your post! We had both men and women in our spouses or missing spouses meetings. Military members were also welcome! Those who are home while their spouse is gone.

  141. Rocky November 13, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    And please remember the betrayed spouses of cheating servicemembers. If you know one, call them soon. The current events of this past weekend have been very triggery for them with all the news coverage. Then it is capped with Veterans Day messages of “honorable service.” This special class of spouses could use some extra support about now.

  142. Jason November 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Wonderful pictures, but please don’t forget the women who proudly serve, and the husbands who stay at home with the kids.

  143. kelli @livingingrace November 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    To all of you that keep that home fires burning- Thank You. And Ashleigh and John, love you!

  144. Samantha R November 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for that. That was the sweetest thing I ever read.

  145. Teresa November 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    You have beautifully just covered the last 27 years of my life with my wonderful husband. You brought back memories of wearing his wedding band on the chain around my neck from the day he got on the bus to join the boat, until the day he came off the boat after months at sea. Memories of the 40 little words that we would try to send messages about the kids & encouragement to our husbands, that they sometimes wouldn’t even get until the day that their boat pulled in. Memories… Nowadays, my sailor isn’t on a boat or ship, but at a desk and instead of worrying about him, it is our 2 sons who we worry about and miss during holidays. New memories being built…

  146. suzannah | the smitten word November 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    well, i am a MESS. love you, lady. this is glorious. to you, friend.

  147. Elisha Birchler November 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Cried while I read the whole thing. Described half of my life…

  148. Jeremy Hilton November 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    http://malemilspouse.com/

    For those male military spouses who wonder where you might turn for a little help….probably help the ladies as well.

  149. Ginger November 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    My heart! Oh my heart! What a post. Thank you ladies for all you do.

    Ginger~

  150. Rebekah November 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Thank you for this. I’m a military wife and my husband returned home from his first deployment one month ago. I had tears while reading this!

  151. McKt November 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Thank you. This is just beautiful and those of us impatiently waiting for a late husband to arrive for dinner or back from a business trip away will never truly understand all you give.

  152. Sarah Bessey November 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Weeping here.

  153. Melissa Rivera-Jimenez November 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Thank you, so much, for this beautiful post! This is just what I needed today. I’m a military wife and mother, and my husband is currently serving a year overseas. Everyday brings a new and different adventure. Even though I’ve been doing this for over 8 years, somedays are still just as difficult as the first. I am currently getting ready to make a PCS across the globe with my 3 year old, to meet my husband at our new base .. Scary, I know!! But I believe that God gave us this life because we were strong enough to live it!!! Again, thank you!!

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Thank you for this comment Melissa! It is what my reply would have been.

  154. Casey November 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    I am the military member, the mom, and my husband is the spouse who does all of these things. Thank you for this piece, it brings tears my eyes.

  155. Crystal @ Serving Joyfully November 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Just beautiful! I, too, wrote a tribute to a soldier on my blog, but this is just so moving! Love how you did this with all of the reader photos. Thanks for sharing. I’m among those who is all teared up now

  156. Wendi Lane November 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    My eyes were filled with tears and my heart just swelled as I read this and thought about how much you give so that your husbands can fight and defend the freedom’s we enjoy in this country. Words do not seem even close to expressing how grateful I am for the military men and women and the families that stand behind them!!!

  157. Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian November 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Gorgeous. Thank you!

  158. JennyV November 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Thank you. Thank you today, tomorrow, and all the days ahead and those behind. Thank you and your family for serving a country that all too often feels entitled. Forgive me for not praying as diligently as I could be.

  159. Aprille November 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    you totally captured it all…all the feelings, emotions, everything we go through. Thanks. This is a great post!

  160. Arlene November 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Thank you; I’ll even thank you for the tears you made me shed today as My Airman is far away (and won’t meet his new baby until he returns late in the spring). I know you understand this firsthand, so thanks to YOU, as well. What a beautiful tribute. *hugs*

  161. Gretchen Louise November 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    So, so beautiful. Thank you for everything YOU do in service of our country, friend.

  162. jessica lynn November 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Thank you (and everyone else who contributed) for writing this. My husband is currently deployed, we’re stationed in Italy, and I’m pregnant with our first child. It’s a tough life and some days it’s all you can do to just make it through the day. This was just wonderful and what I needed to read/hear today, and I can’t wait to share it with my friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  163. Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelions November 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Thank you for this – and THANK YOU to all you other beautiful, strong military wives out there!

  164. HopefulLeigh November 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thank you, dear friend.

  165. the Blah Blah Blahger November 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    OOOOOOH, I HAVE CRAZY CHILLS!!! Beautiful post!

  166. Tracy November 12, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Thank you for this precious post. This Air Force wife sends you a hug through tears…you’ve captured reality beautifully. God bless.

  167. Tressa November 12, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Beautiful. Thank you. As a Navy wife I can say that you covered the last 20 years of my life pretty well.

  168. Sarah prox November 12, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Yet again, you have me in tears. Beautifully written and I’m proud to join those ranks, even with all the tears.

  169. Stephanie Baker November 12, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Oh wow, that was sooo beautiful. It brought back sooo many tearfilled memories of sniffing their deodorant, curling up with a dirty sweatstained shirt & sobbing yourself to sleep, of telling people “when they’ll get back” while keeping your fingers crossed, planning your whole day or week around a phone call which may or may not happen, of wearing a pair of their dog tags, putting together silly boxes filled with little bits of home, wandering through the Home Depot plumbing section with tears streaming down your face praying you’ll find someone helpful so you can “fix” it until Monday because there is no one you can call until then, of trying to do the maintenance on the car yourself… thank you Ashley

    • Karin October 1, 2013 at 6:45 am #

      I got through the whole piece without tears, though moved beyond words. Then the tears were there as I read your post. You also write beautifully. I have never experienced what you have, you and the other military wives. I have always been the one leaving, the one who had to ‘meet the mission’, all while worried about the ones I left at home. The husband who had to make sure there were good meals every day, organize child care, sleep alone. And tell my babies – however old they were – that momma didn’t just leave them… She’s doing important work, missing them, and will be home as quick as she can. And those babies… Who also grew up in the military. The only kids in their classes at school who knew the last bell rang at 1400 hours. Who knew what MREs were, had their own dog tags, knew how to salute the flag, and knew – in the way a 4 year old does – what that flag stood for and why they were respectful towards it. They were the ones who grew up before Skype, and email, and smart phones, and went without seeing their mom for months at a time… The only kids in school who had to ask if mom would be home for birthdays or graduations. With all that, and so much more, I value and respect all of you and your families, because I can only guess at how hard it is on your end. Because I know how heart-breakingly hard it was on mine.

      • Stephanie October 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

        Well thank you. I’m very flattered. Sometimes I don’t think it matters which side of deployment a person is on, the fact remains a loved one is missing. It is a grief or tearing open of a wound that is not allowed to heal or proper closure until either the finality of death or the end of the deployment. After time some of the vivid memories lessen or are replaced by new ones. Maybe someday I’ll get around to writing that book a few people have been pestering me to write. I have my chapters laid out & have just gotten lax about writing/ revising my thoughts. :) I could never keep up with a blog like Ashley, that is not for me. You have prodded me on in this endevor. I will have to start making some time in my schedule to write.

        • Christina November 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

          Stephanie, I hope you do write your book!

  170. Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker November 12, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Thank you for showing us what brave looks like. “the brave and proud ones, strong and valiant ones, veterans in your own right.” – yes. We salute you.

  171. Kristen Strong November 12, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Goodness girl, you cover it all. Perfectly. What a gift you surely are to your family, your community, and to all us military wives. Love you!

  172. Addie Zierman November 12, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Yeah. Just cried entirely through this. Beautiful families, beautiful piece.

    • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      We are retired, but I too just cried through all of this!

  173. Chantel November 12, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Crying, crying and crying. Beautiful, brave faces. You ladies are my heroes and I am incredibly proud to know some of you, and to have had the honor of being a part of your lives. <3

  174. John Baker November 12, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Thank You for all of that. Love You!

    • Len February 25, 2013 at 3:36 am #

      This is to you… All of the husbands. We leave our wives to often for reasons we can’t control. When we are home we owe it to our wives to be better and to help pick up the pieces we leave behind.
      As an Apache pilot for the last fifteen years I have been gone to often but when I am home I try to go the extra mile and understand that my wife has had to live through the hard times just like I have.

      • Teddy March 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        That was so sweet. :*)

      • Terri May 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        That’s awesome! Being a flyers wife is hard work, very demanding. It’s amazing for you to notice all the hard work she does and step in when you get home.

      • Becky Merkley September 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

        Amen

      • Linda Smith January 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

        To everyone,

        May God give you strength and peace while you wait. Make sure you take time for yourself ,you are so important in his or her life and their will to stay safe and come home to you. God bless you all Thank you.

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