This is a letter that was printed in the WSJ (Wall St Journal). I have it on my desk in my office...it was motivation to me when Bullet was in harm's way.
AFA2013 share this with her.
I have a great life. I have a wife I adore, a son who is a lazy teenager but I adore him, too. We live in a house with two dogs and four cats. We live in peace. We can worship as we please. We can say what we want. We can walk the streets in safety. We can vote. We can work wherever we want and buy whatever we want. When we sleep, we sleep in peace. When we wake up, it is to the sounds of birds.
All of this, every bit of it, is thanks to your husband, his brave fellow soldiers, and to the wives who keep the home fires burning while the soldiers are away protecting my family and 140 million other families. They protect Republicans and Democrats, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. They protect white, black, yellow, brown and everyone in between. They protect gays and straights, rich and poor.
And none of it could happen without the Army wives, Marine wives, Navy wives, Air Force wives--or husbands--who go to sleep tired and lonely, wake up tired and lonely, and go through the day with a smile on their faces. They feed the kids, put up with the teenagers' surliness, the bills that never stop piling up, the desperate hours when the plumbing breaks and there is no husband to fix it, and the even more desperate hours after the kids have gone to bed, the dishes have been done, the bills have been paid, and the wives realize that they will be sleeping alone--again, for the 300th night in a row.
The wives keep up the fight even when they have to move every couple of years, even when their checks are late, even when they have to make a whole new set of friends every time they move.
And they keep up the fight to keep the family whole even when they feel a lump of dread every time they turn on the news, every time they switch on the computer, every time the phone rings and every time--worst of all--the doorbell rings. Every one of those events--which might mean a baseball score or a weather forecast or a FedEx man to me and my wife--might mean the news that the man they love, the man they have married for better or worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, is now parted from them forever.
These women will never be on the cover of People. They will never be on the tabloid shows on TV about movie stars. But they are the power and the strength that keep America going.
Without them, we are nothing at all. With them, we can do everything.
They are the glue that holds the nation together, stronger than politicians, stronger than talking heads, stronger than al Qaeda.
They deserve all the honor and love a nation can give. They have my prayers, and my wife's, every morning and every night.
Love, and I do mean Love, Ben.
I could have posted the Military wife poem, but I like this one more. It is true to the core what a military spouse is.
Side note, my Dad wanted to be in the AF, my Mom didn't want to leave our hometown, 20 yrs of marriage later and he left her, he never forgave her for not letting him follow his dream. He even tried to push me into the AF to be a pilot, when I married Bullet he was the happiest man in the world.
CC I do agree let it run its course. If it ends, it ends, there will be tears and fears. Take it from us old people, there is a great love song out there for the break-up by Garth Brooks. It is called "Unanswered Prayers"...you might pray for G*d to fix it, but if he doesn't it b/c it wasn't right.
Don't read into it that I believe you won't make it, my worry for you is if she doesn't want to pull up roots, she won't understand why the AFA is sending you away all summer. You need to have a real conversation and say, when I become AD do you realize that I'll be gone or unavailable to help you when you get a flat tire or go to the OB appts. Ask if she is okay not going home for XMas when you live in Germany, Korea or Alaska (O-1's don't make enough money to fly home at a whim).
Here are a couple of my real life scenarios and see how she feels.
1. Our wedding date was determined by when he could have leave
2. 9 mos. pregnant with DS 1 Bullet's crew mate goes down and dies leaving behind a 6 week old child in England. Cliff Massengill is buried at the AFA. To see a missing man formation is something that you will never forget, @19 yrs later I can tell you what I was wearing and still feel the winter breeze on my cheek, yet I wish I never had to see it, plus the 3 others that I watched.
3. Bullet goes TDY for 23 days to Vegas as I am left behind with his parents in another country and a 10 day old newborn
4. Bullet leaves for Gulf 1 with us having a 6 mo old in a foreign country
5. Bullet was in an airplane jumping into Haiti while we had a 4 mo old
6. Bullet missed our eldest 1st communion b/c he was deployed for 4 mos to Korea, during which time I hurt myself and was on Valium for 10 days in AK (we are from NJ) no family members could get to me due to cost, but the AF family took care of me and the kids
7. Bullet spent 15 mos going to night classes 3x a week for his Masters while I stayed at hom with 3 children under the age of 5.
8. I had to put down the family pet because he was in Iraq.
9. My father was diagnosed with Adult Leukemia while I lived overseas and couldn't get back to him for weeks.
10. He spent 10 days in Oklahoma golfing as I spent 10 days cleaning up from the eye of a hurricane, he was scheduled to leave for a 120+/- day tour to Kosovo 1 week later.
These are just a few things that I endured as a spouse, but they do happen you are young and can't fathom them, but trust me you will endure at least 50-75% of them. We had a friend who left after 10 yrs, because he realized he had already missed 50% of his childs life and didn't want to miss more. At SJAFB currently you will do at least 2 rotations in the sandbox, you will also most likely do a remote (1 yr away from home)...if this is a problem now it always will be.
Don't give up on the relationship, but if you want to be viewed as an adult relationship than you need to have the bad juju conversation and see if you are both on the same road. If she asks do you mean I won't be home for T-Day or Xmas or birthdays, state yes, b/c we might not be able to for finances or leave. In our career of 20 yrs, I think we made it home for X-Mas @6 times, never was home for T-Day unless TDY en-route.
It is a great life, but your family will be her and your kids, not the folks. BTW for the birth of all of my kids we had no blood family with us, only our AF family