Salute to Spouses Blog

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Military family: The ties that bind and support

My husband retired from the Army five full years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago.

Five years without ceremonies, packing, early morning PT or deployment - five years without uniforms to clean or friends to say farewell to as they moved on to their next duty station.

We’ve settled quietly into civilian life, in a tiny town with a routine schedule that we once envied during our busiest PCS.

Our military life seemed gone, though I often longed for it while I sat in carline at the same school now, for five long years. After three years I felt the itch to begin packing and looking at maps and felt anxious, as if I was missing … something. By four years I was longing to get the heck out of here. At five years the routine has settled in and so have we. I now dread the idea of moving again.

Our military life, our military friends seem so far away. This week I was jarred from nostalgia and reminded of just how tight knit and wonderful our military community is.

My teenage son is traveling to two scout camps, 1,000 miles apart. The travel day from one and to the other falls on the same day, meaning my son will miss a bus and has to find his own way between Indiana and Florida.

That was the easy part, we could fly him without an issue. Getting him between the camp and the airport on one end and between the airport and the bus traveling through Florida was the sticking point.

Our military family rescued us. One retired friend in Indiana, now a state trooper, happily offered to pick our son up during his rounds, an hour out of his way, and drop him at the airport. His badge will easily get him through security to help our son make sure there are no travel issues.

On the other end, my husband’s former commander, and close friend, was delighted to pick up our son and not just play catch up with the traveling bus but also have time to discuss our son’s upcoming Eagle project him. The former military commander is also an Eagle Scout and spends as much time as he can helping other scouts achieve that goal.

Just when I felt at a loss our military family was there to support us, even at 1,000 miles away in two different directions. And after five years, though our military life feels a lifetime away, it is very much a part of us. The friends we made there were truly friends for life.

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