The very first blog entry I will write will discuss the consequences of what it means to be dual military. Dual military, as the name implies, is simply when both members of a spousal unit are employed by the military in some fashion. Some families can make it work so that both of the members can live their dreams and others choose alternative options in order to withstand the storm.
I first met my husband in my new Army Reserve unit when I transferred down to West Palm Beach, FL. He was funny and someone that I felt I could trust and we ended up falling in love and marrying. He is my rock, and quite simply my best friend. We soon became aware of a very real issue concerning our military careers however when the unit that we were a part of was activated and informed of a 400 day deployment.
I was currently pregnant with our second child who we discovered would be born with special needs and so we scrambled to find someone in our family who was capable of taking care of two little children and one with special needs. Babies change everything. Our search came to no avail however and we were forced to make a decision. One of us would have to get out on a family care plan separation discharge.
There were several factors that needed to be weighed:
- Who had the patience and perseverance to take care of the children alone for a year plus?
- Who could obtain a civilian job that paid as much as a military career?
- Who would benefit more from a deployment?
My husband and I discussed our options and we came to the same conclusion that thousands, nay millions, of military families have come to for years since antiquity. As the wife…I would separate from the institution that I adore in order to care for the children that I love more. This has been a strange transition though; and some days are better then others when the emotions take their tolls.
Navigating our Dual Military relationship in the Reserves had been trying at times but we made it work for the first two years of our courtship and marriage. We could not make it work for a deployment though and it is something that I regret. I still hope that one day I will be able to rejoin the military and finish the service to my country that I started as an excited nineteen year old.