Dear Brand-Spankin’ New Military Spouse,
Congratulations on your marriage! It’s awesome that you’ve found someone special to share your life with.
Put aside the crazy military for a moment and relish in this beautiful day that will forever be your anniversary. Even if it’s just for a couple hours, celebrate your nuptials.
My husband and I had a week before he shipped off for an unaccompanied tour. Be together before the madness begins (i.e., getting entered into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and beyond).
Hopefully your spouse has all the right information to get you squared away in DEERS, which really is the first stop for newlywed military couples. They have all the right forms and info you need to make sure you receive all your benefits.
What DEERS doesn’t do for you is give you a manual or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for military life.
Luckily, you have an fantastic support system with other military spouses. Seriously, I hope you take advantage of all the wonderful people that are willing to help you in any way.
In addition, there are a lot of great resources available on-base that can assist you with navigating through military life like Army Community Service (ACS), Operation Homefront, among others. Please, please, please take advantage of anything and everything around you!
With that said, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly or obvious the answer can be. It’s better to be safe than sorry! You’ll learn things as you go because you’ll realize that the military constantly changes and evolves.
Realize that nothing is set in stone. That drives this particular military spouse nuts. I’m a huge planner, so when orders took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to come after my husband’s tour in Korea, I was practically bouncing off the walls.
Orders were supposed to take us to Fort Hood, but SURPRISE(!) we got stationed in the D.C.-area instead.
Be sure you’re prepared for the unexpected, which really is difficult, but try your damnedest.
And take everything with a grain of salt because you might not be able to fully prepare for the unexpected. Deep breaths help me loads.
Also, know that you are NEVER alone, despite the military taking away your significant other from time to time. Deployments or any other types of separation isn’t fun. Use that time for yourself. I know it’s easy to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, everything will be OK. No matter what.
So, I want to take the time to congratulate you two again – and have fun and enjoy life wherever the military sends you!
With much love,
This Relatively New Military Spouse