Ten years ago, I watched my future husband and his OTS classmates fling their hats into the air on a hot, sunny day in Montgomery, Alabama. We had dated all of five months before the day he graduated from college and drove south. That summer of Officer Training School was our first separation, and enduring it felt worthy of a celebration. We packed up his old Camry (as in, no working A/C old) and hit the highway to New Orleans.
A couple days later, we pulled up to my newly leased studio apartment in Austin, Texas. I made Fake McMuffins for breakfast the next morning before he drove to San Antonio in his Air Force “blues” to report in for his first assignment. I settled in for grad school, he settled in for nav school, and we saw each other on the weekends.
We were young; he just learning what it was like to have a real job and real money, me just relishing in my personal bliss of grad school. We got engaged. We graduated. We moved to Omaha, Nebraska.
We bought a house. I got my first REAL real job. We got married. We honeymooned in France. We adopted a dog.
Then he deployed for the first time. Then he deployed again. (And again. And again… you get the picture.)
He finished more training. He finished an MBA. I worked and volunteered and got involved in the Jewish community.
And he was gone again and again.
Then we had a baby. Then we moved to England. He deployed again, went to conferences again, deployed again… see a pattern? Then we had another baby.
Now here we are, ten years later, many achievements and awards and days apart later, halfway to the twenty year requirement for retirement. It hasn’t gotten any easier, and it won’t. I often remind myself that people take business trips with civilian jobs. That life on the outside doesn’t mean my husband will be home for dinner every night. That he’ll never miss a game or recital. And so here’s to the next 10 going as quickly as the first.