A few months before Kevin proposed, he left for boot camp in the US Navy. I never thought I'd be a military wife. I didn't think I could handle it, and I didn't even want to "have" to handle it. But I loved him, and he wanted to join. His first real duty station was in Japan. We were not married yet, so I wasn't sponsored to go with him. Even after we got married, I wasn't sponsored, since we weren't married when he was first stationed there.
It was pretty rough. He went out at sea a lot (on the Kitty Hawk), which meant little to no communications at times. He was in Japan for a total of 3 years. We got to spend Christmas' together and I went back with him to Japan one time, for 4 months. We had to pay for everything out of pocket, or else I would have stayed longer. It was rough, having to live the military life. We truly didn't get to experience the normal "married life", until he was stationed to South Carolina in 2007.
I was able to move with him that time, though we were only there for 3 months before he had to leave on deployment again (this time on the USS Enterprise). I found out a month before he left that I was pregnant with our first baby. We had been trying, so everyone was very excited. I knew that they were going to be going out on deployment, and I was "prepared" to go through this pregnancy alone, since all of my family lived in Texas. Kevin was gone for 5.5 months, and got home just in time for Christmas again.
Our daughter was born this February and Kevin was there for the birth, so it worked out pretty great for us. That ended up being his last deployment and last time being on a US carrier. This summer, he got out of the Navy and we are loving the civilian life. Military life has some perks, but it just wasn't for us anymore. We had a family and he had served his time. It was time to move on to bigger and better things.
In the 5 years that Kevin was active duty, we had only been physically together for 17 months in all. 7 of those were this year before he got out.
I support our troops and I support the ones who serve by waiting - the military wives and families.
(I have some military products in my shop, if anyone is interested).