I figured out a long time ago that I’m not a very good school student. If I’m not challenged and actually taught, I lose interest fairly easily. So when I entered into my Senior year of High School, at my “college prep” HS, I quickly realized things were probably going to go downhill. I had no real interest to go to college, which is problematic at the type of school I was attending. But I also had no idea what I wanted to do in place of college. I just kind of wanted to… be. And so I did. I bounced around a lot after graduating. Working odd jobs and varying between apartments and couch surfing. It wasn’t a complete waste of time, I had a lot of ups and downs, but eventually I had that faint feeling of want. I wanted to do a lot more with my life. Still not to the point I felt comfortable going to college, but I felt a calling. It landed me in the recruiters office for the United States Marine Corps. My family was on board for the most part, wary, but on board. While waiting for two waivers I needed in order to join, we found out I was pregnant.
Flash forward through five years of happy motherhood and homemaking, I am feeling confident. My husband and I casually talked over breakfast one day that I try joining the military again. We have a pretty good plan for the future as is, but none of my side of things is planned out. My husband has a career path set for the next… forever, and me? I’m just the retail-working Mom. Which isn’t good enough for me. Don’t misinterpret that, being a Wife and Mom absolutely take precedence over anything else in my life, and I have so much fun doing it. They are the foremost things in my heart and mind. BUT I still feel like I’m not achieving my full potential in life. And there it is again, the call. So after our brief talk, life started to get a little blurry again. The military thought was in my mind constantly, and finally my husband and I had a serious discussion about it. We talked about branches, options, the difficulty of being a dual military family, and still we felt excited and comfortable with the idea. We settled on the Navy, as I do want to end up in the medical field, and feel they work best with that, and the Marine Corps way of life we already lead.
So here I am, in the midst of another try at joining the military, this time with an amazingly supportive husband, and son to think about. Now before you get judge-y or concerned about the motherhood aspect of my life, know this: Our son has always, and WILL always be the light of our lives. He will ALWAYS come first. I understand that joining the military requires almost all of my time and focus, but in the long run, we both feel very sound with our decisions and the effects they may or may not have on him. The assumption that you can be a mother and wife OR in the military is ridiculous. I am multifaceted. I am capable of loving and caring for my son, and being an example to him that you CAN achieve your goals in life and care for the people you love at the same time. My being a wife and mother does not prevent my dreams, it fulfills them, and it encourages me to take on others. I won’t lie and say I am not a little worried about how he will handle Mommy not always being around, it would be silly not to be worried. But the relationship my husband and son have is stellar. If I had any inkling that our son did not come first in this decision, I wouldn’t be moving forward with it. I am so confident he will be loved and taken care of, that I feel amazing blessed and lucky to be able to try my hand at this path I am embarking on.
My marriage is probably the strongest it’s been to date. The excitement my husband has for my future plans, and the support he’s already shown make me love him more and more every day. We are not your average couple. Not by a long shot. We’re not even your average military couple. We are who we are, and right now, we’re damn amazing. You’ll notice I didn’t say perfect anywhere in there. We have our faults, and we know there will be challenges, but we’re ready to tackle them together as they come. I have no doubts in us, and that’s all that matters. I do not care what anyone else thinks about how a dual military relationship may work. Your misconceptions have no affect on how much we love each other, support each other, or rely on each other. We’re in this together, 110%, and will deal with the ups and downs like any other couple, just with a little more military influence. In other words, we’re super, super, moto, haha.
I have already spoken once with the recruiter here, briefly, about wanting to join the Navy as a Corpsman. The way the recruitment for the Navy goes is a lot different than the Marines, so we’re rolling with the information as we receive it. It is VERY difficult to become a female Corpsman right off the bat (lots of competition, the ladies alll want to be Navy Corpsmen). There’s still a chance I could qualify for it and there be an opening, after the ASVAB and MEPS, but we did have to discuss other options. I still have to take the test and go through the medical process, so right now, that’s where I’m at. I have a few other career plans in mind for the Navy, and will deal with that when the time comes. But for right now, I will need prayers for wisdom and guidance through this process. I am extremely excited and hopeful I make it into the Navy, but we also have a B Plan, should it not happen. My family has not taken it very well, though I am trying to come to terms with the fact that’s it’s because they love my son so much. They support me and love me, just not this decision. It’s been very hard for me to accept that, but it does not in anyway deter me from my dreams of supporting my nation, my family, and myself.
I know not all of my friends & family will understand this decision. I’m okay with that. I am doing what I feel I need to do, what I want to do, and my husband supports me. That’s all I need. Would it be nice to have some support through this process? Absolutely. But I want to make it clear that I don’t require the approval of anyone but my husband and son. We have an unconditional love, probably more than most, and we will go at this head on and hope for the best. We are making this decision together, we are informed and educated on almost all aspects of being dual military. We do not take this lightly.
So here’s to joining the Navy and being the person I knew I should be, 6 years ago. The fire has not gone out I assure you. If anything, my husband and son have fueled the flame, and no matter the outcome, will be there for me through the entire process. I hope I’ve made you understand a little bit of what I am going through, and you can comprehend that my love for my husband & son come first, but the military service and support for my nation are a focus we share. We are a military family already, we have the strength and perseverance to overcome and enjoy the dual military family title as well.
I’m going back to the recruiter today, updates will follow as things move forward.
Here goes…. everything.