You're a milspouse? So am I!

Have you ever noticed that when you meet another milspouse, particularly if you've gone without the company of other milspouses for awhile, that you trade much more data about each other in a speeded up "getting to know each other" phase so that you can move on to the "friendship" phase than is probably normal for most people?Youget the 411 on their military life quickly: where they've lived,do they have kids, how many, how long have they lived here, when will they be moving. It's a bit like speed dating, only looking for friends. Okay, maybe it's just me.

So, here I am. And you probably want to know a little about me.

I've been married to my Marine for 11 years now. Ours is a mixed marriage: I grew up as an Army brat. My husband had already been in for 6 years when I married him, so I've alwaysfelt a little like I was playing catch-up on the learning curve compared tospouses who had been with their service member from the start of their careers.

In our 11 years of marriage, we've had 9 addresses, PCS'ed 6 times, gone through 3 deployments (2 to a war zone), had 2 children and 1 miscarriage. We've lived on the East Coast, the West Coast and in the Far East. We've lived on Marine bases, Army posts, a Host country military base, and now we areliving in Civilian World with no base of any kind anywhere nearby.

In the past, I have volunteered with Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, L.I.N.K.S., the CREDO office,the Base Legal Assistance office, and as a Key Volunteer.

My husband's deployments have always been impeccably timed. The first time he deployed to the Middle East, it was onlyfor a monthto take part ina planned training exercise, but it was less than a month after 9/11. And he missed our oldest child's first birthday. The second time he deployed to the Middle East was in early 2003. We did that deployment old-school: snail mail was ourform of communication and letters took about a month to arrive. We were able to talk on the phone only once. The third deployment was much better in terms of communication: we had email, phone calls, even video teleconferences. But it was a year long! And he deployed only a month after we moved into our new home after moving from overseas.

Despite some of the rough times, this life is an adventure. One I wouldn't have missed for anything. After all, how many people can boast that their children once had their own gas masks?

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my experiences andobservations with all of you. I'm incredibly honored to join the wonderful authors and commenters here on SpouseBuzz. Thanks for having me!

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