You Know You're a Military Spouse When ...

Life as a military wife (or husband) can be the most frustrating, surprising, crazy, funny, delightful, hair-raising-roller-coaster ride you never knew you wanted to take. Sometimes it can be pretty heavy, depressing, and downright scary, too.

So, in honor of what we live through each day, here’s a list (with a little twist) of things that affirms we’re military—there’s some old, new, strange and different.

You know you’re a military wife (or husband) when …

You fall asleep (cell phone in hand) waiting for that 2:00 a.m. call, while your list of things you don’t want to forget sits patiently on the nightstand.

“Brat” is actually a term of endearment.

“Homecoming” takes on a whole different meaning once you actually get home and nightfall arrives.

LES, BAH, PCS, TDY and BX are everyday acronyms even your kids know by heart.

“Roger that,” “On point,” and “You’re tracking that, right?” is code for yes and okay.

“Back blast area clear,” “it’s not authorized,” and “proud dirty leg” make up your Thesaurus of terms.

Come post-deployment, you “lose friends”.

Almost everyone on your block or in your apartment building works for the same employer.

“The Unit” is more than just a cancelled television show – it’s your reality.

When applying for a new job, the reason you left your last four positions is identical.

The closest thing to job security is knowing in 2-3 years you’ll be working on moving again.

The first color your kids learn is green.

Your toddler says “Yes sir,” and “No ma’am” before he says "dada."

When you know more about the county’s school administration policy than the superintendent.

Your servicemember in his (or her) dress uniform makes your knees buckle and heart skip a beat ... every time.

The beginning of your honeymoon signals when he leaves for Basic.

When “on-base” doesn’t refer to a baseball game.

Another spouse loses her mind and forgets her husband’s rank is actually on his chest and not her's.

“Hurry up and wait” is a perpetual state of mind.

The clerk asks for certified copies of your children’s birth certificates because they “look strange.”

You know a servicemember in civilian clothes just by his haircut and stance.

You only get 10-minutes from a 30-minute phone card because too late you realize it say domestic calls only.

You can’t confirm attendance at the family reunion because the block leave schedule isn’t out yet.

All of your spouse’s friend’s stories begin with, “There I was …”

PDA is not authorized while your husband is in work clothes.

The phase “the only constant in life is change” explains the last decade of your life.

When the teacher complains that your preschooler doesn’t know the alphabet and inquires who (or what) is Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Echo and Delta.

The area code for your cell phone is 510, your wife's is 253, your iPad’s phone number is 619, your fax number is 254, your business card still says 860, but your Facebook wall says you live in Virginia.

You have an epic, bats-balls-crazy meltdown with your cell phone carrier because somehow your deployed spouse’s voicemails are missing.

You know if a soldier has ever deployed,  which brigade he belongs to, and what schools he’s attended just by looking at his uniform … in under 2 minutes—and with a precursory glance.

You’re not on a first name basis with any of your husband’s friends and that’s cool.

Half of your clothes have fuzz-balls mania all over from constantly sticking to Velcro.

Your spouse is on vacation but still rises at 5:00 a.m.

You’re a happily married single-parent and your biggest baby-daddy drama is when daddy TDY’s and the toddlers do the “stop, drop, and roll” i.e. flip the hell out.

Your spouse’s “I love me book” isn’t narcissistic, just job-related (with her military history).

You kids eating dinner in five minutes flat is normal.

All his t-shirts have strange number combinations printed on them—82ND, 101st , 509th, 3-2 SBCT, 75th .

Your kids first learn directions base on the numbers on a clock -- the mall’s at 12:00 o’clock, the toy is at 3:00 o’clock, check that out at 6:00 o’clock.


What about you, can you add any new and unique items to this list? Think outside the box for a minute—you’ll be surprised at what you come up with.

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