So much has happened in the last few weeks. Aaron changed out of command, the movers came and packed up all of our stuff, and I had to turn in Betty to be shipped. :-/ Sure am going to miss going 110 mph on the autobahn lol. All of this plus more has brought up so many emotions and situations to deal with. One that has been on my mind lately is “spouse rank.” Yes, I know this is a touchy subject and no spouses’ don’t have rank.
Let me back track a bit. From what I have learned from being a military spouse, there are two types of military members. There are the lifers. These military members are in it for the long haul. This is their lifestyle, their career. They live, breathe, and die military. Then you have the ones who joined to get out of a crappy town or need to get their college paid for or just wanted to try something new. I tried to join the military. For the second reason. I needed to get out of the situation I was in and my buddy was really convincing lol Unfortunately, I have scoliosis and it’s very noticeable. Not something I can just pretend doesn’t exist lol. So, they told me “No soup for you!” lol And now being married to a soldier there is no way in hell my back would support a ruck sack. I’m getting off track. Anyways, so you have two types of military member, therefore you have two types of military spouse. Aaron and I are lifers. We eat, breathe, die army.
When I met Aaron he was already a soldier. It was kinda a take or leave it type thing. I came into this marriage knowing that this was his career and this wasn’t just a job he’d quit in a few years. I think my outlook and passion for the army is different from a spouse who is not a lifer. I’m not saying either outlook/way is better than the other, it’s just different.
Now, back to the whole rank thing. I try very hard not to wear my husband’s rank. He is the one who earned it. He signed the dotted line. No me. But what do we as spouses’ earn? There must be something. At every duty station I have been involved. I volunteer in the FRG’s, I participate in spouses’ clubs, so on and so forth. I try to be the best little army wife I can. It’s my lifestyle. Why wouldn’t I? So, back to my question, what do we earn? We as spouses’ earn respect, experience, memories, friendships that will last a lifetime! There is sort of an unwritten rank system for spouses’, but I think it’s more based on experience and what we have done as a military spouse than what rank your soldier is. As a younger army wife I still have so much to learn about this lifestyle and all of it’s ups and downs. Sure I’ve been doing this for six years already but with each move, each new unit, I always seem to learn something new. I have that desire to learn and be mentored from my “senior spouses.” Something that I sure didn’t get at this duty station.
I think it all boils down to the saying “respect is earned not given.” You have to earn your respect (rank if you want to call it that). It can’t simply be given to you because of who your soldier is or what his rank is. I’ll end with this just so I don’t write a book, but what have you done to help your military community and be a good little army wife and earn that respect you think you’re entitled to because of who your soldier is? Some of the best and most respected army wives I know are those of junior enlisted soldiers or NCO spouses.
And because a post is always better with an image, here is a shot from our 4th of July celebration here in Heidelberg. It was bittersweet to have our first and last holiday with the company be the 4th of July.