Our time as an active duty military family is quickly coming to an end. As we draw closer and closer I find myself reflecting on some of the things I look forward to...and some of the things I'll miss...
I will miss:
- The community. Sure, the military community can get a bit of a bad rep. They say wives are all cheaters. Or filled with drama- be it wearing their husband's rank or a sense of entitlement. And perhaps some of those stereotypes do exist within the community, but that has not been my experience. Through the military, I have been introduced to some amazing individuals who I now call my friends. They are some of the strongest, funniest and most sincere people in the world. But it's not just the friends, but the feeling of community on base as well. Sure, mandatory family fun wasn't ALWAYS fun...but sometimes it was. I have always enjoyed unit holiday parties and the way they sought to make those times special for our families.
- A steady payday. Military pay not be anything to write home about (though it's not too shabby either), but it was steady. I always knew when my husband would be getting paid and how much, without exception. I know a steady pay will come soon enough, but right now where that pay will be coming from is up in the air...and that's scary!
- Base living. Okay, there may be some downfalls to living on base...but there are some great benefits as well. Like knowing our BAH would always cover our 'rent' and utilities. This thought is particularly true when I think of the $400+ heating bill the winters in our current home bring...yikes!
- Military discounts. Okay, I know that that's kinda silly, but it's true! I love a deal wherever I can find one, and military discounts are pretty great for that! From my favorite thrift stores to favorite restaurants, I will certainly miss that extra little bit off... and the free theme park admissions? Yes, I'll miss those too.
- The opportunities. Despite the negative that can go along with military living, we are given many great opportunities as well. My son has had many fabulous adventures because of the military, and I regret that my little girl won't get those same experiences.
- Seeing my husband in uniform. Well, that just about says it all, doesn't it?
I won't miss:
- Deployments, training, time apart. Perhaps the greatest thing about my husband getting out is no more deployments! As much as I wish Finley could experience some of the things her brother was able to, this is one area I'm happy she will never know.
- Base living. Yes, this one made both lists...while there are things I WILL miss about base housing, there are some I won't as well...like sharing walls with my neighbors or not having my own mailbox. There is something truly wonderful about having an actual mailbox in front of my actual house.
- Renting. One of the things we are most looking forward to is putting down some roots and buying our own home! Over the last nearly 8 years, we have thrown away so much money towards rent...with nothing really to show for it...we cannot wait to put that money towards a place of our own. A place we can do with as we like! So exciting!
- Missing Weddings...and Funerals...and other big events. Another big downfalls of the military is that we often live far from family and cannot be there for these events as much as we would like. Now that we will be staying close, we can be there much more often.
These are just a few of the many things I will and won't miss. Military life is certainly not an easy one, but its one that we have gotten used to and come to love. While we look forward to the new adventures to come, it's hard to leave the life we know behind.