Sunday, April 19, 2009

Missing the Military

Excuse me while I indulge myself in a little self wallowing.

I miss the military. Like REALLY miss the military. And I know a lot of you will think I'm crazy for even feeling remotely sentimental about the military, but let me tell you, once you're on the outside it's a whole new world, literally. Now, there are some things I don't miss about the military. I don't miss the crazy work schedules or the constant possibility of deployment, the constant hurry up and wait, and we did a lot of that towards the end. But the things I miss far outweigh the bad things in the current moment.

The number one thing I miss the most is the common bond you have with everyone around you. There is nothing that brings a group of people together as friends better than the military. Then if you throw some common religion in there, that bond grows even stronger. I miss having military friends. I read all their blogs and about all their get-togethers and feel so left out. Out here in the "real world" people have families to visit and work to do and just don't seem to care so much about (or need) the close friends that you rely on when you're in the military, when those friends are all you have.

You know what else I miss? Moving. I love going new places and seeing new things. The idea that I may live in the same place for 10 plus years has me a little scared. My itchy traveling feet may not be able to handle it. And buying a house? That's a huge commitment, and the military kept me from having to make it.

The military also made me feel special. When you tell people you are in the military (or in a military family) they think that's really cool and oftentimes they will thank you for your service and make you feel really guilty that all you've really done is spend 4 years in training and not doing a while lot of service. And you can't tell me that it doesn't make you feel super special to get to drive on a military base and just flash your ID to the guards and get to drive right past. Before I was in the military I would drive by the bases and wonder what super secret things go on inside those fences, and when you're in the military you get to be on the other side of the fences. Of course then you learn that nothing too special goes on inside, but those on the outside don't have to know that.

Uniforms. Need I say more? My husband looked soooo good in his uniforms. Khakis and polos just won't be the same.

I miss being taken care of. Regular paycheck? Check. Housing allowance? Check. Food allowance? Check. Medical Insurance? Check. Most of it tax free? Check.

So I guess that's enough self-pity for now. Poor, lonely, unspecial me will now go find something to happy about not being in the military. Maybe.


Cassie and Dave said...

We miss you too! I can't even imagine having anything other than the "military life" at this point, and can definitely see how there would be an adjustment period. I hope you are able to find your place in the "real world'...or you could join the ranks again. :p

Sarah said...

I miss military friends too. We're still in, but we're not close to a base. I miss being in a ward where everyone's in the same boat. We all know what it's like: deployments, crappy housing, training, etc. Being on the outside is like moving away from your hometown. Everything's basically the same, yet everything's completely different.

Emily said...

I know exactly how you feel! I feel the same way about all of the things you mentioned, I miss the feeling of community. How is it that nothing quite compares? Glad we have the blogs to keep up.

The Galan Family said...

I'm glad I read this because we are planning on getting out in 2 years and I know it is going to be a hard adjustment for me. I know I will totally miss the commissary and the military discounts you get everywhere you go. The 30 days/year of leave is pretty cool too. In some ways I know we will feel less trapped because no one can tell has where we have to live or where we have to go, but in some respects, a regular job is going to be just as restrictive. The big thing for me also is the medical coverage. I will definitely have to get used to the co-pays, deductibles, prescription costs, and not having to think twice about going to the emergency room. But I never really thought about losing that common bond with everyone around you. I agree, that will be hard.

Andrea said...

I miss the military too!! Having you live close to me!! Sniff sniff!!

And yes men in uniforms are very nice!!

Des said...

Amanda....DITTO. We don't live anywhere near a base and so because of that we go to civilian doctors and live the civilian life.. But so blessed we are still IN the military and going back to the good ol' days hopefully sooner rather than later. I have found that these few years of getting to live civilian life is NOTHING like I thought. I feel EXACTLY the same way as you. It's a little scary. I think I could have written a post almost word for word. There is nothing that compares to a Military ward. And the way the military makes it simple to make friends is such a luxury you just can't experience until your out in the real world. I would trade my house to live back on crappy base again in a heartbeat. And the moving around is one of the exciting factors. You go right ahead and sulk because I feel your pain. The grass is NOT greener on the other side:(

Chapman Family said...

I am soooo privileged to be a civilian that got a taste of living in the military community. My favorite quote was when I asked how nice everyone in the military is, she responded, "We don't have time to produce friendships. We are just instant friends." I love that. We live kind of like that now, but nothing compared to a large church community on top of that. I hear ya sister!

Emily said...

My sentiments echo those of the other Emily above. :) I miss it SOO much. I guess I'm still apart of it, since I have an ID badge and everything (and medical coverage), but I don't get the community experience. No base living; I don't get to see John in his hot flight suit; don't get to be around all the friends; and no moving anymore. I totally understand. I would SO love to remarry a military man. It's the best!