There are a lot of times where the stress of military life gets to me. Times when I wish I was with my friends, times when I miss my family, times when I wish we had beaches here like we do back home, times when I wish we had a better house, times when I wish we could just go back home. In all this stress it's easy to think poorly of the military lifestyle and to wish we were out of it. But then, every once in awhile, I get reminded of what makes this lifestyle kind of amazing...the Air Force family. The Air Force has thousands and thousands of people working for it or married to it, all over the world. Yet, we're all connected no matter where we are stationed.
Last night my neighbors and I went to look at some stuff on the curb that a man PCSing had put out for people to take. I ended up with a nice bookshelf and a reminder that only in the military life can you just take something from someone's front yard and walk home with it without anyone raising an eyebrow. After getting that bookshelf, I ended up spending a couple hours at my neighbor's house hanging out with them and another friend. We had a lot of laughs, and some snacks as well, and it was relaxing and fun.
Then today I went to lunch with a group of officer wives. Most of them were old enough to be my mom, yet we were all equal. No one looked down at me for being "so young" or for having a husband a few ranks below theirs. We just enjoyed food and company and talked about Air Force life and things that only a military spouse could understand.
Both last night and tonight reminded me how truly blessed I am to have the Air Force network. Someone once told me that being in the military requires you leave your family back home but it gives you a new family, a network you would have never known otherwise. And, in that network, you develop some of the strongest bonds of your life because all you have is each other to rely on and to get through everything together. I never fully understood what that person meant back then. Now? I completely do.