Saturday, April 30, 2011

Service Before Self

The Air Force has three core values: Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do.  While these core values refer to the Airmen within the Air Force, they can apply to the spouses as well.  When I made the decision to say yes to F's proposal, I was also saying yes to the Air Force.  When we walked out of the church on our wedding day, we walked through sabers and I was told "welcome to the Air Force, ma'am" for, truly, I had not only married F but I had married the United States Air Force as well.  Often, the Air Force asks me to put it before my own wants, needs and desires.  Often I have to put my service as a military spouse before my self.  This isn't always the easiest thing to do.
Since starting this journey with F, I've had to sacrifice quite a bit.  I had to give up my dream of living near my family for the rest of my life, I had to give up job opportunities that I loved and would never see again, I had to give up being surrounded by everything I've always known.  I sacrificed and went on a journey to a place I didn't know, without friends and family nearby for support, and without any type of job offer in over a year.  I gave up a lot for the Air Force, I put service before self.
But that's not to say that I haven't gained anything either.  I gained an international family to be there for me when my own family is too far away, I gained friends from all over the world who truly understand what being a military spouse is all about, I gained experiences with new places and new cultures that I would have never known if I had lived my whole life in one place and, most importantly, I gained a husband who truly appreciates all that I have given up for him.  Really, while the military life can be very hard, it can have so many rewards.  And, when the going gets tough, I just remember those rewards and, suddenly, I feel strong and I remember that "service before self" is my core value too.  And the service of being a military wife is an honor that, more often than not, I am proud to have.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Sappy Flashback Friday

I'm feeling nostalgic and sappy today so today's flashback is a few wedding photos seeing I realized I've never posted any in here. Seeing this whole blog is about my life as a military wife, I figured pictures of that special day were needed. I also want to wish everyone a very blessed and happy Easter. :) Happy Easter!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Year Ago Today

April 13, 2010.  That was the day our journey began.  That was the day that F commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  I still remember walking out of my hotel room into the sweltering Alabama heat, in my brand new dress that I had bought for the occasion.  My stomach was in knots.  I was really proud of F for accomplishing such a huge thing, but I was nervous about the future, knowing this was the first step of our military journey.  We all met up and made our way to the theater; me, F, his parents, his sister, and his godparents.  He had to leave us as we took our seats.  The ceremony was relatively short but I still can't put into words the overwhelming pride I felt.  That was my fiancĂ© up there, taking the Oath.
This was really it.  All that time apart came down to this moment, when his journey as active duty would begin.  I remember being called up with his parents to pin on his rank.  My hands were shaking as I pinned that little gold bar on his right shoulder.  Sure he made fun of me for it, but I couldn't put into words the way I was feeling and that I was shaking because I was overwhelmed with pride and with a slight twinge of nervousness as I knew this meant we were just weeks away from leaving our life in Michigan and starting a new 20 year journey, just the two of us.
One year later, here we are at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.  A lot has changed since that morning in Alabama.  For starters, we're no longer Mr. B. and Miss N. but, instead, Lt. B and Mrs. B.  My views on military life have changed tremendously.  And that gold bar is only one year away from becoming silver.  Sure, things have changed since the day F commissioned but I will never forget the pride of pinning on his rank and watching him do drill knowing that that was my man and this was the start of our journey together.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Flashback Friday!

The very first picture of F and I as a couple. We look so young!!