Again here I find myself sans husband…again

So yes let me say this before any one rags on me…I am just writing to say my feelings…yes I am glad my husband is home, yes I am glad he is a safe, but I am sad that again for another year we are living apart. This time it is more me or what I want. So we are on the downslide of his career, and for 11 years I gave up my career or rather the beginning of a career. You see before I married my soldier I was 1 semester away from graduation, had gotten accepted into graduate school at GW in DC, this was when I was 21. During my 21st year I had broken up with my high school sweetheart, and was devastated that my entire life of high school and almost college I was with this one guy, and it just didn’t work out. So when I met my husband, I fell so head over heels in love with the idea of being married, and a military spouse that I was like, ehh I’ll just go with the flow. So after being newly married I didn’t want to live apart, I wanted to live with my husband. HA! So a month after being married my mom helped me pack up my apartment in Greensboro and we moved to Hinesville GA. This was the beginning of my military wife life. HA my in-doctrine to the military life as I knew it now. I KNEW nothing of the Army, just from the movies I watched in high school, “Anchor’s Away, South Pacific” to name a few. WHO was I KIDDING! I really was out there, I thought it was all glamorous! HA I just sit back and laugh at my naive thinking.

Ok I digress…I was given this opportunity last October to take this job in DC, and well I just couldn’t turn it down, this was the second time in my life that DC came knocking on my door, and might I add, this is a great job too. I really like the people who I meet at work. Now before my hubby left for Korea it was understood that he could choose his next duty station, well it doesn’t work that way now, and he is back at his previous duty station, and now here we are starting our next chapter in this book of life, and it has been very difficult. I do pray about it daily and I do thank GOD for waking me up, and letting me be with my children, but I do worry about us living separate lives. A military marriage always has something nagging it, field trainings, military schools, deployments, long hours at work, something that makes it harder than a civilian marriage. Our marriage is not like my co-workers, who see their spouses every morning and every night, who get home at a normal hour, it takes constant work. Again most of my military spouses understand that communication is sometimes missing, or not there, but you “milie” on because you know that one day your lives will be normal once again. I would like to say that I was married before 9-11 and it was like this the entire time before the wars started. My husband would be home 1 week out of the month, the rest of the time he was out in the field training, then it was NTC rotations or JRTC rotations…so I am used to it..I guess, but it is still hard…

Tips for Savings around the holidays

Here are some ways you can save while you are on a TDY/PCS/Deployment, my husband and I used these techniques and the last deployment we saved pretty good. It is always good to save because you never know when you will have an emergency. The rule is trying to save at least 3 months’ worth of salary.  
The first savings I recommend is automobile insurance. We had three cars on my husband’s last deployment, so what I did was I called USAA, and asked them to change my coverage to where no one was driving it and it was parked in the garage. It was simple, I called them up and they actually suggested it for me. They were pretty reasonable and I got a quote over the phone and it saved me about 50% on a six month premium. That is big time savings and your vehicle is still covered from damages while it waits for you to return.
The next savings I used was with our cell phone plan.  While you are on deployment or even if your solider PCS to a overseas duty station. Cell phone companies will allow you to suspend your accounts and services, I know with Verizon you can do this online. Now you can’t break your contract but you can just suspend the service and take the plan off while the solider isn’t home to use it. 
The third tool was being smart on which phone card to use and how often to use Skype. It is very important to stay in touch with your family and friends while on deployment. Take advantage of Skype and all phone cards. Now you will need to do your research on which cards are reasonable and which cards will eat minutes you might have to play around with a few but if you use Skype (calling from computer to computer) you can avoid these overseas calls. My husband and I have saved a ton on Skype, we both have smart phones that allows us to download the app onto our phone so we “technically” don’t have to be at a computer (but it does work better) when you are on a DSL/Cable connect versus a 4G connection. 
We always start contributing to a retirement savings plan, such as a Roth IRA or the government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The concept of “out of sight, out of mind” works amazing for anybody that is trying to save.  We had it set up where each of us was depositing $100 a month into my ROTH IRA and my husband had $100 going into the TSP. 
One thing to be careful of is spending money at the PX in Iraq or Afghanistan. You would think that being overseas that you wouldn’t have a chance to really spend any money. That’s not true. The truth is that there are PX’s (Post Exchanges) readily accessible to any soldier.  There you can buy electronics, snacks, magazines, books, etc. 
So my last piece of advice is when you get home from a deployment don’t go crazy on buying new cars, motorcycles, boats or trucks.  I knew a soldier who had reenlisted while were overseas and received a $20,000 tax free bonus.  All of which was gone in the first month of being home!  More importantly, learn from the examples of those who fell into financial traps and avoid those situations.

A salute to my kids, month of the Military Child.

I am going to feature 3 awesome kids for the month of the Military Child on today’s blog.

So, I am a little biased but here they are Cat, Sam and Bran! My three lovely kids! All three of my kids have experienced deployment, Cat 4 times, Sam 2 times and Bran 1 time. Each time it has always been something different with each deployment. These kids don’t know any other way of life, and it is sad but it is a great life. We make it through. They know when dad deploys they must depend on each other and mom to help them. My kids are resilient they roll with the flow.

They know that we can’t plan a vacation in months in advance we must take those spur of the moment trips. I can’t imagine anything different. They always know home is when we are all together, and family. I can say that all three of my kids have been born in different states, and we have live in different parts of the US exposing them to different adventures.

I have asked my oldest two what does it mean to be a military kid, and Catherine tells me, she feels very patriotic. Sam tells me that she makes new friends and moves a lot. Which is true. They have seen a lot more planes and military vehicles up close. Cat even got to play in a helicopter in kindergarten. We have seen the Golden Knights jump onto our elementary school field and have heard the 82nd AV Division Chorus perform. THEY ARE THE BEST I have ever heard and proud to have them in our branch! The best part is when they sound like they are the C-130, and are jumping out the plane! Here we go, AIRBORNE!

For your LISTENING PLEASURE: Below is the 82nd AB Chorus singing!

We always have the BEST 4th of July and Memorial Day’s the Army Installations always put on the BEST Fireworks display