Okay, so the title of this post may be a little misleading since I'm not actually a wife yet, but I am a military girlfriend, so I thought I'd go ahead and link up!
My name is Pam. I have been dating my boyfriend for close to two years now (okay, 2 years will be in August, but we're close enough, right?)
I met my boyfriend, J, in June of 2012 at a local pub. I was there to hang out with my friends and had just decided to be single for a while. He came over to sit and we spent most of the night talking about anything and everything. I didn't see it going anywhere. He had two qualities that I had always crossed off my list - he was in the military and a smoker.
Before you freak out on me and think that I don't support our military, let me explain why I didn't want to date a military man. I grew up on a military base. Most of my friends were military. My dad served 20+ years in the Air Force and retired a few years ago. I am a strong supporter of our military (I could make more military connections, but that would take me off topic). I didn't want to date a military guy because I had seen what it could do to families - the moving, the deployments, and so much more. I didn't think it was a lifestyle I wanted.
You don't get to choose who you fall in love with though. And I fell in love with a great guy who just happened to be in the Coast Guard. A great guy who two months into our relationship told me he was due for a move around summertime.
We met in Charleston, SC. I was born and raised here. His hometown is in Arkansas (that's another coincidence story for another post). In March of last year (so we'd been dating 7-8 months for those keeping track), J got his new assignment. He would be moving to California. Enter one of the toughest decisions of my life - do we try long distance? I had work obligations here that I was bound to for another year. It was long distance or nothing. We chose long distance.
So, for the past year (almost), J and I have been doing the long distance thing. There have been a few underway trips which have made things even more interesting. (For my non-military friends, being underway means he's out to sea on the boat.) When he's underway, we don't get to talk much at all.
If I could say something to others about the military, I would tell them not to make assumptions. My whole life, I've been around people who assume different things about the military. Don't believe everything you read or see on TV. Each and every person has their own story to tell. The military doesn't define us, but it does become a part of who we are.
Did I mention that I'm extremely happy to have found my military guy and will be joining him in California later this year?!