Thanks Army

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
This year has been the hardest year (out of all five) being a military family. It seems like Justin has left a lot more, which I know he hasn't... I just haven't handled the distance as gracefully as I would have liked. When he's actually home for long stretches of time, I grow extremely accustomed. I get used to cuddles at night, enjoying dinner time with my little family, and being able to make plans through the weekend. We don't have to treat every single moment as bittersweet as usual, because daddy is there throughout the day. We love those long stretches together.... however, this is the Army, and those don't always last for long... or so we thought.

Justin's intention for his impending reenlistment was to reenlist for a duty station with tanks where he could get his tank commander time. I fully support his career and his dreams no matter what sacrifices I have to make along the way. I know that when it's my time to jump back into the work field, he will support me without thinking twice, no matter what I decide to do. I give him the same courtesies, even though it's not always easy. I was fully prepared to make a move next year to a different duty station that also came with lots of field time, training time, essentially time apart. Then, the Army decided to throw a twist in the mix. Justin got a text from one of his superiors saying that he had come down on recruiting orders. Initially, I was freaking out when he told me. I don't like change, I also don't like big news through text messages... but when your husband is in the middle of the mojave desert with minimal cell service, I guess a text message is better than not knowing at all.

I spent the better part of my day trying to figure out why this had to happen now. He knew what he wanted to do, I had an idea of where we were more than likely going, I had prepped myself for that type of transition. When I finally allowed my head to stop spinning and after I'd talk to about a handful of my friends... I realized, this wasn't such a bad surprise. Recruiting means Justin doesn't go to the field. Recruiting means Justin doesn't deploy, he doesn't have training months, he comes home every single night.... our long stretch would become a reality. The assignment is for three years. Three beautiful years of being able to see my husband every night when I go to sleep. Three years of our kids having daddy available for dance recitals, Ava's first day of kindergarten, and maybe another pregnancy?

I suddenly started to fill with excitement.. especially when Justin mentioned he's started networking with recruiters near his hometown. It is my absolute wish to be near family as often as we can. Justin is fortunate in the fact that his entire family lives in one general area. This means all of Ava's grandparents, her aunts, her uncle, her cousin... She could essentially live a normal life with family all around. The idea of recruiting has me feeling extremely excited and happy. When I finally talked to Justin, we were both on the same page. He was thinking about dropping a recruiting packet awhile back, but ultimately decided to try for his TC time first. I know this decision wasn't ours, but I'm glad it's happened. No matter where we end up, we will be together. Like any job, I'm sure there are things Justin won't like about it, but hopefully seeing our faces everyday makes up for what the job lacks! the picture I included made me smile... we won't have to limit beach getaways on Justin's block leave anymore.. exploration will be so much more open, and I'm ecstatic.

♥- Leilani

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