5 Gifts Military Life Gave Me (And #2 is a Shocker!)


Around the holidays, it can be hard to find things to be grateful for in military life. During this time, many are going through deployments, trying to figure out if they can make it back home to see family, or tackling other challenges. But for as many challenges as the military throws our way, it’s given me many other gifts in return, like:

My Spouse
If it weren’t for military life, I wouldn’t have met the man of my dreams. We met at Fort Hood, Texas where my father and husband were stationed. My husband and I are from two different parts of the United States. I believe that we never would’ve met if it weren’t for the US Army.

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Deployments
Okay, hear me out! I know, how could anyone consider deployments a gift? Don’t get me wrong, these were some of the hardest times in my life; my husband did four deployments in the first five years of our marriage. Yet, with each deployment I learned more about myself.

The first and second deployments, I learned I could make it on my own and take care of myself. I learned to pay bills, navigate some family issues, and how to stand up for myself.

The third and fourth deployments taught me how to communicate with my spouse. Our whole marriage was based on emails, chats, and telephone calls when he was gone. It only proved to make us stronger.

Lifelong Friendships
As a military kid, my sisters were with me every time my family PCS’d. Even to this day, one of my favorite people to talk to is my middle sister. We talk at least two times a week, if not more. In my teen years, I met my best friend and just this past September I was able to go see her after 13 years. It was like we were never apart. I have friends in numerous states, and Germany, because of the military. Each has a special place in my heart for different reasons.

New Experiences
How many people can say that they’ve lived in Germany three times? How many have a seven-year-old that loves sushi? The military life has given my family the opportunity, not only to meet new people, but also to see new places. We’ve found new types of food and awesome places we’ve loved living in.

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United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC)
Being a part of USAREC has given me a glimpse of what living outside of a military installation is like. I’ve had to learn how to get medical bills paid, find a doctor, childcare and so much more. I have knowledge and experience that will help when it comes time to leave the military and transition into civilian life.

How about you? Can you think of some things that you are thankful for this year because of the military?

rdodge-headshotPosted by Racheal Dodge, NMFA Volunteer and military spouse, Chattanooga, TN

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