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New to military life and very anxious

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  • New to military life and very anxious

    My husband just joined the guard and left for basic training in Fort Sill two weeks ago. We are married with two young children and I am new to military life. I find it very hard to manage the uncertainty in the future. What are the deployment chances? How dangerous is it? What should I expect in terms of more separation after his basic training? I believe he's in the officer track, and will have the state OCS sometime in the future. I am generally supportive but have been very stressed out going to graduate school full time and taking care of the kids by myself right now. We don't have family nearby either. I would appreciate it if you could share your experiences with me.

  • #2
    Your husband's unit should have a family readiness group (FRG) to provide advice and emotional support. Also, watching re-runs of Army Wives is good medicine. When I was Guard and went away for training, the Mrs held the fort down and is the rock of the family. I left the Guard to go back on active duty and have been deployed for three years out of my last ten years. We managed because we were older and wiser and talked about military expectations.

    The war in Afghanistan is ending so your husband may not deploy to a war zone but may go on other short humanitarian deployments but I think there should be a lull for a while. I earned my associate's, bachelor's and master's while with my spouse of 20 years and it is all about communication and supporting one another.

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    • #3
      If the Soldier just enlisted and he is an 09S (Officer Candidate), then he's not going to have an FRG at this point. The best bet is to find a support group of other Soldier spouses and speak with them about expectations, experiences, etc. whether it be face to face or in forums like this one. There are Army spouse forums out there as well.

      As far as more separation after BCT, let me tell you my story. My wife was in a similar situation to you without much help. Our first child was born in 2011 and 2 weeks later, I shipped off to BCT and was gone for 3 months. My first 2-week annual training for OCS Phase I was in Summer 2012, and it was complete communication blackout. My daughter was only 8 months old at that time. When my son was born in 2013, he was in the NICU and I was there a total of 5 days before I shipped off to Annual Training for OCS Phase III for 2 weeks. There's always at least 2 weeks of Annual Training at some point in the year when you're soldier is going to be away from home also. Then I PCSed to Fort Rucker for my Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) in October 2013 and we were separated for 2.5 months because she was still full-time employed back home and was trying to find a job down there. She finally did and then the whole family moved down with me for the remaining year we spent at Rucker, and we just moved back home back in December 2014.

      Now keep in mind, my BOLC was super long because of Flight School so that experience isn't typical (and most BOLCs do not include a PCS move). Nonetheless, it's not an easy life and there will always be some separations you have to deal with wether it be for training, deployments, etc. It takes a lot of give and take from both spouses for sure, but it is definitely manageable. My wife and I have been doing it going on 4 years now with 2 small children still ages 3 and below and there are plenty of Soldier spouses that have dealt with far longer deployments, etc. Finding a good support group and always remaining flexible is key.

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