I was already in the National Guard when I met my wife, so I haven't specifically been in your situation. However, in 2001 had to convince my wife that reenlisting was a good choice for our family. (we have 2 kids). She was dead against it, and begged me to get out so i wouldn't have to deploy. It was right after September 11th, and I had already told her I was getting out, but what I experienced on that day changed my mind. I knew I had to stay in and do what I could do to support our country. I explained to her how much it meant to serve my country, and how I couldn't imagine how an able bodied person could just sit around and watch terrorists attack our country and not want to help defend it. I firmly believe that we are living in the greatest country in the world. We are not perfect, but certainly the freedoms that we all enjoy and the security of preserving it is worth fighting for. Once I explained how compelled i felt to serve, and continue serving, she really had no choice but to be proud of my commitment and support my decision. Not everyone is willing to make the sacrifices that our soldiers make everyday. In return for our service, we enjoy the benefits of a large cash bonus, college tuition assistance, student loan repayment, military discounts all over the country, and the pride of knowing that your life is dedicated to something greater than yourself. I have reenlisted twice since I've been married, and now that I have over 12 years of service, my wife still doesn't love the fact that I could get deployed, but she is proud of my selfless service and when I retire in 8 years, we'll both enjoy my retirement check for the rest of our lives.
SFC Anthony Fletcher
86th IBCT (MTN)