Archive for Military Spouse Interviews

An Interview with Stefanie Adams-Figueroa of My Married Single Life

Stefanie Adams-Figueroa, call her Stef, started her blog, My Married Single Life, as a place to share the trials and tribulations of having a husband who is gone very often.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

Mostly, anything that irritates me! My husband is currently gone to Korea for a year, I quit my job and am eight months pregnant, with an 8 year old and a 3 year old and no family close by so there really isn’t much time or chances to go hang out with friends and vent. So, I started a blog to vent. Sometimes I blog about current happenings like politics and stuff but mainly it’s just whatever I feel I need to get off my chest.

What is a favorite post of yours?

Is there anything worse?” It’s probably my favorite blog because of all the emotions I put into it. It’s a very personal blog and has a lot of my sarcasm and bluntness packed into it.

Tell me a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband is in aviation, he’s a UH60 Blackhawk crewchief. he’s active duty, currently serving a one year hardship tour in korea. Has he deployed? Why yes, ma’m. He deployed for the first time in 2003 when our son was 2 weeks old, returned on his 1st birthday, stayed home for 11 months then deployed to Afghanistan for a year. After that we got a nice break of about 1 1/2 years and then he again left for Iraq, while I was pregnant with our second child. He did come home for her big day and left again when she was only 6 days old. That deployment (our 3rd) lasted 14 1/2 months. He’s been in for 10 years now and I’ve been a military spouse for a little over 9 years. We met shortly after he had joined.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

What isn’t challenging about being a military spouse? The sad things is, only a miltary spouse is ever gonna be able to relate so I think the hardest part is to listen to the crap “outsiders” tell you. Like “how you knew what you were getting in to when you married a solider”. Or when you listen to your girlfriends whine and complain about their husband having to work on the weekend… you have to bite your tongue A LOT. And of course if you can’t be faithful it’s clearly not the right “job” for you. I do consider being a military spouse a job, a hard one at that. It’s hard to have your own career when you have to move every 2-3 years due to your husband having to PCS. It’s hard to keep things running at home while he’s deployed, drying your kids’ tears, being mom and dad all at together. A friend of mine has this motto “embrace the suck” and I think really THAT kinda hits the nail on the head…you gotta be able to embrace the suck.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

The best part are homecomings when you have butterflies in your stomach and you are reminded WHY you’re doing this! And when people actually take the time out of their busy days to THANK YOU and tell you they appreciate your sacrifice–not just the soldiers’, even though that alone brings me to tears. t is one of the greatest feelings in the world when people tell me they are grateful there’s women like me who basically put their own lives on hold to support their soldier! The pride the job brings with it. That’s the best part.

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

Drama, drama, drama and more drama. I don’t think there’s a single military spouse who can say that there’s isn’t a high amount of unneeded drama created by spouses who clearly don’t have anyting better to do than to come up with the most disgusting and pathetic lies and somehow, magically make people believe all of that. Jealousy is such an ugly trait…

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

It has somewhat given me a sense of serenity and accomplishment. People send me messages telling me they love reading my blog, they identify themselves with it. I had people encourage me to write a book, they ask me for advice… it is definitely a good idea to get out there and share your feelings and I encourage every military spouse out there to get connected, don’t keep to yourself, it’ll only make things harder. Just stay away from the drama networks.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that they told you so! Don’t EVER listen to what others tell you! Take one day at a time; it’s NOT easy being a military spouse but you have to find your own way, your own place and slowly but steady grow into that new life.

Interview with Stephanie of Military Travel Mama

Stephanie, also known as Military Travel Mama, writes about travel destinations and her journey as a mom and military spouse. Read her blog and you’ll find yourself eagerly planning your next trip!

Share a favorite post of yours?

Hawaiian Foods You May or May Not Want To Try is my favorite post to date. I mention some of my island favorites in this post. I really miss the shrimp!

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband is in the Army. He recently returned from a deployment to Iraq. He has served in the Army for 13 years. I have been a military spouse for eight years.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

The biggest challenges of being a military spouse for me include taking care of my two small children alone while he is deployed, PCS’ing to some far away place, in our case Hawaii, away form most family and friends, and taking care of my husband once he became a wounded warrior.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

The best parts of being a military spouse is meeting new people all the time and traveling to places that you may never get to visit otherwise.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

Blogging has allowed me to meet and network with so many great people. It has also given me the chance to help my family financially and work with some awesome companies in the process.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Prepare yourself to be apart from your spouse, keep every piece of paper given to you from the military, never lose your ID card…EVER, enjoy the moments you get to spend with your spouse and family and the places you get to travel!

Interview with Julie and Martin

Not only have Julie and Martin Weckerlein of Julie and Martin been married for almost a decade–they’ve been blogging about military family life even longer.  And they have the distinction of both having been military spouses for one another.  And now Julie is the servicemember and Martin is the military spouse, offering us a great chance to hear from a male military spouse!

What topics do you write about on your blog?

Julie: Our site started in the summer of 2001, when I was a public affairs Airman stationed in Germany, engaged to Martin, who was a German tank commander in the Bundeswehr at the time.

Martin: But we had met when Julie was a high school foreign exchange student in Nuremberg. That always surprises people. Julie was lucky to be stationed at Ramstein Air Base as her first duty station. It brought her close to me, so our relationship grew from there.

Julie: We were planning a big traditional wedding, and we both come from large, scattered families, so the website was a way for my family in the states and his family around Germany to follow along with our wedding plans. But then the terrorist attacks on 9/11 happened and our site took on a new role as friends and family wanted to stay connected to us as our respective militaries responded to that.

Martin: My Bundeswehr unit was deployed to provide security support for Army bases in our area of Bavaria.

Julie: And my public affairs office at Ramstein got very busy once U.S. forces started deploying to Afghanistan. So not only did we continue writing about bridesmaid dresses and centerpieces for the wedding, but we started sharing the military side of our lives, too.

Martin: When we did finally get married, we got so many emails asking us not to stop the site. We moved to our next base in Italy and had our first daughter there, so we wrote about the baby. And traveling. I started playing football, so we posted about that.

Julie: It’s evolved over the years. We’ve changed hosting sites a few times; the design’s been updated, but it is has always been a reflection of our lives as a military family. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Now we are living in the Washington DC area with two daughters and another baby on the way. We’re both juggling careers and family and my military service. And all along, we just keep updating and sharing our lives with photos, video and some insight and humor.

What is a favorite post of yours?

Julie: Do I have to list just one? All the posts Martin wrote while I was deployed in 2007 mean so much to me. I love going back into our archives, too, and just randomly surfing through those past entries and videos, reliving those first years together or when the girls were babies. It goes by so fast.

Martin: Julie made this video for our daughter that showed what it was like to be a military child. It makes me tear up every time I see it. She included the video I took of her saying goodbye to our daughter when she deployed. (For My Military Brat – With Love)

Julie: That is probably my most emotional video I ever posted. People see videos of deployment homecomings all the time, but that’s only a brief glimpse of what being a military family is all about. I wanted to honor what my daughter went through that summer, and also show how growing up a military kid, and being a military parent, is a challenging, but pretty cool experience.

How long has your servicemember served and for how long have you been a military spouse?

Julie: I enlisted in the active duty Air Force in January 2000, which really doesn’t seem that long ago. I left active duty in June 2009, and I am now a technical sergeant (E-6) in the Air Force Reserve. It’s crazy to think it’s been 11 years total now.

Martin: Technically, I’ve been a military spouse for nine years since we married in April 2002. But when I met Julie in 1999, she told me she was joining the Air Force. I was visiting her in the United States that summer when she went to the recruiter’s station, helped her study for her ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude) test, and we wrote back and forth while she was in basic training.

Julie: I still have those letters!

Martin: It feels like I’ve been a spouse much longer since I was there at the beginning.

Has your servicemember deployed?

Julie: I deployed as a combat correspondent in 2007. I was on a three-man news team that traveled around Iraq and Afghanistan, documenting various missions through photography, articles and video.

Martin: That was a hard time for us. She traveled a lot, so I didn’t know where she was on any given day. That was a really terrible summer in regards to the bombings and deaths. I couldn’t watch the news because it just made me feel sick. As a former German soldier, I knew Julie was in a stressful situation, but she was trained. Her team had really good people on it. I still worried, though. But I couldn’t dwell on it. I focused on keeping busy for our daughter and doing my best to update our site so when Julie could access a computer, she could see that we were missing her, but doing well. And whenever she posted, I knew she was doing okay, too.

Julie: Our website was really a godsend during that time, even though it took a lot of effort to keep it going. At the time, military leadership shut off all access to a lot of the social networking sites, yet I was still able to post to our site through email, and I had subscribed to the email feed, so that’s how Martin and I kept up with each other. And it kept our friends and family informed, too. They were so eager to show their support for us in so many ways. I posted once that I really missed baking and eating fresh brownies, and within a week, I had care packages full of those microwavable brownie mixes. The night I posted from Iraq about one of the mortar attacks my team experienced, our neighbors in Virginia came to the house to check on Martin, just to reach out to him and let him know they were thinking of us. It was so touching, being enveloped by that support.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

Martin: Time management. She’s in the Reserve now, so her absences are a lot more predictable. I know she’ll be gone for one weekend a month and there will be some weeks here and there when she’s gone. When she was active duty, it was the same, just trying to keep a routine while being flexible.

Julie: I would also say establishing his career was a struggle, too. As most military spouses know, the military lifestyle makes it very hard for spouses to keep a good career track.

Martin: That, too. It was hard at first. I left the Bundeswehr as a tank commander so that Julie and I could stay together. I wanted to go into accounting and banking as my civilian job, but we were overseas and there are so few jobs for spouses, especially if you aren’t an American citizen eligible for a government job. I was able to do some volunteer work as an accountant for the base thrift shop. That helped. When we moved to the states, it was much easier to find a good banking job.

Julie: But even then, Martin was always the one who took the sick days when our daughter got sick. Any classes or work-related events had to be made around my military schedule. And of course, whenever I was gone, he was doing everything himself. I’m proud of the way he handled it all and how well he’s done. And I’m encouraged that spouses are getting more recognition and support now for their careers, that more programs are being offered so spouses can have steady careers, too.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

Martin: Seeing my wife in uniform.

Julie: Ha!

Martin: Okay, that’s only a little joke. She looks sharp in her uniform with her rank and her ribbons and medals. I know the hard work it took to get those. I remember when she didn’t have any rank on her sleeve and that little ribbon for basic training. She has accomplished a lot and I am proud of her.

Julie: I’m going to add that we’ve always enjoyed connecting with other military families.

Martin: A lot of our best friends are people who were stationed with us. I also like meeting retirees and former military brats. It’s like being part of a club with a special language. Anyone who served in the military or lived the lifestyle knows what it is like.

Julie: Our lives are richer because of our military service: the places we’ve been to, the people we’ve met, the experiences.

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

Julie: I thought it was funny that the first time Martin attended a spouses club meeting, they were having a pajama party theme.

Martin: That was bad timing. It was one of those things where they hadn’t had a male spouse attend a meeting in over a year and then I just showed up, a newlywed and new to the base. We had a good laugh. They were very welcoming.

Julie: Aviano had a great spouses group when we were there. They did so much for us and the community.

Martin: My most unusual moment as a spouse was picking up fried chicken for Kid Rock before his concert at Ramstein. Julie was his military liaison while on base and she brought me along that day. So his bodyguard and I went to pick up the chicken and biscuits. Then all of us drove back to his hotel room to eat. That is something you don’t experience every day.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

Julie: When we started our site, there was no Facebook or Twitter. Unless they also had a family site or blog we could follow, we really only kept in touch with old military friends through occasional emails or our annual Christmas card mailing list.

Martin: I now get daily comments from people who were stationed with us overseas. It is easier to keep up with their lives now.

Julie: And the networking helped a great deal when I left active duty. Former colleagues and friends were quick to send me advice and job leads. It made the whole transition to civilian/Reserve life a lot easier. Blogging and maintaining relationships through social networking have opened so many doors for us.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Julie: A good friend of ours just recently got engaged to an Army soldier. It was funny because as soon as she told me, I went into military supervisor mode and made sure she was aware of all the paperwork and in-processing she’s going to face as she enrolls in DEERS and gets an ID card and becomes familiar with all the programs the military offers family members. It can get overwhelming. If it weren’t for other military couples reaching out to help us navigate all those processes, we would have been completely lost.

Martin: My advice is to avoid becoming isolated, especially during a deployment or separation. Ask for help if you need it. Become friends with other military spouses. And don’t lose your sense of humor.


For more insightful, funny, and touching stories, read Julie and Martin and “Like” them on Facebook.

Interview with Fallon Wharton of Fallonella's Almost Fairytale

We caught up with the charming Fallon Wharton of Fallonella’s Almost Fairtyale to discover how she’s writing her own Happily Ever After.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

I write about anything that I’m feeling or observing in life in general, focusing on lessons I’ve learned or may be in the process of learning to share with others. I also occasionally write about health and diet topics, as I am always striving to be healthy but not sacrifice my love of great food!

Please share a favorite post of yours.

Probably, “Mommy’s Little Girl,” since I’m blessed to have such a close relationship with my Mother and I really shared honest feelings about the love for my Mom and Mother’s in general. I also love, “The Lessons of Love, Army, and Manifestation,” as I talk about the other love in my life, my husband Matt.  I share our unique story, as well as my own tidbits of life throughout the journey leading up to him and becoming a Military spouse.

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband is in the Army, hooah! and has been in for 4 years, though I’ve been an Army wife for over a year now. When we met, I didn’t fully understand what that entailed though I had a vague idea, which was much prettier in my head, lol. I feel my journey has been an odd one as Matt and I began talking while he was on deployment.  He came back from deployment April 2009 and has basically been in training since the Fall of 2009, which is when he went to OCS at Benning, then we went to Fort Lee for 6 months, then he went to Redstone, AL for a couple months as he decided to chase his EOD dream, which then led us to Eglin AFB, where we reside now. So, it’s been a lot of bouncing around for the past year or so,  and though I’ve learned quite a bit about the Army, I don’t feel  I’ve learned all that I would if we were just stationed in one place for longer than 6 months. Plus, I’m a social gal, so it’ll be nice when I can meet other wives and make friends!

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

The bouncing around and not being able to establish your own career as easy as one could when residing in a stable setting. I’m extremely career minded so this has proven to be a source of frustration for me. It’s also difficult living away from family and friends and watching relationships diminish due to this constantly changing life and physical absence. Missing my adorable Mother and regular support system for when things feel difficult.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

That you do get to see different parts of the country / world that you usually wouldn’t on your own. Also, that you learn to see things different and live more for each day, rather than living idle all of the time. I’m also always so impressed by the pride felt for the Military and our Country, and mind has grown exponentially. It’s nice to be surrounded by others who have such pride and love for our Country as well. It’s also incredible to watch all of the Soldiers and their families sacrifice so much of their own life for the sake of others’. It never ceases to amaze me. Oh and that I found a new show I love, ‘Army Wives,’ lol, sounds nerdy but I would have never watched that show if I didn’t become one myself.

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

I had to go to Fort A.P. Hill, VA for a work gathering last year, so a few of us carpooled and I had one coworker in my car, Ram, who was quite excited to enter a Military Post. I mean, this guy was excited about the grass, light posts, stop lights, anything and everything, which I found odd but refreshing.  My husband is a 2LT and when we arrived on post I was saluted, which was a first for me and I had no clue what to do but just said, “Thank you.” Ram’s excitement was amplified to the fact that I was saluted upon entering the post, which was quite funny as he kept saying he was impressed and I kept having to explain, through my giggles of his pure childlike awe, that there was no reason to be, lol.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

Blogging has helped me find other Military Spouse’s that I have yet to find in person due to all of our moving. Reading about others’ experiences is a great lesson for what’s to be expected, and it’s also just nice to see that there are in fact others out there who live this crazy life too!

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

That it’s not going to be easy, at all. It’s often very frustrating, not just the lifestyle but leaving behind your own lifestyle you may be accustomed to. If you love him or her, it’s worth it, but love doesn’t make it easier just more bearable. It can be exciting, and it has a lot to offer if you let it, though I think I’m still learning of all of its offerings. I’d also recommend that they have their own hobby or something to keep them busy while their spouse is off doing their trainings, details,  TDY’s, etc, as you can really feel lost in the mix if you don’t keep something, or a few things, to call your own.

Find Fallon Wharton at Fallonella’s Almost Fairtyale and on Twitter as @Fallonella.

Interview with Lisa Douglas of Crazy Adventures in Parenting

Lisa Douglas Crazy Adventures in ParentingWe chatted with Lisa Douglas of Crazy Adventures in Parenting to find out about her special brand of crazy that allows her to raise six kids in a military family while maintaining her sense of humor.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

Parenting humor (obviously!), military-type things we endure/go through, eating all-natural/organic, my weight loss journey (getting back that pre-baby body)

What is a favorite post of yours?

Oh, I have quite a few. This one, though, STILL gets talked about. I captioned the photos I took of my son and my friend Amanda‘s son when we went on a blogger trip to Disney World, titled “Baby Lightsaber Humor“.  I still laugh hysterically when reading it. I love doing captioned posts with pictures. I. Do. It. A. Lot. Ahem.

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband is active duty Army PSYOP, has served 14 years thus far, has deployed (thankfully only) once back in ’04.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

Ah, the challenges of being a military spouse. Man oh man, I could go on all day about this, but I think the A.Number.One. thing is finally realizing that family doesn’t always come first. You will get stationed at hellholes places you’ll scratch your head and wonder “How on EARTH does this place stay open?” Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time), the military has its say and that’s it, no rationale or reason, it makes no sense but because he’s ordered to do it, he must, despite what havoc it’ll wreak upon for your family.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

Hands down, the comradery with other military families. Living in post (that is, when your house doesn’t suck). The pride you feel seeing your husband progressing through the ranks, tackling jobs, really making something of himself and bring so proud of what he does. Hearing the Star Spangled Banner and knowing how much more important it is to your family.

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

Learning E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G the hard way. Especially with housing. I love it when something goes WAY wrong and they’re like, “Oh, so sorry, Mrs. Douglas, this has never happened to anyone in the history of ever before.” And I’m all, “Great, so I’m a freak of nature that attracts drama. Nice.” And they’re all, “Yeah. True story.” #militarywifefail

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

I’ve met so many more people than I would have without blogging and social media. It’s given me an outlet and let me share our experiences with others, and vice versa.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Live for each day. You will never know what conflict may arise tomorrow, calling your spouse to duty overseas and in harms way.If you live each day without regret as though it’s your last, you have not lost time, you’ve lived it to the fullest with the person you love.

Want to get to know Lisa better? Read her blog, Crazy Adventures in Parenting, tweet with her @crazyadventures, and join her BlogFrog community!

Have a military family blog and want to appear on our list of military spouse and family bloggers? E-mail candace [at] armywiveslives [dot] com for the interview questions.

Interview with Keri Smith of The Glamorous Life of an Army Wife

Keri SmithWe chatted with Keri Smith, aka “GlamorousArmy”, to find out more about her humorous take on the ups and downs of Army life and to discover how she adds a touch of Army Wife Glamor to even the most difficult situation. Keri blogs at The Glamorous Life of an Army Wife.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

Life as a military wife, of course! The great things, the not-so-great things, tips for survival. I also talk about how evil my children are, what it’s like to deal with my son’s Asperger’s Syndrome, and other random topics.

What is a favorite post of yours?
The Deployment Series-Part 1-Letting him Leave.

Tell me a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband has been in [the Army] over 13 years and I met him at MEPS the day he joined, because I was joining the Reserves. We wrote for 3 months, and got engaged 3 months after he graduated from Basic Training.

Yes, [he’s deployed] twice. Once in 2004 and last year. Both times to Iraq.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

It’s hard to get family members to understand that our service as military spouses is just as important as our soldiers. We are sacrificing our fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and trying to live our lives without them. It’s also difficult to learn how to make easy transitions, between PCS moves, friends leaving, new schools for children, new jobs. It’s a challenge to get used to having a partner at home when they have been gone half the time. You need to be self-sufficient and independent when they are gone, but they still want to feel needed when they are home. It’s a life of mixed emotions.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

I love moving! Each duty station brings it’s own adventure, and that’s just how you have to think of it. We moved to Alaska for 3 years. Yes, it was far away and completely unknown to me, but we looked at it as our challenge.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

It makes it easier to reach out to someone else who will understand, because unless you have had a spouse deploy, you really can’t relate in the same way. It can be a lonely road, but it can also be very rewarding. After all, we get to date our husbands again every time they are gone! We write letters and emails, we have long phone calls. We have a chance to miss each other, and therefore appreciate what both sides contribute to the relationship.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Be social, and make your own life. Your soldier is not going to create one for you. You need to accomplish goals for yourself and as a couple. Take advantage of the free education benefits the military offers for spouses. Keep your chin up, and reach out if you need help. We all do from time to time. You aren’t alone in this.

Interview with Pam from Troop Petrie

Troop PetriePam, who is just a ball of kindness and enthusiasm and positive energy, told us about how she writes “about everything, love, marriage, the military, children, cooking, crafts, homeschooling” at Troop Petrie.

Share a favorite post of yours.

Letters to my hero, I did this nightly while my husband was deployed, it helped us stay connected to one another and it also let my blog readers know how I was really doing.

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband and I were high school sweethearts, we broke up after 2.5 years. We were separated for 2 years in which time he joined the Army Reserves. When we got back together we decided he would go Active. That was over 14 years ago, so he has been in the Army for 16 years. He came in as a private and came up the ranks until he was a E-7 and then last year he went to Warrant Officer School and is currently a W1. As far as deployments, we have had more than our share. He has been to Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iraq and did I say Iraq for a third time. We were stationed at Redstone where you do NOT deploy because it is a training post and he deployed with a transition team. I swear he sends out signals that say deploy me

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

The challenges of being a military wife are being lonely, learning to rely on others. I have a hard time asking for help so this has been a challenge. Communication has always been a issue, I have done everything from writing 8 page daily letters (when we only had one child) to writing Letters to my Hero on my blog. The other challenge I have is not shutting down or pulling away before a deployment.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

The best part of being a military spouse is that I am in a family like no other. I am with a family that no one outside of the family will ever understand. Oh and it does not hurt that I get to go to bed with a man in uniform

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

Let’s see this may not be the answer you want but I will tell it. When my husband was getting to sergeant I was due to have a baby, it was a LONG stressful high risk pregnancy. I had actually been at the hospital the day of his ceremony. So I arrive for the penning ceremony and set in the back with my 4 year old. His Commander and First Sergeant came back to ask if I was okay. As they walk away (now please know there were at least 100 men standing at attention in a bay that echoes) my son said “mom are those boys? And then he screamed “Does he have a penis”? I thought I would shrink into the seat. I felt bad for all those men standing there who could not laugh.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

I think blogging about living in the military has helped me, it has helped me to feel normal when talking to other wives. It has made it possible for me to encourage other wives. It has made it possible for me to keep connected to my husband daily while he was deployed.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

First marry an Airman, they make better money and have better housing. No really I would say marry an AIRMAN, did I say that already? I would say talk to other stable military wives, maybe visit PWOC at a Chapel a few times. Talk with your family about what will happen when he deploys. Know that it is a wonderful life, a secure life, a life filled with pride and respect.

Interview with Krystel of Army Wife 101

Krystel from Army Wife 101Krystel, who blogs at Army Wife 101, is one of my personal favorite Military Spouse bloggers. She always comes up with fresh and interesting takes on military family issues and is a great community builder. She answered a few questions for us about her blog where she shares great information and her personal journey.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

I write about everything from my journey through deployment to PCS, AIT, and I also do many Vlog tutorials as well as Vlog diaries. Readers also get to enter some great giveaways and learn about new military discounts.

Share a favorite post of yours.

That Little Thing Called OPSEC….I did a video vlog about the importance of that thing many spouses seem to forget about called OPSEC. It was my birthday when I did the video so I felt I made something that can be kind of blah more fun.

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

My husband is a former Marine (although he will quickly tell you their is no such thing as as a former Marine hehe. He is currently as you can tell serving in the US Army and on his 2nd deployment in the Army 3rd in total. My husband has been in 12 years and I have been a military spouse for 5 years.

What are the challenges of being a military spouse?

If you let them deployments will break you. Having to be totally independent can be a challenge if your not used to doing certain things. Many things can be a challenge if you don’t attempt to make the best of them.

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

My husband and I are culture nuts. We love experiencing everything food, art, architecture, but the reality is we wouldn’t always be able to afford those things if it were not for the Army giving us the opportunity to travel. I would have to say the ability to live places I normally wouldn’t and the chance to broaden my horizons and make new friends are awesome parts of the military life.

What is the most interesting, unusual, or funny thing that has happened to you as a result of being a military spouse?

I would have to say that I am an extremely shy person and since living this life I have opened up tremendously. I have become a go to person for wives arriving at duty stations I have lived at and I absolutely proud of myself being able to open up to that extent.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

I have received numerous emails from former spouses and veteran spouses who say that they wish the wealth of information they see on the net was available to them when they were new to the Army life, because it would have made navigating the waters easier. I also think the power of networking sites has made it easier to make friends before you even arrive at a new duty station. I can speak first hand on what a great feeling it was , to move all the way here to Hawaii and have a few friends already waiting for me.

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Be patient and supportive. Know that your spouse loves you but that unfortunately in the Army world you come 2nd but in your spouses heart you come first. I tell all spouses always be ready for anything in the Army life.

Interview with Michy from Ocipura.com

Michy, who blogs at Ocipura.com, shares with us her life as an Army wife and a Christian and some of her varied interests–from food and recipes to psychology!

michy 1

What topics do you write about on your blog?

I write about all sorts of things. My Christian faith, Avon, life as an Army wife, food and recipes, relationships… I’ve been known to even post about a simple do-it-yourself project, as well. I write about the things I’m interested in, the things I know about.

Share a favorite post of yours:

One of my favorite posts is entitled Don’t Stop Arguing, which is about my advice to couples to keep arguing, but do it right, because “A complete lack of arguments usually indicates a shallow relationship.”

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

michy 2My husband and I have been best friends for ten years, having met first in junior high. We did not start dating until after he had already been deployed to Iraq twice. When we started dating, he transferred to Fort Hood, which was closer to me, and we got married about a year later (October ’09)! As a new military spouse, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that my husband has three years left on his contract, meaning that I’m sure to have to go through a deployment or two, if not more, with him. It will be a completely different experience for us now that we are married! As of now, he has been serving in the US Army for five years.

What are the best and most challenging parts of the Military Spouse Experience?

The challenge of the Army is to remain flexible. The Army is constantly changing its mind about schedules, plans, and everything else, and it’s a struggle to roll with the punches. As I wrote recently in my blog, my husband’s leave packet did not get approved until about a week before our wedding. Though we had payments put down on the wedding and honeymoon, we didn’t know for sure that he would be able to even show up until the day his packet finally got approved!

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

If one of my friends were on the verge of marrying into the military, I would advise them first, to be flexible, and second, to rely on God. There are many times that I’ve had to remind myself that the parts of being an Army wife that are too tough for me to handle are the parts that I need to let God handle. He can get me through what I don’t have the strength to get through on my own.

Interview with Casey from The Ever Changing Life of a Military Wife

Casey, who blogs at The Ever-Changing Life of a Military Wife, shares with us how she keeps balance when life is a moving target.

ever changing lifeWhat topics do you write about on your blog?

I’m a mish mash of teaching, travel, politics, pouting, military life, and my never ending love for Texas. If it happens in my life, it goes on the blog! I try to keep it “real” rather than branded. While I have much respect for the niche blogs, I view my blog as a diary rather than a website. So, when you come, expect the unexpected!

Share a favorite post of yours:

I think this post, Life as a Military Wife, really speaks to how different our lives really are. Sometimes it’s hard for others to understand our feelings, our acronyms, and our general way of life, so this post gives a glimpse into just how different it is.

Tell us a little bit about your military spouse journey.

I am married to an Air Force officer, and have been for almost 4 years. He has been active duty for almost 3 years. We are currently stationed overseas and waiting for our next assignment, which will most likely be overseas as well. Luckily, we have only had long TDYs and no deployments. However, we are expecting a deployment in the near future, but hopefully we can get by with a 6 month!

What are the best parts of being a military spouse?

For me, the best part has been the opportunity to see the world. In the last 3 years we have been able to visit 20 countries, a feat I never thought would have been possible. The Air Force has opened up the world to us, and has given us so many opportunities to see new places. With these experiences, and the diverse nature of the military, I feel like I have been able to broaden my horizons significantly.

To what extent have blogging and social networking affected the military spouse experience?

The mil-spouse blog community has been a great support system throughout this journey. I have met new people and gained some real life friends along the way. It has been a blessing to have friends around the world that have been through it all already, and can offer great advice. Honestly, I feel like the mil-spouse blogging community has enabled me to feel prepared for a possible deployment. I have seen so many make it through the process, that I know I can do it as well. I know that no matter where I might be stationed, I am still connected to other people who understand!

If someone you care about was about to marry a military servicemember, what one piece of advice would you give?

Be flexible! We have no control over assignments, duty hours, deployments, or just about anything else! The title of “dependent” may not be politically correct, but it is certainly accurate. You have to be able to put yourself aside and learn to go with the flow of your husband’s career. Can you still have a career? Sure! Can you still have input? Sure! However, the life of a military spouse is anything but typical. The more flexible and patient you are, the more successful you will be!

I wrote a post of advice just for those moving overseas which can be very helpful.