Tag Archive for Active Duty

The National Guard Drill Blues

Since my baby left me,
To head upstate to drill,
I’ve found that I have
just about about had my fill…

We’ve looked at military family life from the active duty and National Guard perspectives.  And there are definitely pros and cons to each.  On Active Duty, my husband had one job–Army officer.  Now he has at least two, serving as an Assistant District Attorney by “day” and a National Guard Field Artillery Commander by night (or at least one weekend a month, two weeks a year).  My concentration is similarly divided as I am a full time stay-at-home mom who also squeezes in part-time work as an Educational Consultant and Writer somewhere around the margins.  This creates a sort of frenetic activity and tight scheduling around our household that seems more suited to a war room.

On Active Duty, our medical co-pays were next to nil because we lived near a post with a military treatment facility. Now, taking two kids to a check-up practically requires a credit-check.  And I hear that our county health care plan is one of the “Cadillac” plans.  Because, you know, county employees and their families…we be rollin’ in the Benjamins.

Of course, we have a lot more predictability to my husband’s temporary absences.  Generally we have a head’s up before field exercises and there is some understanding that my husband has a life outside of the military.

In terms of family support, I have been blessed with good FRGs on both sides–but a “good” FRG in the National Guard still means we really only see other family members twice a year.

And even though the military exerted more influence over our lives on Active Duty, it was at least a constant influence.  With the National Guard, just as we get settled into a routine, off my husband goes again…answering the call of duty.

And when it comes down to it, that’s the type of man I married, and the one who is a caring husband and involved father.

Overall, we love being a military family and are very proud of our soldier–on active duty and in the National Guard–and wouldn’t have it any other way.

How about you? What has been your experience with the demands and benefits of being part of a military family?