It has occurred to me that I have a difficult time answering people when they ask me why I married someone in the military. It really is a good question, and I hear it often, but I never really know how else to answer except saying, "Because I love him." Seems logical right? Some people shake their heads at me, not understanding why I put up with the grueling hours, grumpiness from a 24 hour duty, deployments, training ops, and just generally not having my husband around like most people do in their marriages. I understand why people shake their heads at me. Why would anyone want to be married to someone that isn't ever there? (Some couples that have been married for a really long time tell me I'm lucky.)
Before my husband and I got married, I heard it from everyone. "Why would you do this to yourself? Why give up normalcy, and everything you know to follow someone else around?" I have to admit, that there was a point that I wondered the same thing. I have everything in front of me. Free college, living in my hometown, almost all of my family around me, all of my high school friends nearby, new college friends, and a plan and goal in mind for myself. I had it all. So everyone thought.
On the outside, I was so fortunate to have all these things, and everyone saw all the potential that I had. But on the inside, I had a huge hole in my heart and I was missing a piece of me that I knew a degree, my family, or friends couldn't replace or fill, no matter how hard they tried. I needed my Marine, and whether he wanted to admit it or not he needed me. We both needed support from each other, but I knew that he needed it more. He had just graduated boot camp, and his whole life had changed. Pulled away from his family, and training in California far away from home, he needed my full support, and I recognized that.
Yes, some people say that I may be stupid for leaving a paid in full scholarship behind, and picking up my whole life and packing it in three suitcases and making my journey to our first duty station, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Some people still say that I only did it to get away from home, and live a luxurious life in Hawaii. (When really, I work 40 hours a week just like everyone else, so I can afford milk for $7.00 a gallon) Whatever people think aside, my decision to pick up everything and leave, was for my husband. He sacrifices himself for our country. I sacrifice regularity and the comfort of having family nearby, just like he did. That's just the way it works for us. That's the way it works for most military spouses. And in the end, your reasoning for the choices you make, are yours alone. People are going to have their opinions of you, that's just part of life. But once you accept that and know that your reasons for your actions are valid and noble, other peoples opinions don't matter as much.
You can finish college later in life, and Skype is a wonderful thing when you miss family back home. We live in a world where technology makes almost anything possible. So, when my fellow military wives find themselves being asked, "Why did you marry someone you can never be around? Why set yourself up to be alone?" You don't owe them anything more than a simple, "Because I love him." Besides, at the end of the day, that's why we're all here. We are in it for the man in uniform.