Felix and I have been together for a year. In that year, I have attended a few military events ranging from promotional ceremonies to graduation dinners, all of which made me nervous and feel out of place at first.
What’s military life like?
Will everyone be nice?
Should I salute or nah?
The last one was a joke. OF COURSE YOU SHOULD SALUTE.*
Without further ado, here’s a list of what I didn’t know about dating someone in the military, but now I do:
- Military people aren’t boring.
SURPRISE, RIGHT? Just kidding. Military people are people too! Of everyone that I’ve met so far in the Air Force, I could count on one hand the people who are lacking a tinge of personality. From Felix’s friends at JASOC to his boss at his current base, everyone has been more than welcoming and definitely leads with humor, which is something I can get behind. Gone are the days where this girl doesn’t crack a joke in front of people in uniform. Hold onto your caps, Airmen.
- Military people don’t only talk about military things.
The people Felix works with do like to make a lot of “lawyer jokes,” which might fly over my head because I am not a lawyer, however they don’t only talk about work. As a matter of fact, when you hang out with people outside of the workplace, they talk about things like us muggles do. Politics, racism, and gender issues! Kidding again. Basically what I’m saying is that they’re normal. They like to drink beer and party on boats in Florida and eat steak and basically anything else that makes you normal to me. Booze, boats, and beef.
- Military people (plus their families) make a lot of sacrifices.
This one is something that I always knew, but now I know it even more since I’ve been living it here in Virginia. Felix works from 7:30am-6:00pm everyday, and sometimes even on Sundays, which is new news for me. Still having trouble comprehending that one. They work long hours, and they want to come home and be with their families (even if it consists of two needy pets and an incredibly sassy girlfriend), but sometimes they can’t. Sometimes they TDY. Every two years they PCS. Military life isn’t easy for the one who’s active duty…or the one who is at home. The one who is at home typically cooks, cleans, does laundry, washes dishes, feeds the pets, walks the dog, and make sure the apartment doesn’t burn down because of a faulty AC unit. It’s a lot for both people involved.
- Military people can lead really exciting lives.
Since dating Felix, I feel like my world has turned completely upside down in the best way. Kind of like that moment when Charlie Bucket starts flipping after drinking the fizzy lifting drink. You’re thinking, “WOW HOW SCARY,” but he’s all, “Weeeeee!” so you’re like “Oh, he likes it.” That’s me. I am Charlie Bucket, but with better hair.
- Military people are adaptable.
This one is extremely important and one that I’m having to adjust to. When you choose service before self, you sign up for a life of moving and change. Felix is stationed in D.C. for now. In two years, he’ll be sent somewhere else, and he doesn’t know where. He won’t until he gets the phone call. He might have to pick up a case in another state and temporarily move there for a week or two or four. He could be deployed, which means 6-12 months of being away from home. Because of this type of career, you’re basically giving your life to the military, and from what I know, military members wouldn’t have it any other way.
Living a life in the military can be incredibly rewarding and exciting for all involved, even me. Just a girl from New Orleans who’s the girlfriend of a Captain.
But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s hardships. Those moments where you’re asking yourself, “What am I doing here?”
I’ll be back with a post dedicated to the other side.
But, for now, enjoy the perks, because they really are great.
P.S. Just in case you were unfamiliar with a few acronyms and words, I’ve typed up a glossary.
TDY – Temporary Duty. This is when an active duty member gets sent elsewhere for work for a period of time, but will return back to their base post-job.
PCS – Permanent Change of Station. Active duty members PCS every 2-3 years depending on their job. This is a permanent change of address and base. A relocation, if you will.
Charlie Bucket – If you don’t know who this is, I DON’T KNOW YOU.