Camp Pendleton Marine Wife on Recruiting Duty vs Deployment
Have you ever read the blog Semper Fi Momma? It's written by a Camp Pendleton Marine wife named Laura, and I think it rocks. Laura has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for Home Post about what life is like in her shoes:
A while back on my site I wrote a post about recruiting duty versus deployment, and that I'd take deployment over recruiting duty any day. When I think about my life as a Marine Corps wife, and mother, recruiting duty is one of the first things I think about. Recruiting duty, through 11 years of marriage, was by far the biggest challenge I have ever had to face.
When my husband first checked in, my son and first born was only 7 months old. I knew that recruiting duty would consume a lot of hours, and my first fear is that my son wouldn't get to see his Daddy much. I kept telling myself, though, that at least he was home every night and that I should be thankful for that.
My second fear was in knowing that recruiting duty held over an 80% divorce rate. I wasn't sure exactly how current that was, but nonetheless it was still a pretty scary percentage. I knew I'd have plenty of obstacles to overcome, and I wasn't wrong.
Recruiting duty is definitely a high stress job. And not just for the Marine, but for their families as well. It's 24/7 for 3 full years. It's long days that often run into the night. An average work day was usually 12 hours. We saw plenty of 15 hour days. He was home, but he wasn't home. Many nights I put to bed a little boy who was heartbroken that Daddy couldn't be there to read him a story and tuck him in. Many mornings I consoled a little boy who woke up to find that Daddy was already gone. The Mommas who have lived through and consoled their children during deployments know exactly what I'm talking about. Now, imagine that lasting 3 full years.
I could go on with the woes, but bottom line is that I survived what I consider my biggest challenge as a military wife. Looking back now, the memories are exhausting, but at the time it was life and I had no choice but to live it. I knew that my job as a wife was to give him 100% support. He came home and told me about the daily stresses and shared what he could, and I knew that I didn't need to add any of my stresses to that. Because? That's what us wives do. We tuck it away, smile, and keep the home fires burning. It's probably why they say being a wife is the toughest job in the Corps. I'm not sure I can agree it's the toughest, but I can say that it's been extremely gratifying and fulfilling. I can't imagine my life any other way.
To all the military wives out there, you are the strongest and most beautiful women I know. You have survived more than most women could ever imagine. You are a rare breed. Cheers to you, Military Wives (and mommies)!