I was excited to live in the civilian world when my husband told me that he’d been selected for Recruiting Duty. That meant no more silly base rules, no need to wait in line to pass through the gate to get home, no more military 24/7 in our lives… but after a year and half of being away, I really do miss it.
I try to not be that person who complains. Life is not really bad here in Texas, it’s just different. When I married my Marine five years ago, I had no clue what I was getting into. I had no idea that this lifestyle we live, the one that so many people deem as “crazy”, is really quite amazing.
In this short amount of time, I have become a proud Marine Corps spouse! I have learned that the needs of the Marine Corps sometimes do trump bedtimes, date nights and vacations, but that’s ok. We sacrifice so our husbands can represent the United States Marine Corps, that’s pretty awesome!
Recruiting duty has been a huge eye opener to me. When my husband expressed to me that he wanted to dp twenty years and retire as a Marine, I just went along with it saying okay, sure. But after this year in the “civilian world”, I think I may be the one pushing him to stay in! There are so many wonderful things about this lifestyle that I didn’t realize until we started this new chapter.
For your viewing pleasure, some quick recruiting duty humor.
…and back to the article — Military Friendships
Let’s start with military spouses! I was blessed to have met the greatest group of ladies when we were stationed in 29 Palms. We were all newer spouses and went through shared experiences of deployments, holidays, new babies, and adventures in the hi-desert.
I think that has been the hardest part for me here in Texas. Friendships are a little harder to make. I’m not saying the people here aren’t friendly, it’s just different. Being on a base, you’re surrounded by others who are in the same situation as you. There is always a new family moving in, being greeted with open arms.
Friendships in the military world move faster than normal, but are still just as genuine. You can meet someone that morning and be invited over for dinner that night. I have also found that military spouses are willing to help anyone, at any time. We are all thousands of miles away from family and our husbands don’t work the typical 9-5, so sometimes you need a little bit of help.
When my Marine was deployed, I had a wonderful friend who offered to just come over once a week and watch my daughter so I could have an hour or two to myself to run errands or go workout baby free. She was my lifesaver!
Life is always an adventure in base housing. We have moved four times in the past five years! Some people might hear that and think ‘wow, what a pain’, but honestly it’s so fun to have these new experiences. Each place we been stationed, it’s been so different than the last.
Twentynine Palms was my first experience with base living and I really enjoyed it. Sure base housing might not be your dream home, but when will you ever live within walking distance to all of your friends? I loved last minute lunch gatherings or the evening walks that we all would meet up with one another. I also felt so safe living on base. Technically I lived in a gated community with armed guards: people pay big money for that!
Living on base, it was never out of the ordinary to see Marines in their cammies marching by, big HMMVs driving around, or loud artillery booms at all hours of the day. I remember being really late for work once and then discovered that a Marine was stopping traffic due to Tanks crossing (I love Tanks, my husband is Tanker) but at that moment, I was so annoyed and just thought that this would never happen off base. It was these kinds of activities that had me looking forward to getting away, rather than constantly being surrounded by the Marine Corps.
Now that I’m in Texas, everything seems like something is wrong or missing. I haven’t been able to see my husband sport the newly reinstated rolled sleeves yet, because he never wears his cammies. I am so sad! This time away makes me realize how much respect I have for Marines. They don’t get overtime for working the weekend or get to be excused from training for a family party. These men and women work hard and that is why they are the best!
Perks of Base Amenities
When I lived on base I would make weekly MCX (Marine Corps Exchange) trips. Of course I do have a Target a few minutes from my house here, but there is just something special about shopping on base. I used to kidnap my best friend from work for weekly MCX trips. We’d grab a Starbucks and roam what we call the ‘moto section’. Now I have quite the Marine Corps wardrobe from those shopping days which I proudly wear here in Texas. Besides the awesome Marine Corps apparel, the MCX has a little bit of everything AND for a deal. Who wouldn’t love shopping there?!
There are plenty of other perks of base living and everyone has their own thing; for me it’s working out. Some women might be intimidated by working out next to a US Marine but it pushed me to try a little harder. Besides having a small fitness center in my neighborhood, I had access to two nice gyms, fitness classes, and recreation pool for FREE. Our gym membership here in Texas is outrageous!
So even if Recruiting Duty isn’t the most favorite job my Marine has had, I still support him 100%. I am proud of what he does and who he represents. But my dear husband if you’re reading this, please get me back by my fellow Marine families ASAP!
If you’ve been stationed away from base, what have you missed most?
God bless ya, you are the first USMC wife who looked at recruiting duty with excitement, most of us were filled with a feeling of dread and foreboding lol. It’s great that you have such a positive attitude about it.
Twenty-nine Palms, a.k.a the stumps, was our first duty station & base housing. We lived in the old Marine Palms, back before they were torn down. I worked at the library, px & Naval Hospital. I very clearly remember the BOOMS of artillery & other live fire. My husband was with the unit that ran the CAX s so he didn’t work a “normal” schedule. Pretty close to recruiting but not so late at night. It was also where my 4 & done guy told me that he wanted to stay in, forever lol.
It’s hard to believe that he is now on terminal leave after 23 years total service time. Your blog post reminded me of the good (29 Palms, being newlyweds, living on base & moving), the bad (living on some bases & moving when you’ve planted yourself deeply, we later spent 7 yrs in San Diego, 3 Miramar, 4 Pendleton & leaving Pendleton was like ripping my arm off!) & the ugly (R/D was VERY, VERY, VERY, did I say very?bad for us. It’s the only thing I carry bitterness for the Corps about).
We’ve been trying to transition here because we are retiring at this station. You are very right, it is HARD making civilian friendships. After so many years, you forget how to be a civilian & have to relearn everything again, but not in the same place we grew up. New people, New rules.
Best of luck to you & your young family. As I’m sure you’ve already been told, if you can survive r/d as a couple, you can survive anything. Best wishes from an “old” wife
I have so many questions for you, I’d appreciate it so much if you e-mailed me so I had a chance to ask you some of them. I’m two months from being eighteen and the guy that I’ve been is now extremely serious about going into the Marines. And, as a girlfriend of 11 months I don’t want this to tare us apart. I just need someone with experience I can get answers from, and I happened to stumble across your post as I was searching online. As I said I’d love to hear back, thanks for your time. 🙂
Angelia, we have several forums you can join for more information. The best one to join is our Boot Camp page in your situation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/413354828786568/