Living in a Shadow... Of What?
Living in the shadows of the United States Military. You see blog posts all the time from upbeat military spouses and "blogger moms" about how awesome the opportunities are that the military gives them and their families. PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND-- the United States Military is WONDERFUL for the lives and freedom of the United States and gives legitimate opportunities to all sorts of families, friends and circumstances. My father and mother were active duty Air Force who served for many years. My uncle, two of my brothers and several friends of mine are members of the military. I don't want to make it seem like I hate the military- I absolutely do NOT.
I'd like to try to bring people to the "darker side" of what being a military spouse means. For women AND for men. For example, in my particular situation, I work as a legal assistant and social media manager for an attorney, singer, songwriter and author. She leads a very busy, very successful life and I get to help with that. If she weren't in this incredible situation, I wouldn't be able to work from home while we're in Germany. It's an amazing opportunity.
BUT, the information that isn't very attainable is that it's pretty difficult to become employed as a civilian in Europe without prior experience. For example, I have a year of experience as a legal assistant but, typically, the JAG office here only hires twice a year. Not to mention that the forum used to hire civilian jobs through the base, USA Jobs, has a specific criterion for your resume. Which means, you need to form your resume to exact specifications of the website that if you miss a line, don't put the number of hours per week you worked at your last job or that you specifically have experience with their specific job qualifications, your resume is automatically booted.
So, spouses that move with the military every 3-4 years, who are duty-bound to their husbands and children, who are forced to give up their careers to follow a life of service in their spouse's shadows. I don't mean to sound cruel or horrible. Like I said, this is the "darker" side of what the peppy, cheerleader spouses write about.
I love the fact that my husband is active duty. I love that it brought us to Europe and given us the opportunity to visit all the places we've been talking about since dating. Both of our families are from England, we have dreams of visiting the typical places American kids from small towns dream about: Venice, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague, Paris, Oslo, etc. The military is definitely making some dreams come true in our lives. So, again I say, I'm not dissing the military or the blessings it can bring into a person's life but I am dissing that the "dark" side of the spouse's life isn't talked about more. Let me know your thoughts!