Commentary by Terry Bolander
Team Schriever spouse
Being a military spouse, for me, came later in life. We had been married 10 years, had all our children and owned a beautiful home nestled in the foothills of Boise, Idaho. Yes, life couldn’t have been sweeter or in my eyes, more perfect. My husband had a great paying job, the neighborhood was fabulous, the schools were amazing and there was always something going on and something new to explore.
Then one day my sweet, hard working, wonderful husband told me he felt the need to serve our country. Honestly, I cried. I loved our life, the security that we were always together and safe. So this became a matter of great contemplation and much prayer. Because of course in God we trust, this was a matter of how much did I really trust my God.
This is the place I belong now. It was not an easy choice and there are still nights I cry myself to sleep because I’d rather be back in my “safe spot.” It was more difficult, especially after the deployment letter arrived and the knots in my stomach started to form. The fear of a million “what ifs” filled my entire soul and burrowed so deeply that my agony was unquenchable. But, here I am, where I know I should be. Where I know God needs us, where I know my country needs us.
It’s been a blessing in many ways to us already. Our first location took me back home where I was able to be close to my family and spend the last year of my mother’s life at her side. I relish that opportunity as her death came suddenly and unexpected. I was there for a reason, though bitter and hard, there are always silver linings if you choose the right path. If only for those few memories made, I am glad we chose this path.
There are countless blessings like the one just mentioned being at the right place at the right time to see miraculous things, to spend time with people we loved who we would never have been able to see otherwise. Having the flexibility to take time off for illnesses or accidents like when in one year we had four broken bones; or the year I had a traumatic brain injury, which manifested itself within a week with mini strokes and all the severe repercussions of that; or when our daughter was so sick after a surgery we almost lost her.
Even though we were able to travel to states and countries that had not been on our to-do list, we are so glad we had that opportunity. Things like being able to tag along on TDYs to see different places and meet amazing people or be allowed to get the government rate, are some things we would never have been able to afford otherwise.
But mostly, being part of military family enables you to learn how to value what it is that truly matters and what it is that I treasure because it could easily be taken from me. We see and appreciate what our military men and women, past and present, really have sacrificed all these years. We have a genuinely grateful and indebted heart for their acts, deeds of love, sacrifice and insurmountable courage.
There are days when being a military spouse is hard, really hard, fearful, even downright sad, but my father always said the good things in life are the ones we work the hardest for and most worth our time.
It’s worth being a military spouse, the good, the bad, the ugly, but mostly the silver linings that make the trip worth while. Look for them, sometimes you have to stand in the rain to be able to see the rainbow.