The Strength of a Military Spouse

On a recent Friday, I had a hometown friend tell me that her husband was leaving the next day for a work conference, and she would not see him again until the following Tuesday. I gave her a moment to vent a little, and I could hear a bit of sadness in her voice, but the truth was, I was annoyed. What I would give to have my husband leave for only three nights. When my husband leaves for a work related event, I will be lucky if I see him in six months. I am a military spouse.

The strength of a “milspouse” is second-to-none, and the military lifestyle is truly not for everyone. The women I have met are strong, independent, and adaptive to change. We all handle this lifestyle differently: the deployments, the detachments, the moves, and the ever-changing work hours. Some spouses find distractions such as throwing themselves into their own careers, while others are stay-at-home moms. However, there is one thing that stands firm – our comfort in each other. There is a reason that milspouses become so close. Unless someone has physically lived this lifestyle, most civilians will never truly understand, and because of this, we milspouses have a core connection to each other and where words often are not necessary.

The ladies of 115

We naturally bond in countless ways. Our husbands’ careers may have brought us together, but it is our love for each other that keeps us close. We compare the number of times each person has moved, and all the personal items that have been destroyed by movers. We talk about cities where we have lived and what we have loved (and loathed) about each one. We find that we know many of the same people, because even though the military can seem immense to outsiders, in our community, it is quite small. We make fun of our husbands’ jargon and how they gesticulate when telling stories. We also have to share with each other the birth names of our husbands, since they only use call signs. Quite honestly, I do not always know who “Twinkie”, “Omaha”, and “Broke” are! We even make sure to tell each other where our military discounts can be used! But none of this is not what sets military spouses apart from others. It is the connection we have with each other when the unexpected happens. Without asking what to do, or being nervous about what to say, a military spouse will step in to help another during the worst of times.

Secret Sister Reveal

On December 8th at 6:40 pm, F-18 fighter pilot, Jake “Red Stripe” Frederick, who was stationed in Beaufort, was killed while performing a routine mission off the coast of Japan. The last words the crew heard over the radio were, “I am ejecting.” His body was found 20 hours later. He left behind his eight months pregnant wife, Kiley, and his three-year-old son. Within a few short hours after Kiley was notified, her squadron’s wives started pouring into her home. For the next several days, they stayed right by her side, bringing food, helping pack up her house, praying and comforting her in any way she needed – even if she did not say anything specifically.

News of Jake’s death spread quickly through our military community, and within a couple of days hundreds of Facebook profile pictures had been changed across our nation with the VMFA-115 logo (Jake’s squadron), a Go-Fund Me page had been created by one of Kiley’s closest friends in the squadron, and pages with updates of different suggestions for helping Jake’s family were being shared thousands of times.

It was no secret that Jake and Kiley were Christians, and her faith carried her through these dark days. On the Sunday after Jake’s death, Kiley and Jake’s families gathered in her home, along with dozens of spouses to hold a small service. Songs were sung, stories were told, and prayers were lifted. Several days later, Jake was laid to rest in his home state of Texas. Kiley made a specific request: she wanted her military spouse sisters to sit with the family at the funeral.

Photo Credit: Paul Nurnberg Photography

This is the strength of a spouse. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, and when your husband is a United States’ Marine, there is an extra concern for his safety, but you will rarely hear complaints. In a way, we chose this life. We knew this life would not be easy; we could have walked away, chosen a different path, but we stayed. We became military spouses, through the good times and bad. We know we have each other to lean on, and we make each other strong.

In Memory of Jake “Red Stripe” Frederick

 

 

 

 

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.”

Why I’m Pro-Life

Maddox just turned 4 months old.  Every night, I say the same prayer for him: to be protected, healthy, kept safe, and to one day accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  I am a Christian, and I try my best to put God at the center of my life-every decision.  Sometimes, I fail, but for this election, I held true to my values.

When I look at Maddox, I realize how truly pro-life I am.  The moment I heard his heart beat at just a few weeks in utero, I would have done anything for him. I cannot support a politician who doesn’t flinch if a woman wants an abortion for unrelated health purposes.  I have been told, “There needs to be separation of church and state.” I disagree. The more we push Jesus out, the worse, I believe, our country is getting. “What a woman chooses to do with her body is her right.” What about the baby’s rights? Women have options if they do not want to raise a child, but as a Christian, I view abortions as murder.

When I was about 20 weeks pregnant, I was given the option to test for disorders such as Down Sydrome.  I asked around to a few of my friends on whether they got the test or not, as well as their reasons for it.  I heard a few mixed answers.  One that struck me uncomfortably was, “Yes.  I recommend it. That way, you can decide if you want to keep the baby or not.”  I was totally left speechless, and then I asked one more person. My friend Brittney.  Brittney has been one of my closest friends since childhood, and she is the epitome of a Christian woman.  Her response spoke volumes to me: “No, I wasn’t tested. It didn’t matter.  If God wanted to give us a child with Down Syndrome, then He obviously thinks we can handle it.”  That was all I needed to hear. I spoke with Jesse, and he agreed. There would be no test for me, but abortion would not be an option.

After Maddox’s birth, my 0pinion on the subject was even stronger. I look at him and thank God for this wonderful blessing. I have friends who have adopted and love their children just as much as I love mine.  These parents are also thankful to their children’s biological mother for choosing life.  That choice not only saved the lives of the babies, but brought a new love to a family.

I’ve often wondered why God allows some women to get pregnant so easily knowing they do not want to have a child, while others pray relentlessly for one-only to never have the chance.  I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m not supposed to.  Jesse and I became pregnant with Maddox very quickly, and four days after his birth, we knew we wanted more children. The same may not happen again for me as quickly, or at all, but that is out of my hands.

My mom and I have talked about abortion often. She knows my stance, and she sometimes reminds me that I did not feel this way as a teenager or college student. I was fine with abortion, but I also feel people change.  I didn’t know then what I know now.  I had never heard a heartbeat or had seen a sonogram.  I hope one day abortions become illegal again.  I know that is  a controversial statement, but that is the beauty of being American. I have the right to    say what I want to say, just as those who oppose me can do the same.

I believe every life is a blessing from God, and I believe every baby is created in the image of Him. To destroy that breaks my heart, especially knowing there are so many families out there who would love to raise a child.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Hello, President Trump

gop

I’m waking up this morning to the news that Donald Trump will be our new president.  Although our country is completed divided on this announcement, I am actually relieved to hear this.  I voted for Donald Trump.

The truth is I was never sold on Trump as a person. I still have my own personal reservations with him; however, I decided to vote for the candidate who was most aligned with my values and ultimately against the Clinton Administration.

I’ve heard many times that we should separate church and state.  As a Christian, I disagree. I will always put Him first in all my decisions including who to vote for as my Commander in Chief. When I was 18, I went with my Government class to the local voting precinct to register.  Our teacher had spent months teaching us of the various stances of each party that would prepare us to make a decision on which party to affiliate ourselves.  The Republican Party resonated with me most.  I was and still am pro-life, a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, a believer in a strong military, a proponent of small business, etc. I could go in detail about why I feel the way I feel about each of these stances, but that is not why I’m writing this.  What is needed to know is these are my values and beliefs, and they line up perfectly with conservatism.  So, that day in my government class, I registered as a Republican and never looked back.

president-as-maddox

Maddox’s 2016 Halloween Costume
“Third Party Candidate Nominee”
He was endorsed quite a bit that night.

I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 nor 2012.  I didn’t think he was a bad guy (still don’t). I just didn’t vote at all in 2008, and in 2012, I liked Romney better, but these last eight years, I’ve seen our country go down-economically and morally. Being a military spouse, I started to fear ISIS more than just an average American.  We would hear about attacks on Americans or a possible threats on the military base where my husband worked.  We were told families of military were getting targeted and to change our social media names, don’t post any pictures military related, and even possibly take down our American flags that hung outside our homes so that we didn’t bring attention to ourselves.

Aside from possible terrorism attacks, I would speak to my father about the rising cost of Obamacare that he didn’t even want, but was forced to have.  I watched our country start getting more racially divided.  There was an increase in mass shootings, while trustworthy Americans were being threatened that their 2nd Amendment right was going to be taken away. The influx of illegal immigrants was beginning to get out of hand. I believe that with a Clinton Administration, these things would only not get better, they would actually get worse.

I need to be able to trust my President, and I do not trust Hillary Clinton.  I do not need nor desire to get into the various reasons I find her untrustworthy. I honestly feel it is a bit of a rhetorical statement, since much of America feels the same way I do. I do not like her plans for our country.  Those who work hard should reap the benefits and not be forced to pay for those who chose a different path. Looking at how I feel about her character, and then following my own personal values, I knew I was going to stick with the Republican nominee.

I’m nervous about Trump. He runs at the mouth, is arrogant, and a bit of a loose canon, but I’m still willing to take my chances with him knowing what I would get with Clinton. I like that he’s not a politician.  I am very impressed with Governor Pence, along with some the advisors Trump has. If this is any inkling of the type of decisions he will make while in the White House, I will feel great about my decision to cast my vote for him. I  truly hope Trump does his best to keep his promises.

And…I really like Ivanka!