28 February 2011

Grateful Thanks

I was buying shoes the other day for that formal I told you about.  And the lady at the register was asking about updating my reward card and asked what brought me to this area.  I told her my husband was in the AirForce and working up on the base.  She was very pleasant and told me to tell me husband thank you for his service, and then she looked me in the eye and said, "And thank you, for the sacrifice you make while your husband serves."  That really impressed me.  The area we now live in is a very patriotic place and they truly love and wholeheartedly support the troops wherever they serve.

25 February 2011

Being an OSI Wife

Being a Military Spouse is one thing- a demanding job of itself.  But being an OSI Wife is an even more arduous job.  I've always thought they should give out Hazardous Duty Pay to OSI Wives. Why?  Here are just a few of the perils of be an OSI Wife.

  • You never know what your husband does each day. Asking about his day will never get you an real answer.  I've learned over the years that an OSI wife's best qualification is to be a listener.  Don't ask any questions, just listen when he needs to vent and be ok with that.
  • You have to learn to live with late night calls that require him to get up and leave without explanation, calls in the middle of date night or family dinner, and watching him spend more time on his Blackberry than with the kids. 
  • He may not always be home at the end of the work day.  There are days when he won't be home 'til 10pm.  And then up again at 6am the next morning.
  • You won't make very many friends with the other military spouses and definitely not with the military members themselves.  Once they find out your husband is OSI forget being invited to the block BBQ.
  • You'll come across those other wives who want the inside on whatever is happening on base or in the community. They will try every way to get you to "spill the beans".  Then there are the wives that want to pass on info on someone else. No matter how many times you urge them to go to the OSI office and fill out a report (or whatever it is you do when you want to leak info on someone else).   
Over the years I've coined a title for myself that I share with other OSI wives.  I'm just a "Dumb OSI Wife".  Maybe I should make T-shirts and share them with the other OSI Wives I know.  I don't know anything, and I don't want to know, so don't ask me.

24 February 2011

Inspired and Uplifted

My husband and I attended an Air Force Awards Banquet last night.  It was nice to get out among other military couples.  We don't often get the chance to attend events like this- husband's command doesn't fall under a numbered AirForce so get-togethers are a rarity.  If we have them they are at the detachment level and usually a BBQ.
Last night's event was a Black Tie/Mess Dress event.  There's something to be said about seeing your husband in military mess dress with all the medals he earned, a bow tie and cummerbund.
The guest speaker was the former Chief of the Air Force. He was both inspiring and encouraging.  the night reminded me of the several dinners we attended while my husband was on the Joint Staff.  The caliber of men that the leaders of our Armed Forces are extraordinary.  They are great men who inspire the men under them to be equally as great.  They are extremely patriotic- with a love of country reminiscent of the great leaders of the Revolution.  They are intelligent- men of great understanding and learning.  They are generous with their praise- encouraging those in harms way or preparing for deployments. They are altruistic- I think of Wounded Warrior projects founders.
I came away with a greater sense of pride in my husband's association in the Air Force.  With a better determination to make a difference- to better help the spouses in my husband's command.

19 February 2011

Spouses Get Together

We had a nice get together with the other spouses in my husbands unit. We could have had more but it was still a success. A friend of mine from church wanted to do some service and gave each of us a great pedicure. The superintendents wife brought some fabulous desserts. We had a good time getting to know one another and sharing stories from our military lives.
There was a newbie wife and a prior-military-now-wife and two long time military wives.
It's always nice to talk with other spouses about the struggles we each face- a lot of them the same for each of us. It was a very therapeutic night for all. I think we'll bending it again soon. Perhaps a coupon party. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

13 February 2011


As a military family, constantly moving from place to place, it's important to create some family traditions that you can keep going no matter where you live.  Each year for Valentine's Day, (and much to the chagrin of my husband who every year complains that this is a made up holiday, isn't real, Hallmark made it up to make $$), I make valentine's day fun for the kids.  Sometimes I try to surprise them.  Occasionally I've gone to the school and hidden something in their lockers or desks, or hidden small treats in their lunch boxes.  This year I'm making valentine garland to hang from their doorways, so that when they wake up and open their doors they'll see a curtain of hearts- pink and purple and red for my daughter of course, but light blue, green and true blue for the boys.  Most years I get a small stuffed animal for the kids, and this year I found some nice ones- each one different from the other- to hang from their doors as well. 
Traditions, no matter how silly or serious, can make memories that will last forever no matter where you lived.

07 February 2011

Where to Go from Here

We're at that point in the assignment when you have to fill out and submit your "dream sheet" for your follow on, a whole year from now.  Where do we go from here?  Looking at assignments that are opening up, will schools be a deciding factor, does my husband look at a deployment to keep us here for another year so that the follow on will allow our son to finish his last 2 years in high school in the same school, and the questions go on and on.  And the assignments become more and more limited as we advance in rank. 

It's a bummer- not being given enough time to really enjoy yourself in the new assignment. We just got here!  I want to enjoy it before I start thinking about the next PCS.

04 February 2011

Defending War

I write this with great caution, but it's something I've been thinking about.  I was sitting in a religion class the other day and the instructor brought up the subject of war and shared some quotes that were a little negative saying war was of the devil.  I was very uncomfortable sitting there.  Understand where I come from- I grew up as an Army brat until my junior year of high school, and now I'm an AF Wife.  My parents are very patriotic and always taught us what a great blessing we had of freedom.  My parents understood and shared with their children their love of country and that there were times where war was necessary- in defense of country, family, freedom, religion. 
I remembered a quote from a church leader shortly after the war on terror began.  He said,
"there are times and circumstances when nations are justified, in fact have an obligation, to fight for family, for liberty, and against tyranny, threat, and oppression.
"When all is said and done, we of this Church [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] are people of peace.  We are followers of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ ... This places us in the position of those who long for peace, who teach peace, who work for peace, but who also are citizens of nations and are subject to the laws of our government.  Furthermore, we are a freedom-loving people, committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy...
"Now, there is much that we can and must do in these perilous times. We can give our opinions on the merits of the situation as we see it, but never let us become a party to words or works of evil concerning our brothers and sisters in various nations on one side or the other.  Political differences never justify hatred or ill will. "

03 February 2011

Superhuman military wife

‘Superhuman’ military wife encounters her kryptonite

- Special to The Telegraph

You always hear about how much the military member changes during a deployment, and you will get no argument from me on that note. I have seen Justin change in different ways after each deployment. But I never heard that much about how a deployment can change those left behind.
Don’t get me wrong, we talk about how hard it is to adjust back into a family routine, but that isn’t exactly what I mean. I can honestly say I never noticed much of a change in me during other deployments. Then again, I could have just been in denial or so excited he was home that I was too busy enjoying the moment to realize I wasn’t the same person he left behind.
But this time I see and feel myself changing as if I am watching through the looking glass. I can see my fuse shorten with the boys, I can see the version of me that preferred sitting in the floor playing silly games with the boys over cleaning any day disappearing and I can see my love for the Air Force way of life fading away.
Up until recently, I would have never thought twice about the possibility of Justin ending his Air Force career before he had completed the 20 years necessary to retire. I was always the one encouraging him that we could handle all the separations, because in the long run it would be what was best for our family. However, with the possibility of Justin leaving again about six months after he returns from this deployment, my commitment to the Air Force life has started to wane.
It doesn’t help the matter that many people somehow think military wives should be “superhuman” when it comes to dealing with the military lifestyle. The “you married it and you knew what to expect” attitude some people direct toward military families is really getting under my skin lately. But can you really know what to expect? Can you know how being separated for months at a time will affect you, your spouse and your children? I don’t think anyone can truly know the affect of the lifestyle until you’ve lived it. And with each new leg of your Air Force journey comes new challenges -- meaning even when you think you’ve got the hang of it, there will be something around the corner to ensure you don’t.
It still bothers me that people somehow think it is fine for a non-military spouse to complain when their spouse is gone for a week on business, but if a military spouse complains about a seven-month deployment, they face the “it could be worse” response. This comment would be fine coming from another military spouse who just endured a one-year separation, but not from your everyday, never-been-there acquaintance. Don’t get me wrong, remembering it could always be worse is an important part of staying positive. But I don’t need everyone reminding me. I know. And I know several spouses who have it worse who act as a much more vivid reminder.
I spent much of my time as an Air Force wife apologizing -- for not wanting to be separated, for hating that my husband has to miss so many precious memories and for not being 100 percent excited about every day I spend as a military spouse, because that is what many people expected of me. I would even get aggravated with the spouses who had the nerve to complain out loud about the numerous deployments, the never-ending extra duty assignments and anything else that bugged them about being married to the military. And to all of those spouses, I now humbly apologize. I have finally been converted.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not ready to eject from the life we have chosen, but I am ready to admit it is hard to always keep a smile on your face. No matter how long or short the separation is the trails can be exhausting no matter how “super-powered” you are supposed to be.
Amanda Creel, who was a staff writer at the Robins Rev-Up newspaper on Robins Air Force Base, is married to Staff Sgt. Justin Creel, stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, England. Contact her at acreel@macon.com.

Military Clause

It's always nice to know that companies are willing to work with military families. I just took advantage of the new AT&T special ($49 for new iPhone 3GS) and moved from an individual plan to a family plan with my husband. There's a possible deployment in a year or two and I didn't want to be stuck with a $300 cancellation fee in case my husband had to go overseas. 

One of the many things a military spouse has to think about sometimes on a daily basis- military clauses. It's not enough that we live with the fear of a call at any time to deploy but our daily lives revolve around them. Making sure each new contact has a military clause whether it's the new lease of the home, a utility, Internet or cable, or new cell phone agreement. And not everyone has such clause already built into their contracts, and you have to make a big fuss to get one.

02 February 2011

Fitting In

I think I'm entering a new phase of motherhood.  With each move I worried and hoped the kids would be able to make friends quickly and find new activities and fun things to do.  The kids are doing great here.  We've had friends over and tried some activities- some worked, some didn't, but they've adjusted well and are thriving.  Now it's my turn.  I've been missing the friends I have back east and wondering if I'll find friends as great and close.  On the other hand I'm enjoying the friendship my husband and I have again, after 15 month deployment.  Is that enough?  Do women really need other women in their life or does that make things difficult with a returning husband? 

All that considered, I'm really happy just being with hubby for a while.