Seeking Other Reservists' Wives

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Seeking Other Reservists' Wives
12
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 5:38pm
My husband was recently activated after 27 years as a reservist in the Army. I find myself totally unprepared to be a military wife (married 12 years). Two days a month doesn't qualify as a military wife. So I don't have the lingo, the "life style" or established support groups. I live in a "military unfriendly" area, so my friends really can't understand what I'm going through and the community atmostphere isn't doing me any good.

A lot of information dissemination mechanisms have kicked in, but none are helping me in this transition. It all makes some assumption that I would know about the military and all the baggage that goes with it. There's a whole new "language" and set of acronyms I need to learn and understand. There's protocol and other such things. I really don't have the time to build this whole new part into our lives (which I'm hoping will be very temporary) but at the same time I feel alone and don't know where to find the answers to my questions: How do I cope with the fact my husband is a whole other being than his civilian self? What emails do I ignore (such as when I get invited to things by total strangers, is it ok to decline, or am I offending some general's wife?) What do I tell our daughters (ages 8 and 3)? How do I continue with my career, two kids, house remodel and all other day-to-day typical family things I must take on alone? I'm looking for any advice, support, words of wisdom that other women in a similar circumstance may have to offer.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 6:36pm
Hi there, I am wife to a army national guard member. I also do not

live in a town that has alot of military people so it is hard. I also work

and have two children and that is hard too. All that I can tell you is you

get into a routine and things will eventually fall into place for you. My

husband has been gone for two months now, and the begining was the hardest,

just because you do not know how to cope, but you will learn ways. I don't get

to post on

here as often as I would like, but it is a great board, with alot of great NG

wives and also alot of "full timers" who have alot of wisdom and advice to

share. Also go to the home page, there is alot of info and also a list of

military acronyms. If you have a question or are confused about something, just

post here and someone will try to help you. I know it seems hard right now

but things will get better. Good luck to you!!!!



Hugs!

Jenn Proud wife to Jeff AR NG

Avatar for seamour
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 6:48pm
hi I am Mic, my DH is Air National Guard, he got activated 17 months ago, his base is 3 hours away from here so he has been gone alot. He used to get home a couple of times a month but now he is across the country and we haven't seen him for a month, orders are cut for 6 months currently. SO what was I getting at ? Oh yeah, like you I HAD NO CLUE what I was doing, but am slowly learning. The fulltimers on the board here are a wealth of information. And most of us guards/reserve wives are learning. We are trying to get ivillage to set up a board for guards/reservist families as we we feel our situations are different enough to warrant it but they kinda have their hands full right now. So post lots, we will be here for ya. I am a sahm to 3 kids, 16, 8 and 4.

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Avatar for mommykat2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:45am
Hi! I'm Kat and my DH is Army Natl Gaurd. We NEVER thought in a million years that his unit would be activated! I, too, am a working mother (3 kids) with a house in need of repairs!LOL! and was totally CLUELESS about this military life. Luckily I found this board!! I've also found some friends in my area who are "military wives" who've given me some insight. I also live in an area that is NOT "military-friendly". Believe me, I almost want to move after all this!! (I live around San Francisco and I am SICK of protestors!!)

Anyhoo, I hope you get some answers. One thing I will answer is that your husbands unit should have a POC (Point of Contact) person for you to ask ANY questions!! (Like, "Am I offending someone if I decline to go.") That person (usu. a military person) will know everyone's rank and will let you know the etiquette. I've learned a lot from my DHs unit's POC. She's a Sargeant 1st Class and she is very "down to Earth". I hope yours can be as well.

Good luck - HUGS - and post often. We're all in this together - active or RESERVIST!! no matter what Branch. We need to support ALL!

~Kat, Proud Army Natl Gaurd Wife and mom of 3

Avatar for dants0514
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:37pm
Hi everyone,

We are all military wives. The only requirement is that they serve. Granted it is not our everyday lives because our dh's are reservists but we need the help of the full time military wives to help us get thru this. I have a lot of respect for those who's hubands serve full time -- I always have. My dh has been in the service for 13 years. He got activated right after Sept. 11th. The biggest change for me was how we were informed about our benefits. ((NOT)) I had a headache for three days trying to figure out all the new information. Anyhow, my husband has been deployed a couple of times -- the very first time was overseas. The best advise I can give is to keep yourselves busy -- in the normal routine of things -- even when it sucks !!!!! Some suggestions for the kids -- have them write letters (even if that consists of drawing a picture). Also, have the school aged children write letters from their class. I did this with my ds's class. In fact we also did this with a niece and newphew and had my dh visit the class when he came back. As for family, unless they experienced it they don't have a clue -- sorry kinda of harsh but it is the truth. Set up people that you can rely on for babysitting -- or to have a couple of hours to yourself. ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU ALL SHOULD KNOW -- IF YOU ENROLL IN UNITED CONCORDIA (Dental thru the service) -- YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WITHIN the first 30 days of activation in order to cancel the service when you dh is deactivated. Otherwise you will be required to be enrolled for a year -- and the rates do change from activated to reservist status. Also, make sure paperwork is in order, wills, POA's (power of attorney's). Also, take advantage of the Soldier's and Saliors Act (will drop all current bills to 6 percent). Also, if possible get the e-mail address of some of the other woman serving in your dh's unit. I did not have a good FRG (Family Readiness Group) when it came to socializing. Good Luck to everyone. Dana

Avatar for dants0514
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:38pm
Hi everyone,

We are all military wives. The only requirement is that they serve. Granted it is not our everyday lives because our dh's are reservists but we need the help of the full time military wives to help us get thru this. I have a lot of respect for those who's hubands serve full time -- I always have. My dh has been in the service for 13 years. He got activated right after Sept. 11th. The biggest change for me was how we were informed about our benefits. ((NOT)) I had a headache for three days trying to figure out all the new information. Anyhow, my husband has been deployed a couple of times -- the very first time was overseas. The best advise I can give is to keep yourselves busy -- in the normal routine of things -- even when it sucks !!!!! Some suggestions for the kids -- have them write letters (even if that consists of drawing a picture). Also, have the school aged children write letters from their class. I did this with my ds's class. In fact we also did this with a niece and newphew and had my dh visit the class when he came back. As for family, unless they experienced it they don't have a clue -- sorry kinda of harsh but it is the truth. Set up people that you can rely on for babysitting -- or to have a couple of hours to yourself. ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU ALL SHOULD KNOW -- IF YOU ENROLL IN UNITED CONCORDIA (Dental thru the service) -- YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WITHIN the first 30 days of activation in order to cancel the service when you dh is deactivated. Otherwise you will be required to be enrolled for a year -- and the rates do change from activated to reservist status. Also, make sure paperwork is in order, wills, POA's (power of attorney's). Also, take advantage of the Soldier's and Saliors Act (will drop all current bills to 6 percent). Also, if possible get the e-mail address of some of the other woman serving in your dh's unit. I did not have a good FRG (Family Readiness Group) when it came to socializing. Good Luck to everyone. Dana
Avatar for dants0514
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:39pm
Hi everyone,

We are all military wives. The only requirement is that they serve. Granted it is not our everyday lives because our dh's are reservists but we need the help of the full time military wives to help us get thru this. I have a lot of respect for those who's hubands serve full time -- I always have. My dh has been in the service for 13 years. He got activated right after Sept. 11th. The biggest change for me was how we were informed about our benefits. ((NOT)) I had a headache for three days trying to figure out all the new information. Anyhow, my husband has been deployed a couple of times -- the very first time was overseas. The best advise I can give is to keep yourselves busy -- in the normal routine of things -- even when it sucks !!!!! Some suggestions for the kids -- have them write letters (even if that consists of drawing a picture). Also, have the school aged children write letters from their class. I did this with my ds's class. In fact we also did this with a niece and newphew and had my dh visit the class when he came back. As for family, unless they experienced it they don't have a clue -- sorry kinda of harsh but it is the truth. Set up people that you can rely on for babysitting -- or to have a couple of hours to yourself. ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU ALL SHOULD KNOW -- IF YOU ENROLL IN UNITED CONCORDIA (Dental thru the service) -- YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WITHIN the first 30 days of activation in order to cancel the service when you dh is deactivated. Otherwise you will be required to be enrolled for a year -- and the rates do change from activated to reservist status. Also, make sure paperwork is in order, wills, POA's (power of attorney's). Also, take advantage of the Soldier's and Saliors Act (will drop all current bills to 6 percent). Also, if possible get the e-mail address of some of the other woman serving in your dh's unit. I did not have a good FRG (Family Readiness Group) when it came to socializing. Good Luck to everyone. Dana
Avatar for cl_melisca
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:41pm
Not a reservist's wife, but wanted to offer you some hugs and support. I can't imagine the shock you must be going through having your DH activated and I assume, deployed to southwest Asia. I feel like I'm in a bit of a shock myself and my DH is active duty!! LOL.

I hope that you'll come here for support. There are plenty of people here who understand. YOu don't have to speak the language, we're all just here for one another.

We have a lot of information on Military Wives homepage (where you'll find a list of commonly used military acronyms) and on our FAQ page (general info.). You'll find links to both at the top of our board.

I hope you'll stick around.

:) Melissa, army wife in TX

Avatar for dants0514
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:42pm
Hi everyone,

We are all military wives. The only requirement is that they serve. Granted it is not our everyday lives because our dh's are reservists but we need the help of the full time military wives to help us get thru this. I have a lot of respect for those who's hubands serve full time -- I always have. My dh has been in the service for 13 years. He got activated right after Sept. 11th. The biggest change for me was how we were informed about our benefits. ((NOT)) I had a headache for three days trying to figure out all the new information. Anyhow, my husband has been deployed a couple of times -- the very first time was overseas. The best advise I can give is to keep yourselves busy -- in the normal routine of things -- even when it sucks !!!!! Some suggestions for the kids -- have them write letters (even if that consists of drawing a picture). Also, have the school aged children write letters from their class. I did this with my ds's class. In fact we also did this with a niece and newphew and had my dh visit the class when he came back. As for family, unless they experienced it they don't have a clue -- sorry kinda of harsh but it is the truth. Set up people that you can rely on for babysitting -- or to have a couple of hours to yourself. ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU ALL SHOULD KNOW -- IF YOU ENROLL IN UNITED CONCORDIA (Dental thru the service) -- YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WITHIN the first 30 days of activation in order to cancel the service when you dh is deactivated. Otherwise you will be required to be enrolled for a year -- and the rates do change from activated to reservist status. Also, make sure paperwork is in order, wills, POA's (power of attorney's). Also, take advantage of the Soldier's and Saliors Act (will drop all current bills to 6 percent). Also, if possible get the e-mail address of some of the other woman serving in your dh's unit. I did not have a good FRG (Family Readiness Group) when it came to socializing. Good Luck to everyone. Dana
Avatar for dants0514
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:44pm
Sorry guys -- my post -- posted 3 times -- keep telling me that there was a problem posting -- I guess it was wrong.
Avatar for cowsaidmoo
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 1:13pm
Hi, I just wanted to add my support to that of the other ladies and say welcome.

You have found the right place to find answers or just hang out. Whether you are a reservists wife or not you are still a military wife and we love having new members!

I'm Emma-Jayne, British wife on an American Airman (Deployed), we have one daughter (7).

As far as helping you kids cope I have found being very open with my daughter is helping, she sees a little news and if she has questions I answer them as best I can. When she was smaller she really didn't notice when my husband was gone and that was usually 4 mths out of the year. Keeping my regular routine as much as possible helped!

Hope to see you post often, the advice is great around here, not too good at giving it myself though, LOL!!

Hugs

E-J

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