One day Husband came home and said, “Hey Wife! I think I want to join the Air Force.”
I laughed and said no. We maybe didn’t have a picture perfect life but we had it pretty good. He asked me to think about it for a bit and then we could talk about it later. Every time I started to sit down and think about it, all that flashed in my mind was all the terrible news stories of losing loved ones overseas or those happy/sad videos of kids running to hug their parent that just came back from deployment. It wasn’t something I wanted to think about but here I was.
Out of no where I was surrounded by Air Force. It is like they just knew so they sent TV commercials, radio commercials, people walking down the street in Air Force shirts, stickers on the back of cars, and so much more my way. After a week of it just being on my mind, Cody and I had a nice long talk about it.
Here are our personal reasons for becoming an Air Force family.
- Cody had been working at a factory back home and was about to get laid off for the 3rd time within a few months. As far as jobs go where we are from this was one of the better jobs to land without having a degree, but there was always going to be that lingering fear of getting laid off and around Christmas was always their favorite time to do it.
If he joined the Air Force he was pretty much guaranteed a job, a paycheck, and the possibility of finding a good job after he was done with his military career.
- Husband, myself, and our kids get some perks as far as going to college. Here is a link that goes into all of the perks.
- We had pretty good insurance with Cody’s current job, but it wasn’t so good that we didn’t need Medicaid for the kids. Tri-Care is a very good insurance to have even if you aren’t near a base to get everything for free.
- Here is a big one for both us….. TRAVEL. Cody and I love to go see and experience new things. Staying where we were in life at that moment we would have never got to really see all that we want. This is mostly because we could have never afforded it. Being in the Air Force would give a chance to not only visit but live in places we never would have even dreamed of.
- Getting out of the cycle was another big one for us. Where we are from you maybe go school or you go straight to work, get married young, have kids pretty young, get a house, raise a family, and work until you die. I am so grateful for my parents for working so hard all of my life so that I could have what I had and do things I wanted to do, but I never pictured myself in my small town home forever. Yet, there I was going through the cycle. While we still lived in our small town when I was growing up, I was never held back from going out and experiencing anything that I wanted to experience in the world. As a matter of fact I was encouraged to seek adventure (Thanks Shelly). Becoming a military family would break this cycle for us and for our kids while giving us a new adventure.
- For me this is the most important reason. Cody looked at me straight in the eye and told me that he didn’t think he had done anything that his kids could be proud of him for. He felt like he hadn’t accomplished anything that would make our boys want to be like “that is my dad”. He wanted to serve and to do something that was bigger than him. He needed to do something that made not only his family, me, or our boys proud but he needed to do something that made him proud of himself.
Obviously we were older and had a family when we decided to become a military family. We are a bit of an unusual case when it comes to any kind of paperwork for them to do because of this. Often we don’t fit in with the younger people that we are in the same rank with. It isn’t bad but it often isn’t my favorite either because I have three kids and don’t really want to go out with a bunch of adults to a bar.
I bet you are wondering if I would suggest becoming a military family like we did? Not really. I am not trying to discourage anyone from joining the military because it really is a great option. I would suggest joining when you are younger and if you can join before you have kids. This is only because there is a lot of paperwork, stress, and red tape when you are trying to do pretty much anything. Also, if you do decide to join like we did then you need to be really confident and strong in your relationship. It is not any easy road and I do not want to put anyone under any kind of illusion. I guess you could say it is a walk in the park if that park were Jurassic Park. (stole that joke)
*This is our personal reasons and story. Not everyone has this experience.*