So if you are living a military lifestyle, and your spouse or significant other is a service member, link up and let's meet. Because I want to know your story, I want to be your friend, I want to help you through the crappy times and know you will help me through mine. Military wives can be the most awesome people to have in your corner, and I think it's high time we all started utilizing it!
a) introduce yourself, b) tell us your military story (where you've lived, highlights, etc) and c) share one thing you wish people knew about being a military spouse
THE REAL MILITARY WIVES OF BLOGLAND
A) Introduce Yourself
My name is Tanika Lee Rice, I was born on April 30th 1990 which makes me almost 24. Which I am struggling with because for some reason 23 seems young and 24 seems old? I don't know. It doesn't make sense really. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am married to an Airman named Daniel and I am the mother to a beautiful little girl named Grace. Gracie is almost 2, which ages me more than my birthday does. I am gonna be a mom to a two year old? What?! My husband and I are also trying to have another baby, which is exciting and scary and overwhelming and completely awesome.
I am a double major in theatre and music with a minor in dance. I still have about a year or so left on my degree but haven't been able to finish it because we haven't been in a location long enough for me to enroll. But I know it will happen soon enough and when it does I will FINALLY be a teacher. Huzzah. I love Broadway and all things Barbra Streisand. Most days I can be caught singing show-tunes or country. New York is my dream place to live and I want to vacation in Paris so bad I can't even stand it. I don't like chocolate unless it's dark chocolate and even then I can only have a little bit. I am crazy loyal to those who are loyal to me. I am a very if you are nice to me, I will be nice to you kind of person. Dishonesty is my number one pet peeve. I can't stand being lied to and I can't stand when people are lying or fake to your face. It's not hard for me to trust someone, but it's super hard to get that trust back when it's gone. But mostly, I am a good friend in a storm. I am a cloudy weather friend and I think that's what I am most proud of about my personality in regards to other people.
B.) Tell Us Your Military Story (Where you've lived, highlights, etc)
I grew up as an Army brat as my dad was a Green Beret, so you think that would have prepared me. HAHAHA- NOPE. Totally different when it's your spouse versus your parent. Daniel has been in the military for two years in August. He joined after we got married, 6 months after in fact. But he has always wanted to be in the Air Force ever since he was little. I am glad I get to support him in a big dream of his and I am honored to be a part of it.
We started out in Utah and then we were sent to California for training, then he was sent to Texas for more training. (His job requires a lot of it.) Right now I am in Utah with our daughter staying with family while he is in Texas. After he is done with training in Texas we go to our first "official" duty station in Georgia. We are in it for the long-haul as Daniel wants to retire from the military in 20 years and then join the FBI. We shall see where life takes us, but that is the plan for now.
|At BMT graduation. Look at my cute little honor grad. ;)|
C. Share One Thing You Wish People Knew About Being A Military Spouse
It is really hard to know that in your marriage, in many (and most) ways, you come second to the United States government. To them, your spouse is not a person with thoughts or feelings, they are a number in a uniform, trained and willing to do whatever their commanders tell them to do.
Daniel can never say "no" to something and he can't quit when he gets sick of it. He is permanently tied to (and so by-proxy is our family) the government and that is scary because it takes away a lot of free-will for him and for us. It does cause some arguments of where I think his priorities should be but where they just can't be.
It is so scary to know that at a moments notice, Daniel could be deployed. It is scary to think that after he walks out that door to whatever war torn country, I may never see him again and will only have a folded flag as condolences from the government he swore his life and allegiance to. Daniel hasn't been out of training yet to get deployed (again, longest training EVER), but I know that is a bridge we will eventually have to cross. I think that the idea of a deployment wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have Gracie. Even now that he is in Texas she knows he is supposed to be here and asks for him constantly which makes separation a lot harder.
|Daniel's grad from DLI & Gracie's herp-derp-face|
We are ardent patriots and I know that if Daniel needed to, he would lay down his life and his future with us to do what he thought was right, to save someone else, or following an order from the Commander in Chief. I am so proud of that, but it terrifies me. I have dreams all the time about Daniel dying and service members coming to my door in dress blues. (I wouldn't let Daniel do Special Ops because I was just too terrified over it.) The recent incident at Ft. Hood has made my anxiety go through the roof.
|Daniel carrying me after our sealing. Gotta love a man in uniform.|
The military is a BIG guessing game. You never know what is going on and you can never make plans because something will come up, and your spouse can't say no, or reschedule. Even if you are on your anniversary date, your child's birthday party, or giving birth to your child-- if the government wants your spouse somewhere else, that is where they are gonna be. They will hardly ever be on time for dinner, so let that boat float. It's specifically hard for me on that point because I am a crazy control freak, so I have had to let some of that go. I will admit--I am not so good at that part, but I am working on it.
So it's hard, and it's a sacrifice for us and I wish people would treat military families and mainly service members a heck of a lot better (especially the government.) Because while that person is rambling on about how worthless the military is, some brave soldier is dying to give him the right to say it.
Even though it has it's negatives--we are so blessed to be in the military! It gives us AMAZING health insurance, which with my health is sorely needed and desperately appreciated. It lets us travel to places we wouldn't get to normally and you get a chance to be friends with people from around the world. The Air Force provides well for families and we are so blessed for that. We have a reliable and stable paycheck (as long as Chuck Hagel stays away...) and that's not something everyone can say and we are GRATEFUL for that. The military gives us so many opportunities that a 22 and 23 year old respectively, wouldn't necessarily have access to. We lead a sometimes hard life, but an always rewarding life.
I can't wait to meet ya'll!