The Times When Being a Reserve Spouse Sucks: I write about being a Reservist’s wife a lot. It’s the number one topic that people request when they want a guest post or to feature me on their website. Everyone wants to know the ins and outs of reserve life and how it’s different from active duty life. And usually the differences are fairly obvious and often minimal. There is, however, one instance where reserve life and active duty life don’t even come close to each other. The worst time to be a reserve wife is when an emergency happens.
A year ago, I was at work and got severely injured. I suffered a terrible neck injury and had to go to the hospital. And wouldn’t you know it, my husband was in the field and unreachable. That situation provided the basis for one of my most popular posts of all time, “Please Learn From Our SNAFU.” I talked about having an emergency plan and emergency phone numbers. Seems like pretty basic knowledge, but we don’t even live near where my husband is stationed out of, so it rarely occurs to anyone of us that we might need emergency contact info.
When the Red Cross failed to help and all the other groups said it didn’t count as an emergency to them, which makes me wonder what is… Bedridden woman just home from the hospital, unable to move or walk… I shudder to think where the line has to be for it to count. But what it boiled down to is that no one would or could help me. Luckily, I had an awesome military spouse friend who was willing to drive quite a distance to be there by my side. She was a life saver and Godsend.
This time around is a similar situation. I had to have surgery; my husband had to be in the field at the same time. Surgery like this doesn’t count as an emergency, but I also had to have it sooner rather than later. Sooner just happened to be two days from when I met the surgeon. What are the odds?
But what makes these situations the hardest isn’t that my husband will be in the field. I survived a neck injury with him gone, I’ll survive this too. No, what makes these types of situations hard is that the people you know will drop everything in a second flat to come to your aid live in other states, or even other countries. I don’t have a community to fall back on. I don’t have local groups of spouses who can be called upon during such a time. I have a group of amazing friends who wish more than anything they could come help, but they are simply too far away. Heck I have an amazing group of acquaintances, spouses I’ve never met in real life and spouse who only know me through my blog who would drop everything to help. But such is a life as a Reservist’s wife.
Most of the time I can say I don’t mind our life. I have days I wish we were active duty so I could see other states, cities, and countries. I have days when I’m so glad we aren’t active duty (hello, PCS season!), but when it really comes down to it, the times I wish we were active duty the most are times when I need someone, but my husband can’t be reached and the only spouses I know live hours, if not whole oceans, away.
A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008, as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a USMC reservist with 10 years of service, whom she met shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.
You can view her ramblings about reserve life and life in general at A Boy, A Girl and the Marine Corps: A love triangle , FB pagehttp://www.facebook.com/ABoyAGirlandtheMarineCorps or on Twitter @BoyGirlUSMC.