Here at the HUN, we aren’t shy about our love for the National Guard. The ups and downs, life and its unique challenges are something we’ve discussed many times before. However, on any given day we will probably tell you that we are proud of who we are. The National Guard in the past has been known as “part time” soldiers or “weekend warriors” – soldiers who serve one weekend per month, two weeks in the summer for training, and when a National disaster hits our country. We have moved past this term, if you still use it, perhaps you should read up on what the Guard does and who we are. Trust us when we say, a lot has changed since 9/11.
Representing both Guard families, Angela – Army Guard and Rheanna, Air Guard, we thought we would tell you just how COOL it is to be a National Guard spouse.
Here are 5 Reasons Why We Love Being a National Guard Spouse…
1. That special connection with the ‘Civilian World’:
It may sound a bit weird to many, but for a National Guard family, civilians are our lifelines. When we are thrown into the chaos that are deployments and TDY’s, the civilian world helps us to see things through the eyes of a “normal” family. We get to pretend that for just a moment, we too are normal. Not that we don’t love our military life, we just appreciate the little break civilian life gives us in those heavy moments of stress. Also, we think it is pretty darn cool that in a civilian world, where the majority of the people have never served, our service member is honored and seen as the town hero. Who doesn’t love feeling that pride? Civilians do an awesome job of making us feel special. We are cool with that.
2. We are the first and oldest military branch: We started it all. The National Guard is older than our nation. Yup. You read that right. On December 13, 1636, the U.S. Army National Guard officially came into existence. They were originally organized for a drill in Salem, Massachusetts as a militia group, the National Guard has since continued their tradition of serving our country, both nationally and abroad. All that history, tradition and pride definitely tops it!
3. We have pretty flexible and resilient kids: While this is a staple of military life, we think our kids have a really unique perspective on the military life that’s hard to replicate anywhere else. We can move several times in a career, or we can stay in one place the entire time. Our BRATS experience both sides of the line and see their Guard parent walk that line as well; a pretty cool example of service, before self. They can transition from civilian to military life in an instant – that’s pretty special.
4. We can put down roots where we are: There’s no real argument with this one. It’s something our active duty counterparts have to deal with on the regular, and bring up as a huge difference between the two types of service. We might even be serving where we grew up! I have lived in three different places, choosing to move jobs within the Guard and civilian life. While Angela and her husband have served in two states – moving only once from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, still being only an hour away from family and having the opportunity for their children to stay in the same schools. It’s an option we have in the National Guard world, and one many take to progress in their career or experience new things as a family.
5. We have the strength of a stable military family: This final point goes hand in hand with so many of the ones previously mentioned. However, we think it begs to be repeated. Our National Guard units and squadrons don’t have to PCS frequently. These service members and their families have become our backbone, with strength that can only come from an understanding of this unique lifestyle. We have served together for years and have become each other’s families. While we still may have blood relatives close to us, there’s nothing quite like your military family that knows what it’s like to experience a TDY or deployment.
Being a National Guard spouse is pretty darn cool, and we hate to use this word over and over again, but let’s be real…it’s unique. We love our little part of the world and on most days wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Want to learn more about the National Guard and what we do? Check out our page here!