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By Angela Caban
My husband and I have the best of both worlds. We live surrounded by an incredible civilian community, but also have the love and support of our military family. As an Army National Guard family, it can be difficult to transition from one lifestyle to another, feeling as if you don’t really belong fully to one life. And being a part of both lives simultaneously for 12 years, they aren’t that much different at all.
You have your ups and downs with both lives. My husband works a normal 9-5 civilian job, he is home for dinner and not only is he home for holidays, but he also takes a yearly summer vacation. However, when military life kicks in, he is sometimes gone for training weeks on end. There is always the fear of another deployment, and when he leaves for his military job, we take a huge pay cut from his civilian job. The Army is the Army, no matter if you are full or part-time, so his military career always comes first.
We have grown to love both worlds and through the years have found a perfect balance between the two. As a military and civilian family, this is simply what our life entails. Embracing the love and hardships that both worlds come with. If you would have asked me to list the similarities of both worlds 10 years ago, I most likely would have focused on the negative aspects and not seen the positive. As the years have passed, I can’t help but see the similarities between both – because, at the end of the day, we are doing what we love to do most. We are a proud military family, but also give a lot of the credit to our civilian friends and family.
Some similarities I have noticed between our military and civilian life…
- Regardless of his MOS or job, he loves what he does. He gives 100% to both and strives to really make a difference.
- The hours can be long and he always reports back to someone higher up.
- At some point in his career, he will want to move up and knows he has worked hard towards that promotion.
- We have the same concerns; worries about money, our marriage and how to balance life.
- No matter how much he loves his MOS or job, he is happy to come home and take off the uniform or work clothes.
- Whether it is our civilian or military family, they have our back. They support us and keep me going through difficult times.
A key point is to keep in mind this dual life is about acceptance, and while there are challenges and differences; this is our life. I encourage you to sit back and analyze both your worlds; you will be surprised at just how similar they both are.