There’s no way to summarize the stress and chaos that military families often go through on a daily basis. For many, this involves frequent moves, various levels of separation, communication barriers, health risks, and so much more. For us, life is often unpredictable. We can’t look too far into the future because we’re so deeply rooted in the present, navigating the many twists and turns.
While the world is reeling from our current situation, our communities are learning the true meaning of “rolling with the punches”. We search for hope; some sign that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. For military families, this only adds an extra layer of uncertainly to our everyday lives. I find myself asking the same questions I’ve asked before. Will my husband still go to training? Will MOS school be cancelled for the fall rotation? How will this effect the timeline; will it be pushed back? How far? What about deployments? Promotions? And the question we’re all asking: When will this end?
It feels like time is standing still as we all hunker down in our homes, but the wheel of possibilities is still rapidly evolving. Each day brings a new challenge for families everywhere, military or otherwise. Each day brings a new story that pulls at our hearts, and forces us to reevaluate the way we live our lives. Whatever control we had left has been taken from all of us.
It’s easy to let ourselves feel scared during this time. The reality of this continues to sink in, even for those who may feel less effected. It’s okay to feel some level of heartbreak, knowing all of the special moments that are no longer possible. The weddings that have been cancelled, birthdays that are celebrated via video conference, and vacations that we can only dream of for now. Military families experience these losses on a routine basis, but nothing about this pandemic is routine. Just because we’ve dealt with it, does not mean we’re used to it. We are struggling too.
I find myself thinking of the many men and women who serve our great nation, that are supposed to feel safe at home but are instead faced with this nightmare. I think if the same men and women that are stuck overseas because of this nightmare, unable to reunite with their loved ones. Unable to comfort their children, and explain what’s happening in the world. I think of how helpless they must feel.
For all families across the globe, I feel so deeply for you. I hope you know that it’s absolutely okay to complain, to be sad, to be angry. Let yourself feel all of those things, and know that you’re allowed to. While military families often experience things that no one else could understand, this situation is something we are all faced with.
Now more than ever, lean on each other. Share your advice and your experience in dealing with emergency situations. Have a plan, and make sure your loved ones are developing one as well. Check on each other. Offer a smile of understanding. Ask what you can do to help others, and learn to ask for help yourself.