I have been a military spouse for almost 8 years in may, and experienced navy life for 10 years.
I will be discussing our journey with OPSEC (Operations security) in mind of course.
So many experiences, and lessons, and bonds.
I am thankful for all of it. We are blessed!
Just a few of the many resources. More to come!
2002 ;; Our First Photo Together
:: 2009 ::
Tony had already enlisted in the Navy by the time we reconnected. He was waiting to head off to bootcamp at the time.
We decided quickly that we would be in a relationship and commit to each other and military life.
He went to bootcamp and I flew by myself for the first time to great lakes for graduation (PIR).
Our First Homecoming Experience
I won first kiss but the command took that away from US
The Gems and a Toxic Command
Both made me a stronger Military spouse.
:: 2010 ::
Tony transferred to San Diego to complete his schools before picking orders.
He ended up getting orders in San Diego with the USS Princeton and met them overseas half way through their deployment.
I continued going to school to eventually transfer down to SDSU.
I was teaching preschool at the time as well.
I was a very excited and motivated navy girlfriend looking to learn and be involved in the navy community. I was proud and full of hope.
I found out about the FRG (Family Readiness Group) for the ship and I decided to participate in a traditional raffle where people who enter can win either first kiss or first hug. The deployed sailor gets to come off the ship first and its an exciting tradition for homecomings.
Well I won first kiss! I was beyond excited. I was a girlfriend at the time and not a spouse.
Our first homecoming experience was a rude awakening to how cruel people can be and also how amazing people can be during a terrible time.
Although Tony came home safely, this was still a difficult day for me but I learned a lot from it.
Let me clarify that of course I was happy my husband was home. Not all service members get to. This fact doesn't dismiss the experience we had that day though.
You can read more about this heartbreaking / mixed emotions / husband home safely homecoming story by clicking on the peach button.
Our Wedding Day :: May 29, 2012
Tony went on RIMPAC with the Princeton for the summer after we got married.
Our Wedding Celebration :: December 22, 2012
We had a bigger celebration with family and friends from my hometown.
I always say it was fun to wear my dress again and soak in a second round.
Weddings are so fast!
Photography by the lovely
My sweet childhood friend
:: 2013 Deployment ::
On April 3, 2013 Tony left for deployment.
His mom was battling terminal cancer, and my grandma died two days prior to deployment.
When I think of this time of our journey, the following words come to mind.....
After this Tony was more established on the ship and with his shipmates.
He had a great time. He saw part of the world (although he would love to see Australia someday).
He made second class while he was out there.
When he came home I was excited!
I of course was triggered by our awful past homecoming experience, but I challenged myself to enjoy this one as much as I could. The deployment had been extended, and my heart was heavy with news of fallen sailors and their families. So many mixed emotions.
After talking to our new FRG president, she allowed us to do sort of a redo with "First Hug"
It really didn't make up for the first experience, and most people didn't know at all that we were given a second chance. You can see from the photos. However, I will take it.
Tony was let off the ship this time and not held back by toxic people.
:: 2015 - 2018 ::
Shore Duty came. Tony landed a position in San Diego to be an instructor and this was perfect for him. He is passionate about people and helping others.
We wanted to have kids during this time, but things didn't work out that way. We had more deaths in the family, and I slipped into a depression.
But thankfully we had the down time. I received some amazing medical help.
Tony eventually ranked up and he re-enlisted.
Around this time, Tony's car was totaled in an accident by a woman who ran a red light. He survived and his mustang saved him, but he still suffers from it a bit. His command was really understanding during all of it.
Tony made sacrifices in his career to be there for me and so we could have some much needed time together. Unfortunately, we paid the price for this sacrifice, but we know this was the best decision at the time.
I have learned mental health is incredibly important in life, and especially in our military life. I need to be able to be strong for him and for the Navy.
Anyway . . .
Then my vestibular disorders hit when I woke up with vertigo and was never the same. I am thankful for this down time during my health concerns.
I wrote a personal thank you letter to his Captain because a thank you was due. Tony had an amazing experience at this command.
At this time we were up for orders, and the only way we would stay in San Diego is if we committed to pre-com orders. Choosing orders can be a very long process.
This basically means that the ship he is assigned with is being built. This process brings even more unknowns to the military life.
We are happy with our decision though even though the home port changed after we chose orders.
Tony is currently attached to another ship.
We are blessed to have a really great solid command so far.
This is definitely unique in the military.
Tony went to a school for a year at the base to prepare for sea duty again.
:: 2019 - 2020 ::
His school continued into 2019.
I was and have been continuing to work hard to improve my health.
We are currently preparing for sea duty life again and I am striving to be stronger physically and mentally for this chapter of our military life.
Changes are constantly happening and timelines shift a lot but I am feeling positive about where we are.
I feel a responsibility to be as aligned as I can be going forward in order to support Tony and his command.
I am so blessed by the military life we have and what Tony's sacrifices have brought into our life.
10 more years!
Check back soon for MORE of our Journey!
:: 2002 :: Summer
Tony was my high school boyfriend's best friend.
We had just finished our first year of high school and I was trying to recover from my neck injury and live a normal life.
Tony and I were friends, but lost connection through some years.
He liked me more than friends and told me he would marry me someday. I always told him he was ridiculous. Haha!
Then we reconnected in 2009.
:: 2012 ::
I found hard to move to San Diego after our long distance relationship. I applied for SDSU to finish my undergrad there.
The plan was to be accepted, quit teaching, move down there, get married, and get out own place.
But I got denied to SDSU. Locals get priority and I was from out of the area.
I did not take no for an answer though. I submitted an appeal packet and stated that I WILL be attending this school.
I waited longer and then got the news I had been waiting for. I got accepted!
By March we got engaged and we planned a move, and a wedding within 2.5 months.
We made it happen though.
Tony went on RIMPAC with the Princeton for the summer after we got married.
Our Second Deployment Homecoming ExperiencE Above
Sort of a Redo
:: 2014 ::
This year, also brought tough times, but we looked forward to a break with shore duty.
Not everyone gets a break during shore duty. In fact most people we know are away from their families just as much or more than their time in sea duty.
We dealt with the death of my brother and Tony's mom within weeks of each other just before I graduated with my BS.
So needless to say we were ready for some time together and to just process.