When I tell people that my boyfriend is in the Army, I usually am met with the same response:
“Oooh really? I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t be with someone in the military.”
I can understand why they feel that way. Being apart from the one you love for long periods of time gets really tough. Being in a military relationship is an emotional and patriotic combination of sacrifice and reward.
For all the time spent apart, the mind-racing anxieties, the minimal access to communication and the constant countdown to reunion, there are still the corresponding rewards that make it all worthwhile. After spending five months apart, with half the country’s states between us, we now get to finally live together. After worrying what it meant when I didn’t hear his voice for almost 12 days, I’ve learned how to be a stronger, independent individual. I know that in the Army, no news is good news. I have learned the importance of communication and how to maintain a strong connection through hand-written letters.
By investing time and energy into such a challenging situation, I have come out the other side with a newly earned title. I am an Army Girlfriend. I serve alongside my man by staying strong and carrying on. I do things on my own, for myself, with no one’s help. Are all the difficulties of a military relationship worth it, you ask? I say, if it’s the right person, then you would do whatever it takes. It’s like sacrificing an hour on the treadmill so that you can enjoy an Apple Fritter from Starbucks. Sure, that hour on the treadmill is challenging, sometimes painful, seemingly never-ending and you always end up staring at the display to watch the minutes slowly tick by. But when you do finally get off, you’re so much stronger and proud of yourself for not giving up…and now you get your reward.
Yes, I just likened my boyfriend to an Apple Fritter.
So, with that said, I could not be more proud to be with a military man. His trials, tribulations, challenges and sacrifices inspire me every day to be a better person and a more confidant woman. Next time you see a man in uniform, don’t just ogle at how great his ass looks in those ACUs. Feel free to approach him and thank him for his service. Or pay for the latte that the soldier behind you in line at Starbucks is waiting to order. Show your appreciation for our men and they will fight for you in return. Believe me, those little gestures can mean the world. And if a military man asks you out on a date, don’t run away for fear of falling in love with someone that you may have to part with. Do yourself, and America, a favor and dive right on in.
Besides, the treadmill may suck at times, but at least you will always fit into your favorite pair of camo boy shorts.
Yes, I just likened my relationship to fitting into a pair of shorts. But why not? They both make me feel really, really good.
[This post was originally written by Kayla - California State University Sacramento]