Kurt’s been looking for a new job in the Navy for a while now. Ever since his friend John went to a really cool command, Kurt’s been wanting to go too. So he’s been checking online every time the billet listings have come out, only to be disappointed that that command wasn’t looking for a guy with his training. John kept telling him that they really do need guys like him, but the jobs just weren’t showing up online. Then we found out that he’s got to go to a different system to be eligible for this command. So now the ball’s rolling, and he’s really excited about it. I am, too, because there weren’t many jobs for him otherwise that would benefit his career, and because it’s something he wants so badly.
But I am a little nervous about the whole thing. He’s been on shore duty the whole time we’ve been together, and I’ve gotten used to having him around all the time. He’s going to have to go down to Florida for a few days for a physical, and then once he’s accepted into this new command, he’ll be gone for a while down to Florida for school. He’s not sure how long the school is, six weeks, six months, or something in between.
Hopefully by then, we’ll have found a house, and I can keep busy with fixing it up, making it into our home. It’ll be good practice for me while he’s in school because we can talk on the phone or email frequently or even have him come home every few weeks. It won’t be like that when he gets to the ship. It’s all part of the unpaid job of Navy wife, though.
There was an article about being a Navy wife in the paper today because a commanding officer is retiring after being in the Navy for 32 years with his wife standing right beside him, and it gave some great tips on how to be a good Navy wife. I think I may even cut it out to keep. It began by saying that a bouquet of flowers and a certificate of appreciation doesn’t cut it for thanks to the woman that has stood by her husband for the past 30+ years, and that spouses like her should get a congressionally funded red BMW Z3 convertible as thanks for all the work s/he has put in over all those many years and moves and new duty stations. Amen, sister!!
I’m not quite sure how my parents managed it. My father was a career officer and my stepmother was an officer in the Naval Reserve on active duty. Wherever Dad went, my stepmother’s detailer had to find her a job at the same base. I guess it made it easier for Dad to vent about his frustrations about his job since they knew many of the same people, but I just can’t fathom having both spouses in the military. One spouse ends up sacrificing his career for the other because where one duty station is good for her career, it may sink his. And so my stepmother ended her active duty early, allowing my father to move on to the Midwest for his last tour of duty, but she’s still in the Reserves. He still works for the Navy too — it’s been good to our family. I always have to chuckle at the folks who pass by my father at the Pentagon, and greet him with “Commander.” It’s been eight years since Dad retired.
I think I’ll be all right as a Navy wife. My mother was a Navy wife back in the 70s, when Navy wives’ clubs were the main source of support. Having family in the area while Kurt’s gone on our first deployment (well, the first after we’ve been married) will be a great source of support. That’s one reason why I didn’t want to move across country for his next duty station. I don’t want to be 3,000 miles away from my source of support. Plus I’ve grown up in the Navy — and I’ve probably been on more ships than my husband has. :o) So I think we’ll be all right.
I just may have to turn into a major cross-stitching machine while he’s gone! :o)