Friday, March 25, 2011

The Story of an Army Girlfriend: Basic Training & AIT

It is a Friday night and I am sitting in my apartment waiting for a call or text from my boyfriend.  In less than 2 weeks he will be graduating from AIT and I am more than ready for this phase of our relationship to be over.

If you hadn't figured it out from the title, my boyfriend is in the Army.  About 4 months into our relationship, he went to basic training.  I must admit, basic training was hard on me mentally.  With our relationship being so new, it was really hard to go from basically living together to not even being able to communicate with each other.  It felt as though our relationship had been a dream, like I had imagined it.

While this time apart has been difficult, I don't plan on going anywhere and am going to see this crazy ride through.  I wanted to post this, not just to vent, but to give a voice to other girlfriends that are going through the same thing or soon will be.  There are plenty of YouTube videos and blogs about being military wives, but since I am not one, certain aspects I can not relate to.

Being a girlfriend to a man in the military is like being in a gay relationship, it is not legally acknowledged and outside of love there is no benefit from it.  The military sees your man as a single man with no obligations.  That can be hard if your boyfriend follows suit.

So here are a few things I have learned in the almost 5 months my boyfriend has been away....
  • When he is in basic, try to write him every day.  Because it is hard to have no communication from friends or family for 2 months.  Especially if everyone around him is getting letters.
  • The mailing system is weird on base/post.  Sometimes Akeem (my boyfriend) got several letters at one time or got letters in random order.  Don't let that discourage you from writing.  You may not receive as many letters as you like, but it's more of time constraints on their end than anything.
  • Time between AIT and basic training varies so milk your time together.  My boyfriend got less than a week.
  • Men in the army seem to be quicker to get married than men in the air force.  That is just something I randomly noticed with the military guys I dated.  Due to his basic training falling during Christmas, my guy got to come home for the holidays.  8 guys returned to basic married.
  • AIT, unlike basic training, can vary in time length depending on the job he is training for.  Akeem's AIT is a little over 8 weeks, but I've heard anywhere from 3 to 7 months.
  • Time after AIT also varies as well.  Akeem is getting a little less than a month before having to report to his station, but not everyone is that lucky.
Those are really the key things I wanted to note and share. In 2 weeks Akeem graduates, and I'll let you know what happens then:-)

Akeem and I before he shipped off to basic at Fort Jackson, SC
Before he went to AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO

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