The Story of an Army Girlfriend: Meeting the Wives

So a couple of weeks ago, I made the miserable six hour drive to see Akeem in Kentucky.  While driving through Tennesee is scenic, the ride is less pleasurable at 4 in the morning.  However, with a family day cookout, my first weekend off ever, and a month since I had last seen Akeem, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to make the trip.

For those of you wondering why he didn't come down to see me:
At his post, one has to be granted permission to go beyond 250 miles from their duty station.  Kentucky to Georgia pushes that limit.  Plus, I wanted to take a peek at my future home.


A lot happened while I was there but I am going to limit it to my experience with the marriage topic floating around.  When I arrived at the family cookout that his company was having,  Akeem made a remark about how single guys are sort of looked down upon by the married people.  Suddenly my attention was locked on the ring finger of every individual that I came into contact with.  Marriage seems to be a interesting topic in the military world, so much so that Akeem asked me to move a ring with my birthstone from my wedding finger to another hand.  I found that odd, since in no way does my ring look like something I would accept as an engagment ring.  But with all the married couples around me, I did feel very aware of my momentarily ringless finger.

It wasn't until the next night that I finally had some interaction with some of the other soldiers' wives, and I will admit that it was not what I expected.

On Saturday night, one of the soldiers was having a cookout to celebrate getting out of the Army.  There were several guys there with their wives and kids.  Of the 6 women that were there, only two of us were girlfriends.  I'll admit, I was not thrilled to go to the gathering because women are a mess to deal with already but I was afraid that with them being of wife status that they would look down on me as "just" a girlfriend.

I was wrong.

The women were really nice.  Not in that lame, cheesy way but in a geniune, welcoming sort of way.  Though I had to laugh, one girl kept calling Akeem my husband and then when she was finally corrected, she simply said, "Close enough, you might as well be."  Though I'm not going to claim we became inseparable, I am looking forward to the fact that when I finally do make my move up there to Kentucky, there would be a few women who would be welcoming.

While I'm sure I won't be lucky with every military wife I run into, I was glad to be able to connect with a few.  Because whether you are married to the military or dating it, it is a commitment and not for the faint of heart.  Something I think that did instantly connect me with the other women.  When I talked about things I faced as a military girlfriend, they seemed to truly understand what I was going through. 

Until my next post.......:-)

 "Night Rider" and his girlfriend

 Long, Gil (right) and his son

Gil playing around with some of the kids (Akeem in the background doing the same)