So Your Soldier Gets a New Duty Station/ Should You Stay or Should You Go?

A few months ago, the hubby and I were discussing our tentative plans in case he has to PCS next year (we know we're here until next Summer for sure, but everything after that is up in the air). We were trying to figure out what to do about my job in case we move (I can sell real estate anywhere, but licensing depends on the reciprocity agreements that Georgia has with each specific state). And he said something that surprised me a little bit. Basically, he'd be okay with it if I decided to stay here and work on my career while he moved to next the duty station.

The look on my face must have said it all because he hastily added, "I mean, if that's what you wanted, I would support you". I guess I've never even considered the option. When my siblings and I were younger, we (and my Mom) followed my dad from duty station to duty station. My mom had a degree and she just figured her jobs out when we arrived at each new area. In Germany, she taught computer classes and worked as a DOD contractor. Before my sister was even born, in Texas, she sold insurance. And when we moved back here in 2005, she got into real estate and eventually decided to get her salesperson's license. So moving around with your soldier from station seems normal to me; it's never occurred to me that we should separate.

Discussing it further, the hubby told me he wanted to support my career and not have our marriage be all about the military which was sweet and appreciated. But I knew what I was getting myself into before we got married. The truth is, sometimes being married to a soldier is ALL ABOUT THE SOLDIER. They have to leave for the field or even to deploy at the drop of hat or they get stuck with flag duty for three months and you can't make any vacation plans. Or you have to move around a lot. We're hoping to apply for stabilization but even that's not a guarantee. For me, if we have to pick up and leave, that's just it: WE have to pick up and leave. And I'm okay with that. Doesn't mean my career is any less important or that I won't miss being so close to my family. But that's how it is.

I suppose if we were stationed somewhere else and he ended up deploying for a year, I'd probably move back here to be closer to family. When I was working retail a few years back, I met a girl who ended up doing just that. She didn't have any ties here, so when her husband went to Iraq for 10 months, she moved right back home. But I've also met ladies (some who were just starting out in their marriages)who are here because their husbands got stationed somewhere they just didn't want to be. No judgment, I promise. It just couldn't be me. I would worry about the strain it would put on our relationship being away from each other for such a prolonged amount of time. Not to mention the wallets. Who's going to pay for all those trips back and forth? To be fair, sometimes, like in the case of deployment or when your spouse has to go to NTC or something, it's unavoidable. But when you can avoid it? To me, it's important to get that face time in a marriage. What do you think? Would you consider letting your spouse go to their next duty station alone?

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  1. My husband I were physically separated for a year when he pcs'd back to the USA while I stayed back in Germany. It was a hard time for us, but we made it. Still, I would rather be with him than do another year. A year ago, we got stationed in Colombia, South America, which was a really hard transition for me. But I don't regret coming with him, even though my career has been put on hold since then. I see it like this: we are a team and as long as the both of us feel comfortable with the decision then it's ok!


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