Whether married or single, parent, partner, cousin or child of a soldier, we want you to tell us all about your Army family. Follow #OurArmyFamily on Twitter and Instagram for more stories. Sophie Anderson, husband Steve and daughter Poppy tell us about their expanding Army family…
I married Steve in August 2012 and I was so proud to be able to show him off to all our family and friends in his uniform. That’s something that’s never changed.
I started my first posting as a military wife at 36 Engineer Regiment and within a year our family had expanded to include our two rescue dogs, Leon and Molly, and our cat, Kenny. I realise now this was a coping mechanism to deal with the periods when I would be alone and in need of company. Just as I got settled with work and was contemplating adding more animals, I saw two little blue lines on a pregnancy test. Before we had a chance to tell everyone the good news, a posting order arrived for Steve sending us to Germany.
You hear good and bad things about postings, but our move to BFG will be a difficult one to top. I worried about everything from the great to the small, but by the time our daughter Poppy was born on bonfire night, all my worries had been erased. We have been here for three years now and I have seen many sides to military life, but the positives always outweigh the negatives. The distance from family is hard and I feel my husband’s away more than he is home, but video calls have been a lifesaver – as is an open dialogue with our unit’s welfare team for events and leave dates in case I feel brave enough to make plans!
My advice for anyone new to patch life is to not listen to the negatives, find a routine, make the most of the time you have together and always have something to look forward to. The Army is great for events that include the family and I lose track of the coffee mornings on offer. Whether you think you’ll enjoy the events or not, give them a go as you may be lucky enough to make friendships that survive multiple postings.
We’re due to welcome our second child at the end of the year, just before my husband deploys and his regiment disbands and returns to the UK. I don’t like to do things by half, but I know there’s a support system out there if needed.