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.  Here, MaryAnne O’Brien, serving husband Ed and children Ophelia (9) and Angus (7) tell us about their Army life…


We met at a mess party in Germany in 2002 and got married in 2005. We are currently living in a quarter in Wiltshire and have done three overseas and three UK postings since having children, which has meant a lot of moving.

I feel it doesn’t matter where in the world you are – as long as you have a good group of mates (with wine and tea) everything will be okay! As a family we have struggled at times with being a long way from family – in Canada, Alabama and Germany – however, the huge plus is that we have seen and done some truly amazing things.

The hardest part for the children has been the impact that moving has had on their early education. Ophelia had been in nine schools in four different countries by the time she was eight. She is now at boarding school and loving it and Angus can’t wait to join her.

Giving up my career has been tough, but I’ve recently returned to work as a chartered surveyor after a ten-year career break and I’m really enjoying it. With Ed deployed, the logistics can be complicated but the company has been so supportive and I’m working flexible hours, which means I can still do the school run.

Where we currently live there is not much of a patch life, but this is fine as we came here from two exhausting but fun-filled years in Germany. We have found that most of Germany has been relocated to Wiltshire so we have no shortage of friends!

Our advice to any new Army family is to do what is right for you. Some people choose to go abroad; others weekly commute. Some accompany their soldier on every posting; others send their children to boarding school. Some buy their own house, while others choose to live in quarters – one family’s choice will not necessarily be right for another.


Do you and your loved ones want to share what makes up your #OurArmyFamily? Send your details to editor@aff.org.uk

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