A blog from Army&You’s winter edition by Kym, @thedutoits

Having lived a childhood far from the constructs of the military, it had never crossed my mind that a soldier’s spouse, partner or children would live a life with any differences to that of my own.

In some ways I’d been naïve, army life can be very dissimilar, from dealing with the heartbreak and separation of deployment, the endless training hours, to picking up everything you own, leaving everything you are familiar with and moving across the country during postings, familiarising yourself with the unfamiliar once more.

On the other hand, military families still live their day-to-day lives; work still needs to be done and children still need to get to school on time. The basics of family life still exist.

Choosing to follow the love of your life across the country and beyond is one of the most beautiful things about being a military spouse, it creates a wonderful bond. When you make that decision to immerse yourself into a relationship with a soldier, you also become enveloped by a community, an extended family of fellow military spouses and children that understand exactly how you and your family are feeling.

Welfare services are also a major factor in that immersion process. The Army Welfare Service (AWS) often goes above and beyond to ensure personal and communal support is given to both army families and personnel.

After several years of civilian life, close to family and friends, only seeing my husband at weekends, we made the decision to move into military housing.

It just so happened that the date we chose had been the date my husband was deployed to Kenya for three months. However, AWS supported me through my first weeks, ensuring I knew what help was available in the local area and where to go if I had any problems.

In my opinion, the positives outweigh the negatives. Choosing military life as a spouse is not about camouflage, long exercises, and heavy machinery – it’s about feeling a part of a family.

I never realised how strong military partners were until I became one.

Kym wins a £35 voucher to spend at Gillian Jones Designs — gillianjonesdesigns.com — for our best blog. Artist Gillian, a former Royal Navy officer and military spouse, specialises in vibrant and contemporary military art and design. If you can’t quite find what you’re looking for, she’s also happy to create bespoke commissions. Follow @gillianjonesdesigns on Instagram and Facebook, and @GillAJones on Twitter.

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