The Chapman-Dupont family – Camille and Will (serving) – originally tried long-distance love but have now bought their first home together…

We met during my year abroad in the UK and weathered long-distance until I moved to London seven years ago. I enjoyed the London life and carved my own path in communications and the media while Will lived in the mess, says Camille.

We have been lucky enough that Will has been mostly posted in the south of England so far, apart from a few months in Iraq. It has made it easier on our relationship, and my career!

A difficult start

Looking back, when Will announced he was joining the forces in 2014, the news didn’t fill me with cheer, to say the least. I knew nothing about the army and, living in France at the time, I was worried we wouldn’t make it.

The truth is, it was tough, especially the first term at Sandhurst. But it did give me a first taste of what it means to be part of the army family: I met three other girlfriends from that intake. We supported each other during the course by sharing the highs and lows, crucial information unevenly communicated by boyfriends, and more. I am very grateful to them, and one of them is still one of my closest friends.

For better or worse

We chose to buy our own home before Will’s deployment which was both the craziest and best decision for us. We moved in only two weeks before his flight from Brize Norton!

It has provided me with much-needed stability and enabled me to keep connected to London for work and friends. But it has also meant being cut out from patch life and community.

New connections

One of the ways to break that solitude has been by joining the Military Coworking Network in Sandhurst. Creating new connections with other partners has been extremely helpful. Who better than army partners to understand what a crazy life we live?

(Photo credit: Joseph Galvin)

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