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Alice Brown lives with soldier Dave and pet dogs Lola and Bella…

MY family nucleus consists of myself, my soldier and our two dogs. That’s not to say we don’t want children – we do – but not yet.

I am 23, a year into marriage, and we are enjoying the freedom and exciting opportunities that being an Army family offers us. I work full-time and selfishly don’t yet feel ready to share my time.Plus, to be perfectly honest, the idea of having a baby with the possibility of my husband not being there to help fills me with terror.

Army life provides a different experience for each person. Some love the closeness and community feeling of “patch life”, others find it stifling.Personally, patch life isn’t everything; the majority of my social life happens outside of the military bubble and some Army events aren’t my cup of tea.

I’m sure my view on this will change when we have children and the need for stability becomes more necessary, but right now we enjoy the freedom. We have the luxury of being able to put the dogs in the Mini (an impressive feat with a springador and a pointer cross) and shoot off around the country at the drop of a hat.   

I’ve been with my partner for seven years and during this time we’ve been through six years of unaccompanied postings, one tour of Afghanistan, two winter deployments to Canada and countless exercises. Like many spouses, I have perfected my own coping mechanisms – I throw myself into work, spend time with my family, I bake and I have “Champagne Wednesdays”!

As Army spouses, the one thing that links us all is the separation. We come in all shapes and sizes, male, female, some have children others do not, some live in SFA and some own their homes. The differences between us are unending, but at one stage or another we have all experienced separation, whether in the form of a six-month tour or a two-week exercise. We’ve all picked ourselves up from the heart-breaking goodbyes and carried on with our lives as best we can.

If I were to be described in my capacity as an Army spouse I think I would like it to be as resilient. It’s a trait I believe we all share.

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