How long has he been in? He has been in more than 6 years now.
How long have you been married? We've been married for 8 years.
Do you have children? We have 6 children, ages 7, 5, 3, 3, 1, and 1. We have 2 sets of identical twins and a total of 4 boys and 2 girls.
How do you help them cope with military-life? We have really struggled to help our children understand the separation that has come with my husband's year-long TDY followed by an immediate year-long deployment. But 2 years without Daddy is hard to explain to a child. I wrote a blog post recently about ways we've helped them cope by reading books, taking pictures, making dolls with Daddy's picture, etc. You can see it here: http://www.itstwinsanity.com/2010/02/deployment-children-and-ways-to-cope.html
How many deployments have you been through? This is our first deployment.
How many PCSs? That's hard to say! Officially? I think we have had only had 3 so far. But we have had a lot of TDY moves. My husband went through many months of school (as a linguist) so we initially moved very frequently. We moved from our home in the suburbs of Washington, DC to California, then Texas, then Georgia. Last year I left our home in Georgia to visit my husband in Arizona and then moved to Virginia. At the end of this month I'm moving back to Georgia. When my husband gets home from Iraq I'll be in Washington state. In all I have lived in 7 different homes since my husband joined the Army. (Wowzers! That's a lot to take in! Very true that there is NOTHING typical with the military. But a move is a move. TDY / PCS / a move "home" while hubs is deployed, they all qualify.)
When someone asks... “What can I do for you?” What is your response? I rarely have people ask what they can do for me. I think most people assume that I have it all under control. I've had a few people ask if I need anything and my response is now a resounding "yes." I need a break. I need a moment to myself. I need to shower. I need to use the bathroom without an audience. I need to hear my husband's voice. I need to eat a hot meal, preferably while seated at a table. But I don't say all that. What I say is that I need prayers, adult conversation, and a friend.
Where has your favorite post been? I really think that my favorite post was our year spent in Monterey at DLI. However, Ft. Gordon was a wonderful home for us for 4 years.
Why? I loved DLI because of the location. It was beautiful in Monterey and there were a lot of things to do in the area. We had a wonderful time there. It was an interesting transition to military life since it is not a true Army post. I complained a lot about life at Fort Gordon because of the Georgia weather and the location. In the end, it became my home and we had 4 children born while we were there so it will always be special to me. There is an amazing community of people there!
Where do you find the support you need when you need it? I find the best support online, through my blog, through websites like this one, and through networking with other military wives.
What do you miss most about “civilian life”? I miss my husband having a "9 to 5" job. I miss the predictability. I miss living near family.
What do you love most about “military life”? I love that military life has opened new doors for us. I love seeing new places, moving around the country, and the incredible sense of pride I feel when I see my husband in uniform. This is an awesome life, even though it is not easy.
What in "military life" could you really do without? I could do without the waiting. Hurry up and wait for everything. Wait to see where you'll be living next. Wait for your husband to come home. Wait, wait, wait.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about my family, my parenting choices, and my faith. (My parenting choices include such odd things as homebirth, homeschooling, and using cloth diapers... things that make people look at me funny!) (Isn't it great to make our own choices, even when we get funny looks! One of the many things, I love about the U.S. AND the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guard that fight to defend OUR freedoms; as small as cloth diapers and as big as our right to Vote.)
What is your favorite color and why? My favorite color is purple. Maybe because my name means purple flower?
Do you have a favorite quote? Kind of... it's more of a mantra.
When you move to a new post what is one of the first things you do? I like to unpack immediately when we move to a new post. I like to be done in a couple of days so I can start exploring the area.
Has anyone in the community ever gone out of their way to help you, as the spouse of a military-member? This Christmas we visited a Christmas tree farm owned by an Army veteran and his family. He talked to me about my family and when he learned that my husband was gone, he offered to donate a Christmas tree to our family. It was such a blessing!
Do you use on base facilities? Commissary? PX? MWR? Child Care? Services of that nature. Why would you recommend one of these services in specific? I am not close to a military base right now and I desperately miss being able to use the Commissary and MWR. I never realized how important the base facilities were to me until I no longer had access to them. I'm moving back to Georgia just so that I can be near an Army post again. I'll be shopping at the Commissary and going to deployment support groups. I'll be using respite child care. I'm signing my children up for sports on post. I miss having the ability to just go on post and be around people who understand this lifestyle.
Want to learn more about Heather? Visit her wonderful-blog at http://www.itstwinsanity.com. She is a true inspiration. Thank so much, Heather, for your service as an Army-Wife, a mother of 'Brats' and all you do for the military-community.