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How to marry my marine
How I did it: Can't believe this all came about because I wanted to see him in his Dress Blues!
Ok, on a more serious note, I had no idea what I was getting in to! But, coming from a long line of head strong, independent, "can't tell 'em anything" women, in retrospect, I don't think anyone could have dissuaded me, any way. Staying married to him has been more of a challenge. You really do need to be pretty independent, headstrong, smart, organized and have a tough heart. You have to like challenge, be able to put up with the system, and love the Corps almost as much as your Marine. Adopt their Traditions, Love the Uniform (I've not seen an ugly Marine in uniform, ever!), Love The Flag, and be Proud to support one of The Few.
UPDATE: 2009-07-31 - My Young Marine from 20 years ago has enlisted with the National Guard and is currently serving in Afghanistan. It is the Jar Head in him that made him swear in and deploy at "Fourty Something."
Lessons & tips: My original essay on the topic is at http://www.43things.com/entries/view/1596743?new_comment=3048353
- Be born with or acquire a thick skull
- Being born into a military family helps with the thick skull thing
- Become organized - you really must be more organized than the military!
- On DAY ONE (or sooner), start a binder and use document protectors to save all of the paperwork and copies of everything that you ever receive from the military, ever. All of it. Someday you will need it because the military will certainly lose something during his career.
- Take lots and lots of pictures - time moves amazingly fast
- Have a life of your own - hobbies, school, write a book, something for when your Marine is actively ignoring you because he is, well, being a Marine and doing his USMC thing
- Find courage and faith from somewhere - a church, other USMC wives, your family - where doesn't matter, but you will need something to sustain you when your Marine is deployed or otherwise occupied with being a Marine
- Once I figured out the the USMC was like a relegeous cult, it made it so much easier to deal with my husband - I no longer tried to appeal to logic, and I learned to accept that he had A Calling
- Family - his and mine
- A strong spirituality (for some this might be called religion)
- Strong belief in my husband's calling
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