"REAL Adventure Women
The Brave Life of a Military Wife"

Jennifer Smedley Wilson

I live a life that some people dream of… While looking out my third floor window I see a castle that I can walk to. I go to the other side of the house and see a shepherd casually leading his sheep through a field and up a street. Have a free weekend; let’s go to Italy. I heard Venice is beautiful this time of year, or maybe just to Nurnberg for a fest, or to the quaint medieval town of Rothenberg. Maybe we should just relax in the millions of beer gardens located throughout this country several of them serving beers that are brewed right up the street.

Is this a fairy tale? No, I just live in Germany, in a small village located near one of the several military posts over here. Like several of the women over here I was uprooted from my familiar life in the states with all of its conveniences to support my husband. He is a pilot in the US Army currently serving his country far away from here and his family. Not only am I now living in a foreign country, but I am now living here on my own.

As a military wife you hear and experience it all, as your heart is constantly broken, repaired, shredded, glued together, and the whole cycle starts over again. Ask any military wife, if it is going to go wrong, it happens as soon as their loved one walks out the door. Since June, I have known wives that have miscarried, been diagnosed with cancer, had their houses that they are renting sold, have children about to go through surgery, have had Doctor’s screw up work on their children, their washing machines have broke, and the list goes on. Yet, they prevail.

They are expected to do there usual duties as a wife and mother, but have had so many additional duties added onto their plate. They have to be able to accomplish everyday things, but now have the added responsibility of taking care of everything their husbands did too. And to do it proudly, bravely, and with a smile as they worry about their loved ones who are risking their lives each day.

I am a military wife and proud of it. I support my husband in all he does. I am also a mother of two (ages 6 and 3), and a teacher. I live in a foreign country. I do not live on post. My neighbors all speak a foreign language. Trash is picked up every two weeks, and plastics and cardboard once a month. I am expected to recycle everything else, from cans to grass clippings, to clothes. I pay half of my bills in a foreign currency that changes every day.

The stores are closed by 8:00 at the latest, except in the small villages where they close as early as 2:00 on a Saturday. Don’t expect to accomplish anything outside your home on Sunday because everything is closed. I need to use a transformer for my everyday appliances from home (US). To some this may sound boring, but it’s my life and everyday here brings another adventure.

The military wife is a strong breed. It takes a lot to survive in her world. We hear a lot about supporting our troops, but what about supporting the ones on the home front? The military wife spends every waking, and some not waking moments worried about her loved ones. They always have that fear of opening their door to someone in the their dress uniform. They wait on pins and needles for that next phone call, or text message. They spend that phone call listening to their spouses, and catching them up on everything going on, but they don’t’ have that chance to really talk to them.

Also, when that phone call comes they are expected to drop whatever they might be in the middle of to take it, and to take it with a positive attitude. They spend a year virtually alone, and then have to revamp their life they have gotten comfortable with when their knight in shining armor walks through that door again. They are positive, strong, and brave. Their life, like all lives is a constantly changing adventure. They are your adventure women even if all they do is stay home and keep their sanity.