When we were posted to Edmonton my husband deployed to Afghanistan. This tour was different than the ones that had come previously. It was early days and this one felt sour from the beginning.

There are several things that a Military Spouse is awesome at (or at least does begrudgingly):

  1. Pick up a home and move it across the country – most often with only a few months notice.
  2. Is capable of meeting new friends quickly – forming deep bonds in an unnatural time frame.
  3. Supports chaos at home (new schools, new friends, deployed parent).

But there is one thing that has always astounded me. The military spouse seems to cope with an inner voice at the back of her head that says ‘at least I am not her‘. In the military there is always somebody within an arms reach that has more children, less family support, an illness, a worse location, a husband deployed longer or worst of all (in my mind)… a husband outside the wire patrolling villages or disarming IED’s.

Back to that posting in Edmonton:

I was a Beaver Leader for my son’s Beaver Colony. Each week we would pass through the halls of the local Military Family Resource Centre to reach the community room that played host to 14 very active little boys. The kids would race past reception with their little beaver hats and their little beaver tails oblivious to the table with a condolence book. Someone’s lost Dad, a photo, a book and a pit in my stomach. The next week there were 3 lost Dads, 3 photos, and 3 books. The following week seven…

Military friends are different. They get you through things that only another military spouse would ever understand. The joys are wonderful, the shared pregnancies and births, celebrations, book clubs and lots of wine. The agony of leaving those friends when you embark on a new adventure is enormous. The bonds are so deep and precious and there is a strength and resiliency that is difficult to break. My military friends are more than my friends. They are my sisters.

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