Written by Angela Caban
Meagan Cauley swore she would never get involved with a man in the military, but how quickly things have changed for her. Today Meagan is a newlywed Army wife living overseas with her soldier. Enduring constant separations and the difficulties of adjusting to a new environment, Meagan shares with us how she is slowly adapting to this crazy lifestyle that she never wanted but would never trade for anything in this world.
You mentioned that you didn’t want to get involved with someone in the military. Why?
I have always said that I did not want to date someone in the military. I’ve known military spouses and people in service, and use to listen to my grandparent’s stories. I never liked the idea of my husband being gone all of the time and possibly getting hurt or worse. I have always been proud to be an American and proud of our troops, but I never thought I could handle being away from someone so much and worrying all of the time if they are safe or not.
How did you feel once you realized you were in love with a soldier?
I fell in love with David while he was home on Christmas exodus. At the time nothing seemed different. He was with me every single day. We spent every second that we could together and everything was great. It didn’t hit me of the lifestyle I was getting myself into until we had to take him back to BCT after his break. I had this amazing man walk into my life and sweep me off my feet and I had to send him back just like that. But watching him walk away, I knew everything would be fine, because watching him walk away, I never wanted him to walk out of my life completely. It was scary at first once I got back home and realized he wasn’t there and had to get back into the normal swing of life without him, but I have never thought twice about being with him.
What things in your life would you do differently if given the option?
The only thing I would do differently is having my husband home more. With his MOS he has to train a lot and works all of the time. I wish we had more time together without constantly having to say “see you later”. I know the time will come, but being newlyweds it would be great to be able to spend time together.
What are some recurring challenges you face as a military wife?
A military wife always worries. Even if they are just out in the field training, you constantly worry if they are ok. Recent news about him possibly deploying soon has hit hard. You think of all of the possibilities, all of the horror stories you’ve heard, and you think about how much he means to you. You never want to see your man hurt. There are also the worries of making new friends, moving to a new place where you know absolutely nobody and making friends isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
How do you keep busy while your husband is away?
When I was in the United States, I worked all of the time. I would pick up as many shifts as I could and work all of the time. Being around friends and having a job that you enjoy makes time go by a lot faster. Since moving to Germany, it’s harder to find a job. I run errands for him if he needs anything done so that he does not have to worry about it when he gets back. I’ve met wives here that are becoming great friends that I get together with. I catch up on television shows that I haven’t watch or have been missing. Just anything that will pass time, I do it. I am also working on getting back to school and finish. School is a great thing to do while they are gone because you’re getting your education and school really does pass time by so fast. But my schedule always rotates around when he calls. I have to be home and free when he gets the chance to call!
How have you adapted to living in a different country away from your friends and family?
It is definitely an experience. I miss my friends and family all the time and wish that they could be over here. I know they would love it in Germany. But you meet friends here and other wives that understand what you are going through and are so supportive. With the way technology is these days, it is a lot easier to keep in contact with everyone back stateside. I talk to my family and friends pretty much every day while the husband is at work. The hardest thing to adjust to has been the time difference. I am six hours ahead of everyone back home so I always have to think before I call to know if they are awake or not!
?If you could give a new military wife advice, what would it be?
Support and trust your husband. My husband has told me countless times how much my support got him through the hard times. During BCT, AIT, and even now at his duty station; when things get tough he says he thinks of me. Always let them know you’re proud of them and you love them. It really does mean the world to me. And stay strong, because being a military wife isn’t always easy and isn’t the fairytale that some people believe. But the waiting isn’t forever, your husband comes home and it makes all the waiting worthwhile. Make friends with other military wives. I cannot say how much friends I have made mean to me and some of them I have never met in real life. But they know how you feel, they know what you are going through, and they’re always there to listen and help you.
What is the biggest challenge that you have come across during a separation?
The biggest challenge for me so far is being in another country. I moved to Germany and two weeks later my husband left for the field. I don’t have my license here yet so I have to walk everywhere, which isn’t that bad until you have to buy groceries. It’s hard when there are things you need to do or have to do and you aren’t sure how. I don’t know all of the rules and how things are supposed to happen. So when I have something that has to be taken care of, you have to figure it out on your own because he’s not available to call.
What is something that you wish people knew about your life?
I love my life and would never trade it for a second. Yes, it is hard and there are times that I break down and wish we could just have a normal life where we can spend time together without constantly being another date that he is leaving. But nothing in the world beats the feeling of when he comes home after a long separation. I really do love being an Army wife. There is an overwhelming sense of pride I have. I’ve always been proud to be an American, but seeing him come home in his ACUs everyday always puts a smile on my face. I am so proud of my husband and all that he does. I love my husband and I stand by his side and support him throughout everything.
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