When my husband decided to join the US Navy, he and I were still dating. I had recently graduated with my Master’s degree in social work and just started my first “real” job, working as a substance abuse counselor for incarcerated adolescents. I still remember the day he told me he was thinking of joining the military. He asked if I was okay with his decision. I said I supported him, but would have to decide if I wanted to follow him down this path.
Blog posts with the tag "Military Families"
My professor set me up for success in the clinical world when I was tasked to read Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy by Rebecca Coffey.The purpose was to prepare us as students to sit in the pocket of the client’s story, no matter how tragic or graphic. It was a challenging task as the book was filled with gruesome stories, including one of a Veteran, introducing me to the impact of combat trauma. It was a wake-up call to the high honor and power of listening to someone’s story, especially those of military families.
Many years ago, I just had one name and one role. I was Katie. That’s who I was, and that was all. Throughout this journey of life, I have adopted and adapted to other names and other roles. I have been Airman, Miss, and teacher. About ten years ago, I became wife. That was a major role change on its own, but I added “military wife” to it as well. Having been a military member myself, the military lifestyle wasn’t so hard to adapt to until I added my next name, Mama.
This scenario played out 14 years ago, as the USS Constellation prepared to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and I remember that morning like it happened yesterday. On October 2, 2002, my son joined a new generation of heroes that left to safeguard our country.
My husband and I joined the military in 2008 as psychology residents with the vague, distant understanding that deployment was a possibility for both of us. Just like anything that seems stressful and perhaps mildly unpleasant, but too far in the future, we paid little attention to our fears and concerns. However, I don’t think either of us anticipated that our experience with deployment would coincide with the birth of our one and only child.