"Everyone Serves" from Blue Star Families

Posted July 2, 2013

By: Molly Blake of Blue Star Families

“It’s a big deal, right?” said my new neighbor. It was more like a question – rather than a statement.

“Yes, retiring after 20 years in the United States Marine Corps is, in fact, a big deal,” I replied, rather proudly. We made it, you see. My husband and I made it through to the end that, once when he was a newly minted Captain, seemed light years away.

Retirement (I can’t stand that word) is already serving up an adventurous dish. Moving, settling in our new digs, explaining to our girls why daddy doesn’t wear his ‘onsie’ to work anymore and it seems, clarifying what that means to our new neighbors. These happenings are all fun and exciting and eye-opening but I have to say the best part about our status change is the fact that my husband will never deploy again.

I wish I could say that was the case for the thousands of other milspouses and milkids out there – the drawdown continues – but this doesn’t happen overnight. Squadrons and units and battalions rotate in and out of places all over the world, not just Afghanistan, and the rollercoaster ride begins long before that teary farewell and endures for long after the joyful homecoming.

It’s why Blue Star Families partnered with Vulcan Productions to create a free e-book called “Everyone Serves: A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members During Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Reintegration.” Available online, the book serves as a springboard for the conversations that need to happen before, during and after deployments. Even better, we’ve asked some stellar mil-bloggers to write weekly about where they are in the deployment life cycle. The blog series will run for five months and include the ups and downs that all spouses and service members face when a deployment rolls around.

And then check back each week to find out how they are managing their personal deployment adventure. You can read Everyone Serves online (or order it on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google, and Kobo). Did I mention it’s free and contains worksheets, resources, video tips and more all focusing on the crazy ride that is a deployment.

Stay tuned as there’s still so much to talk about from my new perspective as a military spouse (ret.). In the meantime, I’m thinking about an alterative to ‘retired.’ Retired just sounds old and grey and wrinkly. I’m thinking emeritus might be better. ‘Molly Blake, Military Spouse Emeritus.’ It’s got a nice ring to it.