The entire family transitioning to civilian life

Posted August 18, 2014

Written by: Molly Blake, Blue Star Families

Today is my wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. And instead of putting on my wedding dress, which I do every single year, spending the day hiking or having a romantic lunch, we are loading up a POD crate with most of our worldly possessions and moving. Again. It’s always an adventure, am I right milspouses?

But this move is different. It’s different because my husband has retired and he was recently offered a job. A civilian job. A big boy job at a Silicon-Valley start up drone company where people called each other ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ rather than ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am.’ He’s beyond excited and starts in a few weeks.

Of course I am also beyond proud of him and relieved too as making the leap from USMC to civilian life is scary. Besides that, for the first time though I feel completely disconnected from it all. In the past, we would move to a new duty station and I could simply email someone I knew there or email someone who knew someone and get connected, a la the Kevin Bacon game, to another Harrier family. Girls Night Out’s are scheduled, I would join the book club and connect with the spouses in our squadron to get the low down on volunteer opportunities, parties and meetings.

I’m so used to planning the unit parties, pondering whether to don my leopard jump suit or yellow bell bottoms for the inevitable 70’s fete, gathering the neighbors for our group Halloween get ups and the ugly sweater Christmas party. Will there be this kind of tomfoolery that so bonds the group? Can I show up and bring the kids to run around and high-five the Marines … er, I mean his co-workers? Do I arrange meal delivery for a spouse who just had a baby? These are all the things I did as a Marine Corps spouse and I’m just wondering (and hoping) I can do the same now that we are civilians.

I think it’s important to be involved. To be a team so I’ll probably offer to decorate the office for the holidays or encourage everyone to volunteer at a 9-11 Day of Service event. But since he received a super cool company hoodie, the equivalent of a blood oath here in the Valley, I’ll probably just start by wearing it while I pack. I mean, it is a little chilly today.