Military Life

The Countdown Begins

You have gotten through the goodbye; now it’s time to do what we do best as military spouses, hurry up and wait. You may be on pins and needles knowing that your spouse could call at any time with his address. Online you can find a template for their address that you can fill out when they call. Trust me; this makes it easier on both you and your spouse when this call comes.

              When my husband left for BMT, I was a full-time student. My biggest concern was that the address call would come when I was either in class or taking a test. I can’t begin to tell you how many tests I did in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes, that I had an hour to take when I knew there was a chance I was going to receive a call.

When I received the address call, I was at a stop light that had just turned green. I was turning onto the freeway after the light when my phone rang. I was so thrilled to hear his voice and know that he was ok. I pulled off to the side of the on-ramp, which, by the way, is not a good thing to do. I fumbled in my purse with shaking hands and started taking down his address. And just like that, in a matter of a minute, he told me he loved me, and the call was over. It is important to stay calm during this call and reserve your emotions for later. They need to stay focused because they are now in BMT mode.  

With the address, you will now have your spouses TRS/FLT numbers. This information will give you the ability to join the Facebook group dedicated to your husband flight. I HIGHLY recommend you do so. In this group, you will be able to connect with the wives and family members of your spouse’s flight. I found this to be imperative to get through the time apart because these people were going through the same thing I was.

I connected with another spouse who was around the same age, and we would text almost all day every day. We cheered for each other when one of us got a letter, we offered encouragement when the other one was feeling down, and to this day we still occasionally speak. During BMT your spouse learns what it is like to have a wingman, so to have a wingman of your own during this experience helped make it bearable.

Every spouse will tell you that it is crucial for both you and your spouse that you write to them every day. Those letters will help your spouse keep their chin up on the hardest of days. Pick a time during the day that you can focus on telling them what is going on at home, ask them questions, and offer encouragement. These letters will mean the world to them. On some days you may feel as if you are talking to a brick wall when you are writing your letter. It feels this way because of the lack of response. Unfortunately, they do not get a ton of time to write back so be patient with them. Understand that what they are doing is going to better both their future and yours. Toward the beginning of my husband’s BMT experience, I was so eager to get a letter that I may have stalked the mailman around the neighborhood. What can I say? I was really hoping to hear from him.

You will receive a three-week phone call and a six-week phone call. These phone calls can happen at any time during those weeks so make sure your ringer is on, and your phone is charged. I was out to dinner with a friend when I received the three-week phone call. I wasn’t expecting it till the next day, so when it came, I nearly ran out of the restaurant to speak with him. You get approximately 15 minutes to talk, so make the time count. Unlike other airman, my husband was unable to make his six-week call because he was on kitchen duty the day they called. On the flight Facebook page, I was seeing everyone had received a call. I began to feel defeated and wondered if I would get a call. If this happens to you, just breathe, your spouse will call, it may just be a few days later than expected.

Another thing to be aware of is that your spouse’s flight may get base liberty days. At this time they can go to the BX, the commissary, or the bowling alley. On these days they also have the chance to use the pay phones located in the BX. On your flight Facebook page, you may see other military spouses posting that they received a call, and you may wonder why you haven’t. You must remember that there are hundreds of airmen going through BMT who all want to call home, so if your spouse doesn’t call you during base liberty, it’s probably because the line was too long, not because they didn’t want to talk. Unfortunately, I was one of the spouses who didn’t get a call during my husband’s base liberty. I jumped to all sorts of bad conclusions. I automatically assumed he no longer loved me and had no desire to even talk to me. Yes, I may have been a little melodramatic.

To all the military spouses going through the BMT blues, know it doesn’t last forever. Soon enough you will be tapping your spouse out at the coin ceremony during graduation. Keep yourself busy with work or school, your hobbies, friends, and family. Take each day one at a time and keep offering your spouse your encouragement and love. You got this!

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