Military Transition to Civilian Life

I always thought going to Afghanistan would be my hardest life experience.  Here is the story of my military transition to civilian life. 

The road from being in the military to staying at home was a hard one. I'm sharing my story to encourage others who are going through the transition and know that it gets better.

I went to college after high school because that is what everyone does (right?) at least that’s what all my friends were doing. For me, going to college was what I had to do, I really had no goals set or a purpose. I was an athlete and good at math so I was running cross country and track and majoring in mathematics. My parents jokingly suggested I join the military. I assured them that would never happen.

Somehow I got tied into a group of friends and a few were enlisting and one had dreams of being an officer. So what the heck I decided maybe I should join the military too. I didn’t know anything about the military. So at first, I was going to enlist, but the more I learned about it the more I realized that the officer path was probably a better fit for me. Not because I saw myself as a leader, but because I could continue with school and graduate. You know, try out the military thing and then go on with life.

I joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which is a military program that trains you to become an officer while you are still attending college. I immediately found something I had never had before. Maybe it was the friends or the sense of belonging, but truthfully it was like finding my purpose for life. I was terrified and excited.

Day 5 - Separation: With both of us being in the military we spent a lot of time apart. #write31days Airman2Mom

Deployment Pending

Anyway, life progressed, and all through the military training the fact that I would likely deploy someday scared the crap out of me. I was pretty optimistic that it wouldn’t be too bad because I joining the AF and those deployments are not very dangerous, but there was a possibility for doing a joint mission where I deployed with the Army, but that wasn’t going to happen to me. No way!

Fast forward to the day I found out, not only was I deploying, but this deployment was with the Army and would have me off the safety of a base and interacting with people on the ground in Afghanistan.

Day 7 - Go: Go where sent #write31days #afghanistan #militarylife

I went to training and then finally landed in Afghanistan. To say my deployment was an adventure would be an understatement. I got to do some amazing things and see so much of the Afghan culture that few people get to see. I was pretty proud of my accomplishments as I headed home with a bronze star, a combat action badge, and the announcement that I would be promoted to the next rank a few months after going home.

The transition back to normal life was relatively easy and life seemed to be going on an upward spiral.

A Change From Military Life

My husband and I decided it was time to expand our family. Way more quickly than I expected we were pregnant. From the moment I found out we were pregnant I saw a countdown clock. Just like the one I used in Afghanistan to count down the days’ home. But this clock was a countdown to the end of my current life and a change to something new. We had also decided it was a good time for me to leave the military and stay at home. I wasn’t really sure what was coming and I wasn’t sure if I was ready.  

The story continues, see the second half where I talk about my transition from Airman to Mom.

Click here!

Are you leaving the military? Are you unsure what comes next? Struggling with what do next? I can help. I served in Air Force for six years before becoming a military spouse, mom and blogger. The transition from military to mom was a hard one for me and the one thing that helped me was finding purpose again. I want to help you navigate the transition of life after the military and help you thrive. I created a workbook with the tools I have learned the past four years. Leading me from lost, lonely mom to momprenuer. #militarylife

The journey from military to mom was a hard one. I'm sharing my story of leaving the military and becoming a mom. #veteran #military #femaleveteran

8 comments on “Military Transition to Civilian Life

    • Thanks for reading. I think everyone has their own transition to mom story and it is why people can relate. We have all been there and motherhood is not easy. Being in the military had a lot more good days, but I wouldn’t trade it for what I have now.

    • Someone else said the same thing after I gave my presentation at mops. 🙂 It just happened. it took a lot of hard work, but there were also a lot of open doors.

  1. Loved your story of courage and following after your calling both as an airman and a mother! You are right, it is not easy, and the cost is often high, but the reward is more than we can wrap our heads around at times. And it goes by so very fast…enjoy every moment, even the challenging and tiring ones:)

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