I remember April 17, 2018 so vividly. Last year in Jacksonville Florida, my husband officially joined the United States Air Force during the Swearing-In Ceremony.
We had just spent a couple of days in Daytona, Florida with my aunt, uncle and cousin and drove up to Jacksonville to say our goodbyes to my husband for Basic Military Training (BMT). Jett was 6 months old.
We passed clearance and waited in the waiting room for what seemed like forever. I was on edge not wanting to miss anything but also dealing with an on-the-go toddler (needing a nap) ready to explore a not-so-explorable room of people, waiting with their loved ones.
Jimmy was called up for multiple things, like eating a provided meal, signing up at the front for identification, and then called back to line up for the ceremony. This took way longer time than it took for me to explain it. And a big theme (especially for active duty Air Force) that I learned that day is “hurry up and wait”. Families were then ushered (or herded) in a small room to watch their loved ones swear-in.
We had to stand against the walls but luckily stood RIGHT where Jimmy was (thank you Lord 🙌🏼). It began to sink in that my husband would be gone for AT LEAST 2 months with very little forms of communication (3 phone calls and mailed letters over that span of time) and our son, Jett, would be growing and have so many moments that his daddy couldn’t be apart of. It broke my heart seeing Jett, watching Jimmy so innocently, not understanding why daddy wasn’t standing with us. Not seeing daddy at all (except through photos that we already had of him). Not knowing what was going on.
I was SO emotional.
Little did I know that my husband would be gone a total of 4 months, though I did have some sort of knowledge that his Tech School would be right after BMT and at the very least, 6 weeks or longer.
In less than what felt like 10 minutes of a ceremony, my husband stayed in Jacksonville to board a flight to arrive at San Antonio, Texas at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) and me, my parents, and Jett headed home to Marianna, Florida.
I cried (and had a mini panic attack) the whole way back until an hour before arriving home – in which I passed out asleep from exhaustion. This was my first real experience with becoming an Air Force Wife. All the heartaches and pains of having your spouse be sent away from you and picking up the pieces that were left behind.
I wouldn’t say it has gotten easier but I will say I have gotten stronger. SO much stronger. Especially raising a toddler, being a stay-at-home mom, being over 45 hours away from family across the country, and not being able to visit back home until 7 months after we left because of a hurricane that hit our home town.
I have no idea what these next few years will bring us. Deployments could pop up at any point and they could last way longer than 4 months. All I know is that God has us. He has us right where He needs us right now. And with change comes His will and we will follow it, learn from it, and grow through it.
A lot has changed in a year but I am SO proud of my husband, my U.S. Airman 💙 Babe, your work ethic inspires me everyday. You are determined, hard-working, a go-getter, and such a people-person. You are going to do such great things, look what you already have accomplished! You are Jett’s (and Aeronca’s) superhero and we LOVE you!
Happy One Year in the U.S Air Force! 🇺🇸
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Mama Aerial ❤️💙🇺🇸