Coast Guard Wife: The Toughest Job in the Coast Guard
Best and Worst Parts of Being a Coast Guard Wife:
Getting to see so much of the country. All the wonderful people I have met along the way -- this is truly a family we are part of. Being so proud of the job that my husband does. Getting a chance to live in areas that civilians dream of visiting, but couldnt afford to live in Family. I really believe that military families are closer than civilian counterparts. Moving so often, we tend to lean on each other more. Deployments and hectic duty schedules make many of us realize just how precious time together is. 30 days paid vacation a year. Retirement checks after only 20 yrs Being able to experience what people do,say and eat in Virginia, Michigan and California (etc) is much more satifying than a quick 2 week vacation. Meeting people and understanding their hopes and ideas has helped me to be more forgiving of others. The most beautiful site in the world, the ship coming into port after a patrol. The honeymoon mood very time they came home from patrol. (Even after children).
The privacy of not having your entire family know every time you disagreed with each other. The ability to make our own mistakes without inference from anyone and to grow and learn from them.
Learning to stand on your own feet and make it (without a safety net underneath) and seeing the pride show in your husband's eyes. Saying "to hell with the housework he's at sea , it's more fun to sit on the floor and play with the kids."
The education my children have gotten from being able to visit places that some of their classmates have only read about in books.
Telling the kids about the next PCS. Late stormy nights when you know he's underway in the cold and wind, and you just pray there won't be a rare tragedy. Holiday duty. Not Having family nearby. (I never had the opportunity to call up my Mom and say "I need a night of romance with my Hero, could the kids spend the night with you?" That would have been nice.) The most terrible site in the world, the ship pulling out to go to sea The loneliness of calling his name and knowing he won't be answering (because he is gone again, doing his CG duty).
Starting over and over again in another job. Like being on a treadmill, running but not really going anyplace. Watching a lot of your children's accomplishments all alone. Getting a phonecall to come back home fast and wishing you did live down the street or across town. Having to move the kids just as they are entering high school. *********************************************************************
This Coast Guard life is challenging at best, but we try to stick together and help one another get through the rough times -- this in turn helps us to cope. Despite the drawbacks of this life, I for one, wouldn't change a thing!
(This best and worst list was made possible by the contributors at the CG Spouse discussion board -- a special thank you to each one of them!)
Tribute to a Coast Guard WifeThe band was gaily playing as the ship pulled into place. Folks gathered close to watch her and observe a dear ones face. Some voice called, "Welcome Heroes" It's been rough for you gone so long. No one realized that the heroes were on the pier where they belonged. The children were scrubbed and shiny every hair in perfect place. 'Twas hard to imagine how the families stood the pace. While the men were gone consider who cared for all they loved? Who nursed infants, changed tires, reared kids, washed, cooked and scrubbed? A broken arm was tended. Many mid-watches were stood. No one relieved the duty of the watch of love. Who kept morale alive with letters by the score? Who spent lonely nights and weekends counting just how many more? Who handled bills and spent the money? Made decisions great and small? Who did it for this fellow, now so near she could easily hear him call? Who kept all this going? A hero, you bet your life! But when asked she'd calmly say... "I'm just a Coastie's wife."
Thank you Dena for contributing this!
I am proud to be your wife.
I am part of a long tradition of women who have stood strong at the sides of their sailors with love and devotion.
No matter what the sacrifice, we persevere, respecting the way of our Coast Guard, knowing that she will always be the other woman, and sometimes she must come first.
I will support all that you do, and be at your side through triumph or disappointment, through celebration or tragedy.
I will try to be cheerful and understanding, to keep our house in order. Although at times I am weak and need you, I will not let you down.
I am proud of you, my Coast Guardsman, for everything you do. Whether on land, at sea or in air. You do the jobs no one else can do, with little recognition, but your pride keeps you going, and so does mine.
So please don't worry, or doubt what I can do. Like those who came before me, I will stand tall, no matter what the circumstances..I will honor you and our Coast Guard.
I will learn and I will gain strength, as a part of a special group that has endured over 200 years of hardship, love, laughter and tears... and now shines brighter than ever before.
I am a proud Coast Guard wife.
The Making of a Coast Guard Wife
When the good Lord was creating wives, he was into his sixth day of overtime. An angel appeared and said, "You're having a lot of trouble withthis one. What's wrong with the standard model?" And the Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She must be completely independent, but must be sponsored to get on base, have the qualities of both father and mother during cruises, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40, run on black coffee, handle emergencies without a NAVOPS manual, be able to handle flu, birthdays and moves around the world, have a kiss that can cure anything from a child's torn Valentine to a husband's weary day, have patience of a saint when waiting for the squardron to come home, and have six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way!" And the Lord answered, "Don't worry, we'll make other military wives to help. Besides, it's not the hands that are causing the problem, it's the heart. It must swell with pride in her husband, sustain the ache of seperations, beat soundly when it's too tired to do so, and say 'I understand' when she doesn't and 'I love you' regardless." "Lord." said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "Come to bed." "I can't," said the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something unique. Already I have one who heals herself when she's sick, can feed three unexpected guests who are stuck in the area due to bad weather, and can wave good-bye to her husband from a pier or runway and understand that it is important to his country that he leaves." The angel circled the model of the military wife very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed. "But tough," said the Lord excitedly. "You can not imagine what this woman can do or endure." "Can it think?' "Can it think? It can convert 1400 to 2pm." Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There is a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "It's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel. "It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride!" "You are a genius." said the angel. The Lord looked somber and replied.... "I didn't put it there." ** this is paraphrased from a column by Erma Bombeck **
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