Military Wife prayer
Give me greatness of heart to see,
The difference between duty and his love for me.
Give me the understanding so that I may know,
When duty calls him he must go.
Give me a task to do each day,
To fill the time when he's away.
When he goes out to sea,
Please bring him safely home to me.
When he must fly so high,
Watch over him and keep him nigh.
When he's in a foreign land,
Keep him safe in your loving hand.
When duty is in the field,
Protect him and be his shield.
And Lord, when deployment is so long,
Please stay with me and keep me strong.
Thank you to Tracie Simmons for contributing the above prayer! I thought it was perfect for this page!
Cindy's Words of Wisdom for
New CG Wives
Whether you have been a Coast Guard wife for 2 days or 2 years (even longer sometimes!), I am sure that at times you have wondered if you are really cut out for this life. The moving, the deployments, the upheaval are sometimes hard to cope with. I have been doing this for 15 years, and I still cry when my husband gets underway for very long, I still get frustrated when it is time to move, or while waiting for orders, and I STILL find things that I know nothing about! I am doing this page in the hope that this will make coping with the daily stuff just a little bit easier. I believe that when we have knowledge about things, that we feel empowered, and thus more in control! (When I was a brand new Coastie wife, I had the most wonderful CO's wife, who took us newbie's under her wing and taught us the ropes...this is my legacy to her!!)
First of all, always remember that no matter what your husband's rank, all wives are created equal -- the Admiral's wife is no more important than the new Seaman Apprentice's wife! YOU are not a member of the military, wives have no chain of command, and should all be treated equally!
Learn as much as you can about ALL aspects of the Coast Guard. Learn about the LES, know about the BAH for your area, know who the housing officer is..... believe me, ignorance is NOT bliss!! Know how much your husband gets paid each month. Pay attention to what is on his LES and if there is a mistake, be assured that the Coast Guard will find it if it is in your favor, and they will take the money back with little or no notice. SO! It is in your best interests to put that money aside, and let them know that they goofed! There is nothing worse than being caught with little or no paycheck because the Coast Guard wanted their money back!!
Familiarize yourself with the Work-Life program, the services they offer, etc. Many times the Work-Life staff will come to a Group/Unit/Ship and do special programs -- keep your eyes open for those because sometimes the information can prove to be invaluable. Attend the classes if at all possible. Also know about the EAP, the toll free number and the services that they offer. You never know when you, or someone you know might need these services.
Memorize the Champus/Tricare handbook! Know what services are covered and what are not! ALWAYS ask your civilian health care provider if they are "participating providers." Asking if they "accept" this insurance is MUCH different, so be aware and try to use only participating providers if possible. This will save you much money and much heartache in the long run! Also learn about the Coast Guard Dental plan. Ignorance is not a good thing when dealing with your insurance plans and health care/dental providers. It can cost you a lot of money that we military families can ill afford to lose. (Contrary to some beliefs, Coast Guard dependents are NOT entitled to free health care like the member!! Please don't let yourself get caught in this train of thought.)
When dealing with various departments in the Coast Guard -- medical, or ID card people for example -- do NOT let them intimidate you or treat you badly. There is never an excuse for rude treatment, or poor behavior on the part of any Coast Guard member that you may have to deal with!!! If someone does treat you badly, REPORT THEM TO THEIR SUPERIOR! If the superior does not take you seriously, then speak to HIS/HER superior! And keep going until someone pays attention. Sometimes you will encounter this, hopefully not often. Do not stoop to their level; maintain your dignity, and composure, but do not let it go!
On the other side of the coin -- if there is someone who has treated you especially good, who you feel has gone above and beyond, who was especially helpful, or friendly, or whatever! Please let their superiors know this as well. As in any job, it is nice to be told of a job well done instead of only hearing the negative.
Wherever you are transferred to, build your own support system -- friends, church, whatever. It is important to have this -- especially if you are far from "home." Your fellow spouses have "been there, done that" and are experiencing the same things that you are. Learn from them, rely on one another -- together you can get through anything! It is much harder to cope "all alone."
If you are a "boat wife," PLEASE! Have a life when your husband is underway! It will make this a much more positive experience for you if you don't sit home waiting by the phone for your husband to call. Take a class, volunteer, hang out with friends, get a job -- do something! But, remember that it is your husband who is underway doing his job, your life should not end simply because he is not there with you! (Personally, I think it is important to have one's own identity no matter WHAT kind of job your husband has... ..but that is another story!)
Also -- very important! If you are not good at managing money, and your spouse is not a)willing or able to do it, or b)not good at it either, PLEASE (!) save yourselves a whole lot of heartache, (and possible BIG trouble for your spouse) and take a class, call consumer credit counseling, something! And learn how to manage your money, and make it last. It can be done, but it may take some creativity on your part. Make use of the local commissary, use coupons, buy clothing on consignment (also the local Goodwill store may have some terrific deals!), etc. There are lots of ways to get by on this pay -- it just takes some ingenuity on your parts.
If you don't know something -- ASK! There is no such thing as a dumb question....
Don't let yourself get caught up in the gossip that may go on. It always does more harm than good. Someone will always get hurt by negative talk. ALSO -- do not always believe what you are told about someone. You might miss out on a great friendship by allowing others "judgements" to decide who you will or will not associate with. Make up your own mind!
Always remember that your husband is doing a very special job. The Coast Guard does not work like the civilian world, and your husband has no control over his underway schedule or whatever. Don't get angry at him for missing out on birthdays, anniversary's, holidays or for not being available when you and the kids all have the flu at the same time....or whatever. It really isn't his fault. He misses you and the kids, and would love to be with you if he could. Just make the most of the at home time, and take the rest a day at a time!
Look on this life as an adventure. It can be a great one if you allow yourself to simply enjoy it and realize that there are some things that you cannot control!
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