There is a saying that goes a little like this:
If the Army had of wanted Wives they would have issued them!
The year was 1988 and I was newly married when my husband joined the Australian Army. We had been dating a few years and then living together when he decided to join up. And normally you get a letter in the mail, giving you a couple weeks notice to prepare, pack and get ready to go off for six months training.
Now I'm a Morley, as some of you may know so let's face facts..... I for some reason don't fit into the word "Normal".
This photo was taken in May 1988:
So one morning I'm at work and get a phone call from my husband, he has a message to ring the Army, it's a Tuesday: they recruit on a Tuesday. He asks me if when he calls if they want him to enlist on this day would that be ok? I said well the sooner we get it over and done with the better.
So I caught a cab home from work to find my husband frantically packing and later that day he was sworn in and went off for six months to train.... If you look really closely at that pic above you will see the pics on my dressing table mirror of the swearing in!
The joys of marriage!
Our first posting was in Townsville (as I've mentioned in a previous blog) and I think we both had big dreams. But Groover's life had other plans....
Being an Army Wife was a hard slog. They would go bush for weeks and then come home and have time off. We lived in an Army Suburb but a lot of the wives didn't work, so they could be home with their husband and you would be the one having to leave to go to work when your own husband was finally home.
I can remember there was a cyclone coming and of course my husband was out bush. I was sent home from work, got everything packed away and organised. Fixed the bathroom with a mattress, radio, batteries and water etc. and of course thennnnn the Army brought them home.
By the way, the cyclone didn't hit us, but went south and hit a small town there. Poor people....
I used to hear some wild and wooly stories from the guys in my husbands platoon of the "women"that they would meet out at night clubs. Ahhhh the stories Groover's but sorry even too naughty for me to share on here! I knowwwwwwwwww who would have thought I would go shy.....
I even got to use a Machine Gun and SLR (Self-Loading Rifle - am I turning you on with my dirty talk! LOL) on the "Open Day" that they put on for the families. And I have to say I quite enjoyed it!
It was set up a little like this:
Eventually we moved back to Brisbane on a posting when I was around 4 months pregnant with Baby Jake. But after having Jake, the very day I was due home from hospital, my husband was due to go out bush. The Army were nice enough to let him have THREE MORE DAYS with me and thennnnnn he had to go out bush.
This was a sign of things to come.
On my very first Mothers Day my husband flew out to Iraq for the first war to help the Kurdish Refugees. One moment he was going, next day not. Finally they decided and the day they picked YEP YOU GOT IT! Mother's Day.
I guess as time goes by you get used to being by yourself. It's you that brings in the bins, you that get's up to the baby, you get to go to THAT party by yourself and are forever talking about them being away as everyone asks you where they are!
I can even remember driving out to the Amberley Air Base to welcome my husband back from Iraq and he and Jake made it on the news that night. Jake was soooo happy to see his dad and have him home!
So when the time came and our marriage broke up, whilst it was hard, really in the end I was soooo used to being just Jake and Me that it really didn't feel that different, as sad as that is to say.
But Groover's don't feel sad or sorry for me. It was sooo long ago now that it feels like a movie I once saw and I am just telling you about it. Of course I was only a baby myself back then, but these things that happen to us in life, well I guess we just survive them and become a stronger person :)
It's a hard life the life of an Army Wife and I don't envy those women who are now as we speak, married to a soldier. But love makes us do many different things that we normally wouldn't do, doesn't it!
And if I hadn't gone through all of those things then I wouldn't be where I am today. These experiences have shaped me into the person that I am :)
Well that's the end of our little trip down memory lane!