My Military Relationship

When the person I loved turned his normal day clothes in for his uniform, my life as I knew it was completely changed. My way of communication with him, being able to see him when I wanted to and my awareness of his life would never be the same. We would never have the stereotypical college relationship. Our relationship would be far from that.

As my new journey as a college student began, everything was different. I moved only twenty minutes away from home to start the next chapter of my life. I lived in a new environment and had to meet completely new people because I did not know anyone at my new school. As I complained about having to move into a dorm room with someone I didn’t even know, the guy I loved moved halfway across the country to start his new journey in the military. He went with nothing but the clothes on his back and his whole world would be changed.

As my friends spent their first halloween weekend in college out having fun in different costumes, I spent it saying goodbye to the person I love. It was the weekend I had been dreading since our relationship began. Goodbyes are never easy and not knowing when I would be able to hear his voice or hold him again did not help. The weeks of worry and sadness I had felt before he left, now turned into numbness as I hugged him for the last time. I wished I never had to let go. With tears in my eyes, I watched the person I cared about the most walk away to begin his new life as a soldier.

From the beginning, Trevor and I had always had a long distance relationship. We were never just five minutes down the road from each other nor did we attend the same high school. Therefore, the distance that comes along with a military relationship was less of a burden but still a drastic transition I had to endure. Instead of spending the last hour before I went to bed texting or facetiming him, I now sit and write a letter telling him about my day and updating him with the latest news and gossip. Our communication changed from instant messaging to having to wait two weeks to hear from each other. We cannot ever have a true conversation because I am always replying to a letter that was written two weeks earlier and he will not receive my reply for another two weeks. Although letter writing is romantic and the letters are something I will be able to save and cherish forever, I miss talking to him and hearing his voice. Since he has been in basic training, I have received one phone call which was on Thanksgiving Day. He had fifteen minutes to talk which was cut short by the drill sergeants because ultimately they are trying to make his life hell. Through his time at basic, things have not gotten easier. Although I have gotten used to not hearing from him and have stopped constantly wondering when the next time my phone will ring, the longer he is gone the more I miss him.

People do not realize how different military relationships are from ordinary college ones. Although some may say they can relate because they, too, are in a long distance relationship during college, it simply is not the same. While I am in college having fun and doing school work, soldiers are out there fighting for this country. As a military girlfriend, I have learned to appreciate my boyfriend more and to cherish the time that we have had together. I have begun to appreciate the little things, like the fifteen minute phone calls and the letters that I receive. Just hearing from him, whether it be through a letter or a phone call, never fails to brighten my day. Being able to hear what is going on with him and that he is okay is all I can ask for. My military relationship has made me appreciate everything a little bit more.