“Despite the distance, every day is worth it.”
Meet Alex. She and her Marine, Hunter, have been married for three years and are parents to a beautiful baby girl, Emmalynn. They are from the same hometown and are high school sweethearts (they’ve known each other for 13 years!). She is also mom to her fur baby, Charlie.
Alex is the friend of my sister-in-law, Jena Haney. I met Alex through her, but it turned out that we had quite a bit in common (you know, aside from bearing the same name). We found out that not only did we graduate from the same college (Go Hokies!), but her roommate was in my sorority! The Marine Corps seriously makes the world even smaller, and I love making all of those connections.
Throughout their time in the Marine Corps, Alex and Hunter have PCSed twice (from Pensacola to Corpus Christi, then Corpus Christi to Camp Lejeune). In order to commemorate all of the places they have lived, they buy Christmas ornaments to hang on their tree documenting each place the Marine Corps has called “home” for them. She says the biggest different between military and civilian life is the amount of flexibility that everyone involved has to have. More often than not, “I’ll be home at 5:30,” really means, “I’ll be home at 6:30…or 7:30…or 8:30…” The Marine Corps really tested Alex’s flexibility when Hunter’s deployment was moved up by five months and he was suddenly having to leave with just one month’s notice, instead of six. At the end of the day, however, we as spouses have no control over those timelines…so vacations are cancelled, family time is adjusted, and we lean on those closest to us for support.
The more that I speak with military spouses, the more it seems like the two most common professions are nursing and teaching—both relatively mobile. Alex is a nurse and worked at Onslow Memorial Hospital for a while before deciding to focus on family. She now stays at home with their five-month-old baby girl and is loving every minute of raising her up!
Hunter is currently on his second deployment and had to leave when Emmalynn was only three months old. Seeing all of her firsts—first giggle, first time she rolled over, trying new foods—is difficult for Alex to enjoy because she wants to be able to share that with Hunter halfway around the world. While FaceTime and videos are better than missing out entirely, they still don’t replace being there firsthand. Despite that, Alex is rocking motherhood and conquering their second deployment one day at a time.
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