So here goes, my first ever blog let alone guest blog. A bit nervous writing about my military life so far but thought I would take a step back from todays groundhog day of this six month deployment and change it up a bit by putting pen to paper.
Where do I even start? We have been happily married nearly 11 years and have not stopped with life, it really has been a whirlwind!
Adam and I met in our local village and unexpectedly fell in love at first sight – we truly are living proof of this saying! We had our wedding, first home and first baby all in under a year!
I was excited and nervous to move to Wimbish barracks and leave my family and friends behind.
I only knew this new life from a child’s perspective being an Royal Air Force child and knew things would be much different. It was fun, I made friends for life in just months of being there, I guess I am more confident than I thought. Life was great, we were so busy bringing up our first born and exploring Cambridge together as a family of three!
Things quickly changed when Adam was told he would be going on his first operational tour just after Christmas, our first born Grace was about to turn one. With no choice but to put up with it we made lots of plans. Adam headed off to Afghanistan in February 2009 so we packed our bags and headed back to Mums house for Grace’s 1st birthday. Communication was minimal and phone calls just once a week.
We received a phone call two days after Grace’s first birthday that would change everything that the past 10 years has brought to us.
Adam was unfortunately hit by an I.E.D (he was search trained) deforming and severely scaring his arm, taking his right bum cheek and scaring his legs. We thank our lucky stars he has all his limbs, a beating heart and lucky for him he can still serve in the British Army as he wishes. He was flown home immediately, covered in skin grafts – rebuilt and taken care of (Thank you Sellyoak hospital and Headley Court).
Time passed with lots of work and rehabilitation. We were given a lovely holiday in Jersey with ‘Help for Heroes’ – what an eye opener this had all been but an amazing holiday we needed. We met so many injured, true heroes.
Our second born Evie came along and times were smooth again, thanking every single day we had together. Making the most of life and laughing every day!
We soon got our next posting. We were only heading up the road to Waterbeach, another posting we found family friends for life who supported us and still do now. We didn’t stay there long (just 4 months) before we found out we were part of a major regimental move to Kinloss in Scotland! All I could think was noooo I don’t want to move, we had just settled. I had just made a beautiful plaque wall (no fun re-filling over 100 nail holes!), my family were only 3 hours away (not a soon to be 9 hours drive), the parks and walks were gorgeous and we made our house a home for the first time. We packed up and moved.
Kinloss – what a posting! Up’s and downs with a few things. Finding my feet with my self employed business – photography (which soon became so busy, I had requests from the Army for squadron photo’s and mess balls etc). Life was so calm at this point, we almost forgot the kind of “life” we were living. Kinloss is beautiful, we had met yet again another family for life.
Life quickly changed.
Adam started to battle severe PTSD. The biggest, most extremely tiring, stressful, emotional and hardest three year roller-coaster we were about to take a seat on. He suffered seizures and a near medical discharge which he fought so hard against as he (crazily) wanted to stay in the forces.
Our children saw their Daddy as a blank canvas. We fought so hard to get him back, they really shouldn’t have had their eyes opened to this terrible battle that Adam was fighting, but we kept pushing everyday, together. With lots of professional treatment and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences), Adam was on the road to recovery.
He is our absolute world. We couldn’t be more proud of him!
After a lovely 3 years by the sea, it was time for a posting close to home. Finally some emotional support and Adams first extremely long over due promotion came in HURRAY!Grace is 10, Ripon is her fifth house. Evie is 7 and this is her forth. They love it here so we are anxious to ever move. We have family close by, I am working back in childcare, we have made new family friends for life again and we have so many plans. Life is FINALLY “normal” I don’t know many spouses here, my life is quite “civilian” at the moment. My girls love their school which is out of the military loop and Adam loves his job. We celebrated our 10 year wedding by renewing our vows by the beach in Spain!
Deployment has come our way once again. Adam is currently serving a United Nations six month deployment. We are so proud. This is our first
ever six months without Adam, it has been quite tough, we are so attached. We have just had our RnR and it was amazing but as we head into the next three months, I don’t feel strong finding our momentum again! Hoping it will kick in soon!
Adam has missed both girls first birthdays and has spent the last three years of our birthdays (we are all February) in Africa. With an endless amount of courses, exercises and long working hours we can still say we appreciate military life. We dream of days of sign off don’t get me wrong but for now, we are enjoying seeing more of the country, making memories because time is precious, meeting lots of people along the way and building so much strength between us ready for the day we no longer have to wait for him to come home!