Friday, March 19, 2010

A Closed Chapter

My sweet husband is out of town this weekend for military duty...for the last time.

This man, who I love so much, is a Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserves, where he has been serving for the last 8 years. Here he is pictured during his year-long tour in Iraq in 2008.

We are thankful for the things we've learned through being a military family (part-time mostly...except for his year of deployment), but we are even more thankful to be done with this chapter in our lives.

The main reason for this is that we didn't find the military (or at least Andrew's branch/unit/battalion) to be super family-friendly. The saying goes, "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one." And I felt the truth of that quite often. That perspective is more appropriate, of course, in time of war. But I often felt myself frustrated by the way the system worked...the lack of efficiency that caused even more separation/lack of communication for our family. "Hurry up and wait" is an often-heard military saying!

God used Andrew's deployment to change our direction in a big way. Before he left, my husband had been accepted to medical school. Our plan was to let the Army pay for his schooling. We knew we wouldn't look forward to Andrew's deployments as a physician, but we thought it would be fine since many times doctors only deploy for 3 month periods.

All our plans were put on hold when we found out Andrew would not be able to start school as planned and instead was being deployed to Iraq for a year. We had been married for 8 months when he left.

Over the process of the deployment, Andrew and I both had a slow change of heart regarding medical school. We suddenly realized how precious our time together as a family was. We talked about how we wanted to start a family when he got home. We knew that if that happened AND he started med school when he got back, he would be very absent in the first 8 years of our kids lives. I started talking to the doctors that I worked with and asking them what they would do differently, looking back on their careers. Many of them said they wouldn't do it again. Many of them had lost their families in the process.

After prayer and much thought, Andrew gave up his spot in the med school class. Now he's home, we have a son, and he's been accepted to a Physician Assistant program starting in June.

And it's time to say good-bye to the Army.

Thank you, God, for what we learned--to trust You more, to communicate with each other in hard times, to save money, to lean on family and friends, how to lead, how to stand up to evil, and to cherish our family.

We're ready for the next adventure!

Love, Alicia

This post is linked to Company Girl Coffee. :) Hi ladies!


  1. A very interesting read. My 15 year old wants to study medicine eventually and his 21 year old cousin is currently studying medicine paid for by our military.

  2. Alicia, thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading your blog. It is very interesting to read about the challenges you face as your husband is in the military. My son was in the Navy for 6 years aboard a nuclear-powered submarine. Even though he was not in the war zone like your husband, it had its own set of concerns. I remember once when I was praying for his safety when he was out to sea for 6 months and the Lord sent me to the Bible verse from Psalm 95:5 "The sea is His and he made it and formed the dry land." I knew from that time forward that God was assuring me of my son's safety. (and he was safe even in a few trying times under the water.) Isn't he an awesome God and always faithful to us. Also thanks for the post about the cream of chicken soup. I will try it. :) (I don't buy the canned because of MSG.) Have a blessed evening. :)

  3. Good luck in your new life and with your new adventure.

  4. I am glad you found what God wanted for your life. I did hear on some news story about EMTs and how they are usually singles because you dedicate so much of your time to saving lives that it wouldn't be much of a relationship with their families if they started one. Not sure if this is true. I know God has great plans for your family either way.

  5. Wow, big changes are coming. And it looks like they are welcome changes, too. God is so good.

    Thanks for visiting! I grew up in the south and I miss the bartlett pears!! They don't seem to be favored as heavily out here. Those and the crepe myrtles.

  6. Dear Alicia,

    I just found this post, and I just wanted to thank you and your hubby for your service and sacrifice to our country. Seriously, you have my deepest gratitude. We are a military family, too, and I know how hard deployments can be on a family and truly what a sacrifice it is. Please send your hubby our thanks!! So happy that you are closing this chapter...what a feeling that must be!!

    Blessings again to you!


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