If you walked through the front door of our whitewashed brick home, nestled among the loblolly pines of North Carolina, eight maps from cities across America would catch your eye. These are the places the military has sent us to serve and live. Some of them we called home for a mere three months, and some felt like an eternity at three years. Others have called us back with fresh-cut orders again, and again, and again.
After twelve moves in thirteen years, reflecting on all the places we’ve lived brings up a gamut of emotions. The process of moving is utterly exhausting, but once a place finally feels like home, it’s often hard to say goodbye. Driving away from little ol’ Ft. Leavenworth was one of those experiences where leaving brought up all the feelings. As our bright yellow moving truck backed out of the driveway, the words for this poem flowed freely. May it remind you that you are not alone in this whirlwind military lifestyle as you go from place to place.
Military Spouse, Oh, the Places You’ll Go
I live in boxes. I live in suitcases. I live in toiletry bags and plastic bins.
I live on moving trucks, highways, freeways, and backroads.
I live in cars, trucks, vans, buses, boats, planes, and trains.
I live in hotels, vacation rentals, and furnished business apartments.
I live on the east coast, down south, up north, and out west.
I live in hamlets and villages.
I live in the city, the suburbs, off post, and on base.
I live in condos, townhouses, duplexes, cabins, cottages, and single-family homes.
I live in the woods, on the lake, in the desert, near the bay, and up the mountain.
I live in new friendships, new neighbors, new jobs, and new churches.
I live on the phone with utility companies, housing offices, dentist offices, doctor offices, the postal service, the cable company, the internet company, the bank, home insurance, Tricare, packing companies, and truck drivers.
I live online,
searching for homes, schools, local resources, recommendations, babysitters, medical specialists, restaurants, activities, and lessons.
I live with my spouse.
I live alone.
I live with my parents.
I live with a friend.
I live with people of many nations.
I live with people of all colors.
I live with people of all religions and no religion.
I live with people of all genders and orientations.
I live in the unknown and the last minute.
I live in missed birthdays, late anniversaries, and celebrating Christmas in June.
I live according to field trainings, temporary duty stations, unaccompanied tours, deployments, and permanent changes of station.
I live in painful goodbyes and momentous reunions.
I live under the guidance of presidents, division commanders, brigade commanders, battalion commanders, company commanders, and platoon leaders.
I live where the military sends me.
I live where God leads me.
I live on mission.
Oh, the places I’ll go.