The list of things I wish people had told me before I became a military spouse is long, but here’s one that may surprise you. I wish someone had told me I would need to drive. As a new Air Force spouse, a college student in my mid-20s, I also started to experience symptoms that caused me to lose my ability to drive. When we were stationed in California, this wasn’t much of an issue -- everything was within walking distance of where we lived.
But now, we are stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB, in the suburbs of Ohio. My inability to drive has started to take a toll, leaving me feeling socially and geographically isolated. My condition has not been diagnosed and I have no idea if this will be a long-term or short-term problem. I have been to several doctors and specialists, but as of now, my life is my home when my husband is at work.
I have been told that my role in my husband’s career is essential and necessary (apparently officer wife functions are vital). But going to any kind of meeting is entirely dependent on my wonderful husband’s availability which is limited -- as you can imagine!
I see many of the club meetings are held mid-day at the base and I have no way of getting there. Public transportation in this area is limited. Even when available, it is also dirty, long and not very safe. The cab system here is even thinner and very expensive.
I also do not have children, and in no way do my husband or I ever want any. This creates a huge problem in the Air Force where everything is very “family” (i.e. child) orientated. Being a young couple, most all the other people we know have children. We love to have fun in the spur of the moment but feel we -- mostly me -- can no longer experience life to its fullest.
So, what is a military spouse to do at this point? How can I become more involved not just in our military life, but in my own life without the ability to drive? How will the spouse community view my situation? Is it better I stay behind the scenes until things are figured out?
Hayley is an Air Force Spouse currently located in Ohio.
Keep Up with the Ins and Outs of Military Life
For the latest military news and tips on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military.com and have the information you need delivered directly to your inbox.