An Open Letter to College MilSOs

So your heart and soul is over 1,000 miles away, huh? When that stereotypical romance about the soldier running home to the girl in a white dress is described, you laugh. You might have even thought that’s what it would be like. Being in a military relationship isn’t like that though. It’s difficult, stressful, even painful. It’s also so much more fulfilling than you realize now.

If you’re blessed with this life, you’ll ride an emotional roller coaster daily. Some days, you wear all the branch apparel you have and flaunt it like it’s your job. Other days, you assume the fetal position and break down. This is the psychological trap that is military love. Serving in the military means sacrifice from both ends, and a lot of it. Those serving are forced to miss anniversaries, holidays, and graduations. Remember though that they don’t like it any more than you do. Don’t be angry or jealous of other relationships, the sacrifices our military makes are incredible. They give up the comfort of home, real food (MRE’s? No, thank you!), and contact with society. They would give their lives for millions of Americans’ freedom... imagine what they would do for those they love.

Even so, your thoughts can still be terrifying; "Are they safe? Are they in pain?" While doing menial tasks, you find yourself wondering if they ate that day. And waiting for letters? Puh­lease! Those are few and far between. Whether it’s boot camp, special training, or deployment, not knowing how or even where they are is frightening. No matter where in the world they may be, know that they love you deeply. The thought of holding you keeps them going, and it’s what will keep you going, too.

Yeah, it’s annoying having to correct people who mistake the Army for the entire armed forces (he’s a Marine, people!). But despite this, represent your military bae with pride, no matter how many times you hold a mini press conference with friends and family. Tell people your story, don’t be ashamed of a little bragging! After all, the military breeds some of the finest men and women in the country.

Sometimes, though, your love forgets their worth. Military relationships mean that those at home become advocates, counselors, and one­-woman fan clubs to support those not at home. If your S/O is struggling with being homesick, soothe them with reminders of why they’re serving. Remind them of how unfathomably proud everyone is at home. Giving them a little confidence boost can lift your spirit as well.

Hold out for that first time you see them when they come home. The tears you held back all those long months flow freely and you are not ashamed. The first hugs and kisses feel like you are falling in love all over again. The suffering melts away instantly. The feeling of meeting again is physical, powerful, and worth all the time spent apart. Hold out for that moment.

 

Photos courtesy of my Marine and me :)

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