We’ve been living in Iowa for about 2 months now. It’s nice here, and I’ve adjusted fairly well (more about that in a future post!) but I miss my home state and the “regular” Army lifestyle. I try not to spend too much time dwelling on the things I miss, but today I’m going to do just that! 🙂 Here’s to all my fellow spouses of detail Recruiters who know exactly how I’m feeling!
At 0630 and 1700 every day, reveille (at 0630) and retreat (at 1700) would sound over the post loudspeakers. At those times, you were required to stop and face the direction of post headquarters if you were outside or driving while the flag was being raised or lowered. You could actually be ticketed for not stopping to observe reveille or retreat while on post. For me, it was always a challenge to see if I could make it inside my home or onto the exit ramps leaving post before the bugle calls sounded (since you’re not supposed to stop to observe them if you’re leaving post since it can be confused with breaching post.) Fort Knox was unique in that it played all of the other bugle calls all of the time, such as the 1200 call for lunch hour and the 1300 call to return to work. My personal favorite, though, was hearing Taps at 2200. By then, most of the highway traffic behind our house had cleared out and I could hear the bugle call clearly. It was always a good reminder of what military life truly means, plus it served as a good bedtime reminder for me.
Although we really like our church here, I still miss my church from Fort Knox something fierce. The ladies at church, although I knew them for just a year, were such great friends and I grew to know them really well. There is just something about being surrounded by military wives that makes you want to jump into your friendships deeply because you’re all new here and you never know who is next to PCS that I really miss. It’s much harder making friends here because everyone has known everyone forever and there’s not as much rush to make friends because no one is going anywhere.
I loved being able to spend a day in my hometown with my mom and sisters and Mamaw. Now, if I want to see them, I have to drive 14-ish hours home or shell out money for a plane ticket. Since my vacation time from work is very limited, I’m not sure when I will go home again other than this Christmas. Although we are just 2 hours away from two of Andy’s siblings, we’ve been so busy lately that we haven’t seen them once since we arrived!
Not being the only outsiders
Ahh, Southern accents. I didn’t realize how Southern I sound until I moved to Iowa. Literally every single time I speak to someone new, they instantly ask me where I’m from because they hear it in my voice. I miss Fort Knox, where everyone was from somewhere new and had accents from all around the world. I’m really self-conscious when I go out in public because of my accent and “foreign” license plate. I have social anxiety anyway, so this certainly doesn’t help!
I really miss being around the active duty Army community. People here tend to forget there are active-duty families who live the military lifestyle every single day instead of just playing soldier one weekend a month. There are so many things that were no big deal on post that are huge nightmares here, including: securing affordable and safe housing that allows pets, dry cleaners who know how to clean ASUs without burning them (true story, it happened to a fellow recruiter here), doctors offices who know how to bill Tricare so that you don’t end up owing thousands of dollars in medical bills (Tricare Prime Remote is totally different than Tricare Standard), easy access to Clothing/Sales for when I need to pick up something for my husband’s uniform (now we’re 2 hours from the nearest base with a very limited selection and 5-ish hours from an actual Army PX), affordable shopping at the commissary, neighbors who “get” your husband’s lifestyle and don’t spend 30 minutes ranting to you about the Commander-in-Chief as if your husband has some sort of say in anything the government does (let’s not discuss politics and especially politics concerning military issues, k?), employers, colleges, and tax professionals who know how to handle military-specific issues (I feel like I have a PhD with all the things I have taught others about military issues), etc.
Oh, how I miss my Prichard Place house. It was so tough moving into our Iowa rental home, because the Prichard house was relatively new and still in great condition. Here… not so much.
As a Kentucky native, I miss the delicious barbecue from back home. Here, we have exactly one BBQ restaurant in all of town, but it’s kinda pricey and not exactly like the BBQ from back home.
Our on-post neighborhood was very close. People would wave at their neighbors and give away items for free on the neighborhood Facebook page. We all knew who was who and knew when things were amiss. Here, the only neighbors we’ve met are the ones next door due to Lily and their dogs constantly barking at each other.
Have you ever moved away from home?
Military families: have you lived an active-duty lifestyle in a totally civilian area?