Hello and welcome! I'm Erin!
|Proud Miami of Oklahoma Tribal Member|
I'm a 31 year old Navy sister,
Army wife Air Force wife to a prior service Marine/Soldier, and an Air Force Reservist. I was born and raised in Southern California, having grown up in Huntington Beach. I always feel the need to qualify that statement, when I tell people that I'm from Orange County. I didn't have the sort of lifestyle that you see on Real Housewives. My family lived modestly, but we always had what we needed. I didn't (and still don't) identify with the beach/surfer lifestyle of HB, so I sometimes tell people that I'm from Tustin, where DH and I made our first home together.
I am a Motherless Daughter, a term coined by Hope Edelman. My mother died of ovarian cancer when I was 20 years old. I miss her with every fiber of my being. I'm saddened that she never got to be a grandma and that my future children will never know her. I especially miss her when times are difficult and I need her advice, wisdom, and shoulder to cry on.
I became a military spouse at an atypical stage in my life. I met DH when I was almost 25 years old and he was 35. He had already been medically discharged from the Marine Corps, after a lengthy term of service. We both had been previous married, although he was the only one with children. I was finishing up my teaching credential and about ready to start my first teaching position. I've been working in the special education field for eight years now, with this year being my sixth in teaching. My B.A. is in Women's Studies (UCLA c/o 2003) and my M.S. is in Special Education (CSULB c/o 2009). I am credentialed to teach in four states, thanks to military relocation.
I enjoy volunteering for military charities - the Patriot Guard, Wreaths Across America, Homes For Our Troops, Snowball Express, and (during our Active Duty years) my husband's FRG. I know if I would've been of age during WWII that I would've been a USO hostess. Oh, if only!
My latest adventure has been taking the leap at the age of 30 and Crossing Into The Blue! Joining the Air Force Reserve in January 2011 has been one of the better decisions of my adult life.
My cuter half, my servicemember, shall be known as DH on my blog. For those not familiar with the acronym, it stands for "Damn Husband" or "Dear Husband," depending on his behavior and my attitude. I leave it up to you to decide based on the context of the blog post. :)
I met DH at a country bar, back in California. Men who can dance are always sure winners with women, and he was no exception. I can honestly say that it wasn't the uniform that attracted me to him, since he had completed his service in the Marine Corps before I met him. Anyone who has loved a Marine knows that there's just something about them. I only wish I could've seen him in his heyday. We fell in love fast and hard, and knew we had to be together. I truly grew up (at the age of 25) and became an adult after meeting him, for which I am eternally grateful. I began to appreciate the little things and finally took control and responsibility for my life.
|One of our first pictures as couple.|
DH worked construction and on cooling towers before finally deciding to return to active duty military service with the Army, who would write waivers for his previous medical discharge. We had a good, solid year and a half before he went off to BCT at Fort Leonard Wood. We knew we wanted to get married after he finished training, so we purchased our wedding rings before he left. After not seeing him in ten weeks, I drove to Missouri with my future father-in-law, to see my groom and get hitched! We were married outside of the local county courthouse. We only had our parents and his battle buddy there, and a wedding cake from Walmart. I couldn't have asked for more.
|Credit to J. Boone Pooler Photography|
We didn't get a wedding night, or even an overnight pass that weekend. He started AIT at FLW that Monday. Honeymoon? Ha! That's laughable. After AIT, he came home for two weeks and then left promptly for Camp Red Cloud, Korea, and an unaccompanied tour. I stayed in California and finished up my Master's degree. I did get to visit over Spring Break! I wish I could've gone along with him - we would've been able to prolong our time together and possibly work on starting a family while we were over there.
|Motoring around Seoul!|
After he finished his tour in Korea, he came home for (you guessed it!) two weeks and then left for Fort Bragg. I stayed behind in California to finish off the year of teaching that I'd just begun. I went out to Fayetteville as much as I could, as he deployed six months after arriving there. I wasn't there for the send-off, and I'm thankful for that. I had said my goodbyes earlier and I don't know how I would've handled seeing him go. I hated seeing him pull out of our drive towards North Carolina, let alone Afghanistan. After finishing off my school year, I PCSed to Fort Bragg and moved into the home we'd been maintaining since he left. I spent the summer unpacking and preparing for his R&R. I started up my new job in North Carolina and welcomed him home (for good) that spring.