Thursday, September 12, 2013

Megan: Part 2 - Marine Corps Family

Megan's husband has been a U.S. Marine for 13 years, and I think I can speak for everyone when I thank them both for the hard work and sacrifices they have made in order to help protect our country and our families.  When Meagan and John married, the Marine Corps made them go through spousal counseling and were told "If the Corps meant for a Marine to have a wife they would have issued her at Boot Camp"!  It was meant to be funny, but also to warn them that life in a "Marine family" can be tough.
However, Megan says they aren't your typical Military family:
"We aren't like anyone you've seen on 'Army Wives' or anything like that.  We lived on base for a combined 1.5 years of our 10-year marriage.  Weeks after our second [child] was born, we bought a home... and we've been there every since.  Most of the time we use medical from local doctors, attend church 'out-in-town', shop locally and not on base, and we have mostly civilian friends.  We love that John's job, is John's job and we have a life outside of his job.  If it weren't for the DOD (Department of Defense) decals on our vehicles and the IDs we carry, you'd almost never know we were an active duty family."
Although they've been blessed to have John home most of the time, some of the sacrifices they've had to make are 2 tours to Iraq, a UDP (Unit Deployment Program) to Japan, and many 24-hour duty or weekend classes around the country.  In November 2012, John was promoted to SSgt (Staff Sargent), which meant "a series of small deployments all over the country".  Megan explains how they are now facing the largest sacrifice they've had to make so far as a Marine Corps family:
"John was given orders to Permanent Change of Station, unaccompanied (without family), for 1 year in Camp Mujuk, South Korea.  As I write this, he has just days left with is.  We don't know what the next year holds for us.  The JClan will see their Daddy by Skype, get to email him daily and receive letters and packages in the mail...The JClan is too young to understand why he can't stay.  We are very blessed to have a wonderful family that supports us and an awesome church family that is all about being there for us!"
With six children, homeschooling, and a husband who travels often, I asked Megan if she gets any time for herself?  In what ways does she treat herself?
"I love pedicures!  My Beloved (her hubby) is sweet and gets me gift certificates when he's home so I can go and get one at my convenience.  Other times 'me time' is going to homeschooling meetings with other moms, or getting coffee, or sometimes it's just getting a shower with no one coming into the bathroom, other times it's grocery shopping alone.  During the school year, I try to get up before the JClan so I can spend some quiet time with God, sometimes I even get a shower before one wakes."
Megan offers an interesting perspective regarding "mommy-time", I'd like to keep in mind when feeling overwhelmed and, honestly, a little selfish:
"My children are my life right now.  They are with me 98% of the time, and we choose to live that way!  We only get a small moment in time to be there shaping them.  I will have many years of 'me time' when they are grown and have their own families."
Please keep Megan and her JClan in your thoughts and prayers throughout the next year as her "Beloved" is stationed in South Korea without them; it will be a huge adjustment for everyone.  Megan, I hope you can steal some moments for yourself to recharge your battery as you tackle so much on your own.  I am inspired by your stamina and positive attitude!

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