Life of a Military Wife: Crystal Cox
August 21st, 2010 | Published in Military Life
Written by, Angela Caban
Army wife Crystal Cox has been married to her high school sweetheart for one year, and would not change a thing about her life. About to experience her first Permanent Change of Station alone while her husband is deployed, Crystal has begun to build the courage and strength usually found only after years of marriage. In "Life of a Military Wife", Crystal shares her fears, strengths and tips on how she handles being an Army wife.
So you and your husband have known each other since high school, did you ever think that this would become your life?
Stephen was in JROTC (pretty much an intro to the Air Force) during high school. He always knew he wanted to be in the Military. I didn't really know much about the Military at all, or what to expect. I didn't even know what a base was.
What were your first thoughts when your husband told you he wanted to join the Army?
When the time finally came that he did join, he choose the Army instead of the Air force. At the time, I finally did know more about the life and to be honest I was scared. I didn't think I would be able to handle it and we decided to go our separate ways. We broke off our engagement, but I finally came to my senses and didn't want to live a life that he wasn't apart of so we got back together. We were married during leave right after basic training. I now wouldn't change my life for anything, I love this lifestyle.
What challenges have you faced since your husband has been deployed? How do you handle them?
When Stephen deployed, it had already been six months since we last saw each other. He left for Germany and wasn't able to get me command sponsored before he deployed. I was 19 and alone for the first time in my life. I didn't know there were spouse groups or sites like Military OneSource. The first six months of the deployment was the hardest. I had to be at my father's death bed alone, and since I was his only family and being only 19 it was very hard to be the one to make all the decisions. I moved to a new city a couple hours away from my home town once my father passed away to be closer to my mom. Her boyfriend and I don't get along, so i have been staying in a motel with my cat Tubbles. School has been keeping me busy and thank goodness for MyCAA or else I wouldn't have been able to continue my education.
So you will be PCS'ing to Germany soon, how stressful has this process been without your husband around to help?
It's been very hard, the reason that I am PCSing while Stephen is deployed, is to be there for homecoming and have our new home on post all set up for when he returns. I wanted to be up there as soon as possible since I am living in a motel and it seems like the command sponsorship process can't go any slower. There is always more paperwork to be done, more signatures needed.
What do you consider the biggest joy of being an Army wife?
I absolutely adore all the wonderful people I have met. It's truly an amazing bond that Military wives have and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I live next to an Air force base and I have had some wives from there add me on Facebook and invite me to go out for a coffee with them. It's amazing just how many great people there are in this world.
What is one common misconception that you see people have about military spouses?
I've had a lot of friends try to make me the match maker to set them up with some single soldiers in hopes for it to turn in to a relationship. Being a Military wife isn't a day at the carnival, its hard work and it will either break you down or build you up to be stronger. It may seem romantic to be married to a soldier and at times it is but with deployments, wondering if they are coming home, being assigned to new duty station, and having to say goodbye to all your friends, it is a down side and you must take the good with the bad.
What is something that people can do for military wives?
Support, I've always liked the saying "Be kinder then necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle". Military wives are no exception, I've met a lot of great women who have kids and are dealing with their husband deployed also. I give major props to all of you; I can only imagine trying to survive this deployment with another life depending on me to keep it together.