Intro and Some Questions — The Bump
Military Families

Intro and Some Questions

I have been a lurker for a while and have posted a couple of times, but I feel like i can actually joint the board now :)

My DH is currently in DEP for the Airforce, and he leaves in Jan. for Basic, his AFSC is Airborne Cryptologic Linguist.  He is really excited about this opportunity and we are trying to prepare ourselves and our kids for joining the military life.

We are planning on joining DH is Monteray when he finishes basic, but know that he will still be very busy with school.

Has anyone been at DLI with kids?  Advice?  I am also worried about DH's graduation from Basic, should I try to fly with both little kids or go by myself, or try to get someone to go with me?  I am worried about it costing a ton to take everyone to Texas, but at the same time know that DH and the kids will need to see each other after being apart.

I would love any advice about being an Airforce wife, info about Monteray, or any general military life info that I might not have seen while lurking.



Re: Intro and Some Questions

  • I can tell you a bit about Monterey. I loved it. We were there 13 months, but didn't have kids at the time.

    One thing that you should know is that DLI can be very intense. DH was ALWAYS studying. ALWAYS. (He did Chinese.) Depending on the language, maybe it won't be so intense for your husband, but make sure that he has time to study and do well. We didn't get to take advantage of all of the fun recreational stuff because he was so into his studies. I wish I had known that ahead of time.

    We lived in Pacific Grove, a great community with lots of historic homes. We had a little house built in the 60s, so not as awesome as the Victorian homes I'd pass on my walks.

    They have some great playgrounds - Dennis the Menace Park is huge, and I wish I'd had kids there. There is also a great rec trail that goes along the coast - great for riding bikes, walking, etc. There are harbor seals and otter that you can see while you're standing on the rec trail, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is really great.

    One thing it took awhile to get used to was that it was always cold - not freezing, but I almost always needed a jacket and rarely wore shorts. You can't really swim in the ocean there, but there's a nice little beach at Lover's Point where kids can play in the sand and wade in the water.

    I got involved with Army Community Service classes up at Fort Ord. I was a new military wife, and I took some of the "Army Family Team Building" courses. Since there are people from all branches, they add in stuff from the others, so it's not just Army info. They have a lot of other classes, too, which are great for meeting people. They usually had childcare.

    It's a bit expensive. Not sure where you're moving from, but I moved there from a low cost of living area, so it was a bit of a shock.

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  • Thanks!  I know that it will be tough and he will be busy, so I am really hoping I can find things to do with the kids to keep me sane, and you gave me some great ideas! 

    My Dh is hoping to do Chinese, but he won't find out for a while, the recruiter told him that it was a good possibility because that is what the Airforce is looking for right now.  It is nice to be prepared for a busy DH, I am just thankful that we will be living in the same place and my kids will get to see daddy even if he is busy for a while.

    We are coming from Baltimore/DC area so we are used to a high COL, but maybe not as high as Monterey.  Was your house on base?  I am hoping to be on base because I am a little afraid of the high rent that I have seen on the internet.



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  • I didn't work at DLI but the hubs and I were both stationed at the Coast Guard base in Monterey. Housing in Monterey is great and if you can get into the outdoorsy stuff, it really is an amazing place to live.

    Being a military wife is all about patience, understanding and trust. Wives tend to b*tch about their husbands when they get together. I understand how it happens but...don't get sucked in to that. If he's at DLI, odds are good his schedule will be fairly predictable however, that won't always be the case. Don't get upset with him (feel free to be upset with the AF) when military life disrupts family life. It's an unfortunate reality of this career. You'll hear plenty of horror stories about all the infidelity in the military. Don't be afraid to talk to your husband about these but do it in a way that shows you trust him (assuming, of course, that you do). As a woman who deployed with 80 men regularly, it was generally the men who were being constantly being blamed by their wives and forced to check in 30 times a day that ended up straying. I'm not saying that it is a wife's fault that a man is unfaithful but a little trust can go a long way.

    Embrace all the truly wonderful aspects of being a military family. Get to know the other families in housing if you live there. Take advantage of MWR for cheap/free things to do. Encourage your husband to use his leave when he can. It's not a gift, it's called EARNED leave because he EARNED it. 

    Monterey is wonderful, you will love it! Best of luck with everything!

  • PP mentioned making sure to take leave - your H will probably NOT be able to take leave while at DLI. My husband's class (a condensed Chinese course they don't have anymore) had a one week break. Class members collectively decided when that break would be. His class was really small, so I don't know if it works the same for the larger classes. Aside from the holiday break (I don't remember how long that was), that was the ONLY break. We went to Yosemite for a few days during his break and had a lot of fun. They also often got a 4-day weekend on weekends with a federal holiday.

    One thing that might be helpful is to make sure you know when his exams are going to be. Don't plan any major activities around those times (like, family coming to visit, weekend trips, etc).

    We lived in Pacific Grove, so not on base. They were building a bunch of new housing near Fort Ord while we were there, but I don't know anything about it. We had a 1000 sf, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home and paid $2000/mo three years ago. I believe the towns of Seaside and Marina (which are closer to Fort Ord, further from DLI) were a little cheaper with bigger houses.

    I believe the Fort Ord Army Community Service has a Facebook group, and they probably have their schedule of events/classes on the internet. You could look that up and see if you can get info.

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