Tell me about your experience... — The Bump
Military Families

Tell me about your experience...

My husband just joined the Army the beginning of March. He leaves for basic training in July, goes to AIT in September and ends in January sometime. He gets to come home for two weeks for the Christmas and New Year hollidays. We have an eight month old and just found out we are pregnant again. I was wondering if some of you "seasoned" Army Wive/Girlfriends could give me some pointers on how to deal with pregnancy and kids while our men are gone. Also, how does the whole basic, ait, and then being placed at our permanent assignment work. How much in advance will we know where we are going and all that? ANY type of info/advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much ladies

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Re: Tell me about your experience...

  • Basic training has changed quite a bit since I went through.  It does, however, depend on where he is going.  Some IET stations have more leeway for contact than others.  AIT is either an extention of BCT or can be at an entirely different installation.  That depends on his MOS.  PDS orders will come roughly midway through AIT.  He should recieve guidance from his AIT PSG.  If he is assigned overseas, you will have to do some screenings and passport applications.   

    He needs to leave you with power of attorney to ship vehicle, household goods and obtain ID card for you.  Children do not require mil ID until they are age 10 or pending assignment O/S.

    His recruiter should be able to assist you with anything you need as well.

    As far as being pregnant with him gone, nothing changes other than he is not there like he was for the first one.  Scary, but you will make it through.  http://www.militaryonesource.com is a great resource if you do not have a military installation nearby.

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  • When my husband went through a few years ago, the only people I had to take care of were myself and the dog!  Do you have family in the area to help you with the little ones?  Are you due while he's gone?  

    I agree with PP about the power of attorney.  In my opinion, this is the most important step.  Nearly everything else will be taken care of while he's in basic/AIT.

    You'll be sent paperwork for your ID card and Tricare enrollment while he's in basic.  Mine arrived around the second week, if I remember correctly.  I drove to the nearest military installation, explained to the gate guard what I needed, and he told me exactly where to go.

    Your husband will arrange for household goods shipment once he knows his permanent assignment.  They'll contact you, come and check out how much stuff you have, and then set a date for them to pack and load.  

    Good luck, and feel free to keep asking questions as they come up!

    It's definitely seems overwhelming at first, but it all soon becomes second nature. 

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  • Congrats on becoming a military wife. First, the hardest thing for me to learn was everything is hurry up and wait meaning you can't call and say find out XYZ you have to wait it out for the answer and sometimes it can be last minute. That being said educate yourself and ensure if something doesn't sound right you check out additional resources. Before your spouse leaves have a power of attorney because without that you are powerless. Have a plan on how you will get ID cards for you and enroll your family in health care. See if your husband's recruiter will be a contact for you for military affairs while your husband is away. Try to reach out to other military spouse support boards. Make sure you also have full access to your checking account the paycheck will be deposited to. 

    As far as taking care of your kids alone not going to lie it is hard but once you get into a routine and a schedule it gets easier. Now that you are a military spouse you guys are also eligible for USAA insurance, banking products, they are a great company and they offer a free service called member advice and solutions which can help you plan for the upcoming months with moves etc. Good luck with your journey as a military wife :) 

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  • Thank you ladies for all the advice. I was completely overwhelmed with me just taking care of my 8mo (he'll be 11mo when he leaves) by myself. Now that i'm pregnant, i feel like the water has completely covered my head and i'm drowning. Your helpful words and advice has made perfect sense and i look forward to talking to you guys from now on. Thank you all again so much
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