Continuing our mil spouse podcast spotlight series, we are talking to the host of Military Wives Top Five host Sarah!
Sarah is currently in the middle of a PCS and we talk about military movers vice DITY moves, the strain of finding everything over and over, and how to keep a positive outlook when arriving at a new duty station.
We also talk about the dreaded word of "dependa". What it means, are you one? Does it really matter?
Military Wives Top Five podcast is geared towards the seasoned spouse, who is tired of moving and has the basic gist of Tricare and the in's and outs of most of military life. The podcast focuses on 5 things we can do so that things dont seem so overwhelming. She focuses a lot of different duty stations top 5, so be sure to check and see if your duty station is an episode!
To find the Military Wives Top Five podcast:
Connect with Sarah via IG @militarywivestopfives
Military Wives Top Five Podcast
Today we're continuing on with our, month of the mill spouse, podcasts, spotlights. And today we're talking to Sarah, who is the host of the military wives, top five. I like that at like rhymes. It goes together. It's good stuff. so Sarah, welcome to the show. I'm really, I'm grateful for you being here.
We've already been talking for a long time offline. I feel like we're already friends. but, you are literally in the middle of a PCs and all the things that could go wrong have been going wrong and you're in temporary housing, all the things. So I am, I'm, I'm really grateful for you taking the time, to talk with me today.
So Sarah, welcome to the show.
Sarah: Thank you so much for having me, I'm excited to do this. This is my favorite thing to do. It's like, yes. It refreshes me every time. Yes. Agreed.
Alison: A hundred percent. Let's just dive in. And can you tell us just a little bit about your military experience so far?
Because so your podcast is kind of geared and we'll get to that, but your podcast is geared towards the older military spouse. Like who's, we've been there. We've done that. We're being grinding for years and we're like, we're ready to be done. which is me. That's me. . What has your guys' military experience been like so far?
Sarah: We are on our sixth duty station. Mm-hmm in seven years. my husband. Previous army, which is the first time I've gotten to say that. And he is now currently space force. He joined, through ROTC right after college. So we graduated one weekend.
The next weekend he commissioned and then left. We met when we were in junior high and we actually started dating our senior year of college. and the way he says he got me was he had just gotten his uniform, his dress uniform, and he asked if he wanted, if I wanted to come up and see it. And I have always been obsessed with the military and I'm like, yes, I do.
so that kind of started that's awesome. Our whole fascination. so yeah, he has, we have been at joint based Louis McCord in Washington. We have been at Fort Lee, Virginia, Colorado Springs. We were at Fort Carson. We were at. Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Aberdeen proving grounds, Maryland. And now we just arrived at Patrick's space force space, which is also kind of Cape Canaveral.
He's stationed at Patrick's space force space, but working at Cape Canaveral. So, yeah, that's where we've been. Our seven year old has lived in six states and our three year old has lived in. For now. So we, I would like to say that I'm an expert at PCSing, but I'm not, I just let them come pack our house.
And pretty much my husband's unpacks it, I'm in charge of like the finding the doctors and the schools. And that's my part of it. PCs. yeah. But yeah, I, I. Have always loved the military. When I was younger, I always always said I wanted to be a military spouse, which is a weird thing to say. But, I grew up in the church, and I grew up in a Baptist church going church, and I always wanted to.
well to backtrack a little bit. when nine 11 happened, there was a family at our church and the husband was like, he wasn't even reserved. He was like the ready reserve. Is that what it's called? Where it's not even like it, it goes like active reserve and then ready reserve. So it's like when real bad things happened, they call these guys up and he hadn't been in for years, but he was in the ready reserve.
He was a mailman and they were living way far from a base. Like at that point he didn't even have to go in for like monthly trainings. Like they were just like, in case everything hits the fan, like we need you mm-hmm and it did. And they needed him. And so he went from being a mailman one day to being sent overseas, literally like the next week.
. It was just nuts. I'm sure they did some training now that I'm older but that's like what it felt like. And nobody knew how to support his wife because we weren't a military community. not many people in our church were veterans. And I was just like, I wanna be someone who can support military spouses, but no, one's gonna let me do that unless I am a military spouse, because I just won't get it.
Like you can't, you can't preach, you know, like you can't preach to choir that you're not, not part of kinda thing. Mm-hmm . . And so that was always in the back of my mind. I never, I had dated a boy in high school who joined the army and I thought, this is it. It was not, it . But I went to college, we broke up, I went to college and I knew this guy from junior high, who just happened.
We met at church camp when we were younger and we would hang out every now and then I knew he was doing ROTC and then something just clicked our senior year. And I. Oh, here. It is like, God definitely knew the plan better than I did. So we got married in a very army fashion. He, first duty station walked in.
They said, are you married? He said, no, I have a girlfriend I wanna marry. And she was like, great. We deploy in April. So you either have to do it before or after. And that was in September. And I was like, okay, we're doing it before. So we were engaged for 90 days. Got married and he deployed. Two months later.
So yeah. Trial by fire. Yeah. That was a long story, but no, that's okay. Fire story.
Alison: Yeah. So why have you, why have you guys moved so much? Why are you moving every year? What, what is this
Sarah: top that's position? Yeah. we were at joint based Louis McCord for a while. Okay. we were there for four years and then,Fort Lee was a six month training for captain group course mm-hmm
And then, Carson was. About two years, he took command there. And so at command they wanted him to leave, right? Like pretty soon after cuz they don't want you hanging around. It's like the kid who graduated high school, like who keeps coming back mm-hmm so they had him PCs right away. So we went to cam or went to Campbell in Kentucky.
And while he was there, He got the opportunity to do a V tip, which is switching your MOS. So he was logistics and he wanted to try acquisitions. And so he put his name in the hat and he got it. Well, there's no acquisitions positions at Fort Campbell. And so we had to PCs because of COVID. We were there 15 months.
If COVID hadn't happened, we would've been there 12. Mm. so we moved up to Maryland and pretty soon after I think we got to Maryland, the space force put out some information that they were looking for, acquisitions people. And at this point, the space force had only been accepting air force. Mm. And so this was one of the first times they were really opening it up to it.
Wasn't just for acquisitions. There was a few different jobs they were at looking for from the army. and he's like, can I put my name in there? And I was like, yeah, that's super cool. Like, I don't know what it means, but let's try it. And so we didn't think anything of it. He just threw his name in there and.
Then he got it. so that's why we moved. So, so we were there a little less than 18 months and now we're here. And so we're hoping the rumor is that you can stay here for four years. So that would be our. Equal to our first duty station. So
Alison: yeah, that would be awesome. Yeah. That's hard. I guess when you move jobs or you change jobs and things that kind of goes with the territory for that, you know, or it, it just, it, it brings that tempo up a lot quicker.
Right? If you, oh, I gotta here. I gotta go here in the school.
Sarah: And it is unique because like you go from logistics, which is such a big branch to acquisitions, which is smaller. And so your military life is getting smaller and smaller, like as your spouse's jobs get more specific. it is cool because you start to, like, the military gets smaller and smaller.
And so you see the same faces and we met a couple, right? Literally the day we were leaving, who were also acquisitions. Who are a few year, more years in and they switch to space force too, and they're gonna be up in the DC area, but they have family down here and I'm like, we need to keep in contact with them because at some point they're gonna be his boss.
Like I just know it mm-hmm cause acquisitions is so small and then the space force is small too. So mm-hmm yeah. It's it's. Fun in that sense of the world team.
Alison: Yeah. So what has your career looked like? Cause I, so that's kind of like, what are the, what I like to look at in, in my show is, you know, because career continuity is insane for military spouses, it's really, really, really challenging.
And I just think it's really interesting to hear how other people or other spouses have progressed through. And my experience has been that it's pivot, pivot, pivot, pivot, pivot, pivot. Right? try this. Try that. No, this isn't it. This isn't it. I don't know what what's going on here. So tell us a little bit about what that's looked like for you and then where the podcast evolved from, cuz you kind of already alluded to it a little bit and that since you were in high school, you saw this military family.
That wasn't a military family, but became a military family really quickly not being supported. And, and Hey, man, I really wish that I could do more for that, which I think is really cool. so kind of give us a little bit of, of that backstory.
Sarah: Yeah. Wow. There's so many routes I can go with this
so originally I went to college to be a deaf studies major, like to do sign language and interpreting and stuff like that. Okay. And then my school didn't. The accreditation for it. And so I had taken all these classes because I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And so I went in and I was like, okay, what can this equal out to?
So I ended up graduating with a degree in, liberal studies, which in California is kind of the precursor to being a teacher. Mm. but something I learned after living outside of California, when you go to schools outside of California, when you're done with your four years of, of. Teaching college like to be a teacher, you have a teaching credential in California, you do four years of undergrad.
And then two years of teaching credential work and then you can go into a classroom. And so, by the time I was done with my four years, I was like, I never wanna go back to school again. So I have
Alison: my, I feel, yeah, I felt the same way I was like, and I'm
Sarah: done. But my, the thing that I think affected me the most was my.
It's not even a minor. It was my, concentration. So I had a liberal studies major, but because of all the classes that interest me, I had a concentration in human development and diversity. So I took all of the anthropology classes if they would've had an anthropology major at that point, I think I would've received that because I just loved it.
I took the cultural classes. I took humanities classes. I took religious studies classes. I just loved all the different cultures and all the different ways of life. It was just fascinating to me, like all the different, you know, like how brain different brains work and like the upbringing, the things about, nurture versus nature. Mm-hmm like that kind of stuff just blows my mind. And so that's something that I can tell really affects what I do now. But, when I graduated, I didn't wanna go back to college ever again. and so I worked at a bank. I worked at the CDC on base. which is great.
If you have a college degree, even if it has nothing to do with it, you get started at like the highest pay as the CDC worker. So if you're looking for a job, that's a great place to start. It's not always, yeah. It's not always the easiest, but usually if you don't have a college degree, you go in at the lower pay and then you, you can do classes to work up to it.
But if you have a college degree, you get to start at the top mm-hmm and then you still have to do those classes, but it's worth it. Cuz you're already making money. And then I think the thing that influenced me the most as a military spouse was our first duty station.
I had the most, we were brand new again, my husband and I got married in January. He deployed in April and we had a commander, my husband's brigade commander, his wife. It was incredible. They were so inclusive of everybody. They invited everybody to everything. I was a new officer spouse. I didn't know. As you get older, you realize there's things that some people should go to.
And some things people shouldn't go to. We had no idea. There's a group of, three of us. We were brand new. We had no idea. So if we got invited, we went because we just. Thought that's what you did. And it was wonderful cuz we never felt outta place. I never thought, oh, this is not where I belong. Like I felt from the moment I went FRG meetings, spouses coffees, even just like they would invite us out to like dinner when they'd go out to dinner.
And it was, it wasn't just the officer's wives either. It was like enlisted wives. There were some ladies that were active duty whose husbands were deployed with this brigade, but they were in a D. Or this battalion, but they were in a different battalion and they were rear D. And so like, we'd all go out to dinner together.
And it was just like all those horror stories that you hear about like ranks and this and that. It was not none of that. Like half of them, I can't even tell you what their husbands did. mm-hmm you know, or, or I would tell my husband. I hung out with someone and this is their last name. And he's like, you, you did what?
Like really? And I'm like, who is that? I don't know. cause we didn't know. It's just Sandy. I
Alison: dunno what you're talking about. Like what, what do
Sarah: you mean? Yeah. Yeah. We were just there to support each other. They would answer all our questions. there's a couple times where like my car broke down and I would call one of them and they'd come get me.
And it was. Like that unity, like I honestly, I've never experienced it again. And I know it was because of the example that the battalion commander's wife displayed. So that has been my goal. As a military spouse is to create that space for other spouses. because you hear the horrible stories more often than you hear the good ones.
Sure. So that brings me to podcast. I love the military. I love being a military spouse. I hate the word depend Penda. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Yeah. And . I don't care. I am a dependent. So since my, son who was seven was born, I have not worked. I have done like little things. Like I did photography, I've done Usborne books I've done, or on me, you know, things like that, mostly to keep my brain busy and to just have an outlet of yeah.
Fun. Yeah. but nothing to get paid by, like really, you know, just hobbies. And I don't, I don't regret it at all. I don't take it as an advance. Like my husband pays our bills. We get housing from the housing department, you know, like our Tricare is one of my favorite things in the world. I don't care if I have to sit on hold forever, like they're gonna pay for myself.
So I will, I love the MWR. I love RGS. Like I just, I love it. I think it's such a unique club that we're in and I want. Other people to understand, like, this isn't a bad thing. Like my husband goes to work, he gets paid. He does his job and my job as his wife and. Our family, like, I hate the word household six, but like as my, as the person in charge, quote, unquote of our household, I make sure my kids are enrolled in school.
I make sure that they, go to the doctor's the last two duty stations. If my kids had to go to the doctor, I don't even know if my husband knew where their doctor's office was. Just to be honest, they had mm-hmm he had no idea.
And that's just how it's worked out in our house. so I am a depend, like if you look at the definition of depend, I'm a hundred percent there. And so that's actually how the podcast started. It started as the dependable. Was what the podcast was.
Alison: Yeah. I was gonna say you went through an iteration there of like what it, yeah, it was something else before
Sarah: and then my whole idea was just to support spouses and just to be like, Hey, it's okay. Like, it's okay if that's what you're doing, and this is how you can take care of Tricare. And this is how you can take care of this and that. But then there's some other spouses who just do that really well. And they're, Really good at it.
And I was like, why am I doing the same thing they're doing? And there's spouses who do really well with like moving spouses who do really well with new spouses. And I was like, what makes me different? And I'm like, I'm an old spouse. Like, I don't wanna move again. I don't wanna make more friends. Like, just leave me at my same duty station.
How do me and my best friend get stationed at the same place? Like, let me figure that stuff out. And so, my new goal became just giving five simple things. That you can focus on at a time because I can't focus on all of it. I don't need to know tips about deployment because honestly my husband's not gonna deploy right now.
I don't need to know how to get Tricare figured out because I've been doing that for 10 years. I don't need to know where the MW are and how to get in hold of my FRG, because usually I am the FRG. and I know exactly where the is, you know, like I know that kind of stuff. Yeah. But I forget things like, oh, Hey, did you ask for your military discount or did you know that this military discount was, I mean, I bought my kids homeschool stuff today and I got a military discount.
I didn't even realize it. So those are the kind of things that we kind of forget. Like, Hey, when's the last time you updated your POAs and why is that important? Like here's five reasons you need to make sure you have your POAs or here's five POAs. You need to make sure you always have. Mm. cuz I think those are the things that as you get in the routine of just being a military spouse, you're like.
Oh, POAs. so
Alison: POAs for those of you listening that have no idea that what that is, because like my dad listens to this and he's not in the military. He's gonna be like, I dunno,
Sarah: what is that? That's the same thing. Power of
Alison: attorney POA is power of attorney and they are incredibly important when you are a military spouse, because you are not allowed to do anything without your military spouses.
Sarah: I know you can do super shady things like sell your house and your husband would never know. but you also, like I got in a car accident during our deployment and I totaled his car and I was able to do all the paperwork through the POA. Like I didn't have to wait for him to come back or send stuff over.
I. I mean because of the internet. Now there's a lot of stuff that you can do, you know? but to just, I mean, I couldn't even pay his credit card bill, cuz I wasn't even on the name. And so I had to take my POA in every month to pay the credit card bill. but I've lost my ID while he's been even just outta training or even at work, like sometimes he can't even meet me at the Deere's office to get a new, I.
But I have my POA and they're like, oh, okay, here you go. so just things like that, that you forget about, and so that's like, that's my new goal is just to encourage military spouses. I. Top five things that people love about their duty stations. I think that's really cool. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Cause when you look on the spouses page and you're like, what do I do here?
And everyone's like, or like, tell me about so and so based. They're like, oh, it's horrible. Right? It's like,
Alison: you hear the bad first usually, right? Yeah. Let's hear the good first.
Sarah: What can I look forward to like tell me I don't care. I mean, my, one of my best friends did for Irwin and if you're in this army, like.
That's in the middle of the desert, like that's where they go for training for war. And she could gimme five things. Like you can always think of five things that are good about the military and yeah. so yeah,
Alison: I think that's really cool. I like that a lot, cuz I've seen that. I, I, so you do that. And then, if you're listening to this in, you're a submariner spouse, there's a, it's a blog and they've got a really great Instagram called the submerged life.
And they do a ton of that too, because the sub community's pretty small. You're gonna be here, here, here, here, or here. Right. And so they have like specific things for like, Hey, if you're in Groton, you need to go check out this place or do this. If you're in Kings bay, This July 4th, you should do. They go through all the different places.
And I just think that that's really cool. And that's a really good resource because like, you know, that's a smaller community. You're gonna be here, here, here, and here stuff to do here, here, here. And it's like, I just think that I, I really like that. I'm not a sub Mariner, but I still, yeah, well,
Sarah: and a lot, a lot of the military, if you're for us, we like to stay at military bases because a lot of times it's cheaper.
We know exactly where it is. Things like that. I mean, We're gonna end up there. Like you can listen to all the negative. It, it doesn't matter. You're still gonna end up there. So you can go there with a good attitude of like, oh, I know of a restaurant that I can eat at when I get there.
Yeah. Or you can go there thinking there's mold all over my house. like, you get to do, you know, there's,
Alison: there's usually that stuff isn't there too. Yeah, you're right. But there's there's and you know what, honestly, for us, that's a coping mechanism that I have built into our military life is that when we find out we're going someplace new, it was because I, I had a very similar situation to you is the very first command that we were at was phenomenal from the top down.
It was just very inclusive and very. Tighten it and just amazing. And I've never had a command like that since then, which is really sad. but I'm really glad that that was my initial experience. Cause it was the same way. Like the EXOS wife was trying is helping me make a doctor's appointment cuz I'm like, I'm new.
I don't know how to do anything. How do you use Tricare? Like I would, right. I mean I was brand new. I had no idea. I met a friend in that first, we got to be really good friends and, she said that they tried to play tourist wherever they're stationed. And I was like, oh, Well, that's a really interesting way to look at it.
And so ever since then, whenever we've found out we're going someplace new, I'm like, okay, what can we do when we get there? And it just kind of helps just frame just a little bit differently because you know, you're gonna go through the crap of the, of the PCs itself, right. Of. You know, closing down where you're at finding a new place, the schools, the doctors, blah, blah, blah, and the actual moving of the stuff.
Right. Mm-hmm like, that's all its own thing, but it just it's to have like, oh, when we go, and then I feel like when you have kids, that's helped a lot with our kids, especially as they're getting older, I'm like, you know, cuz it's hard for them to leave friends and dah, dah. But, you know, you can kind of like, Hey, so we get to look at the, look at this cool thing we get to do and we get to go here.
What would you think? And let's look at the map and look at all the stuff that's around. And like, I just feel like that helps, you know, to kind of reframe. It's a challenging situation and it just helps give it like, just a different frame of reference, you know, which I think is really
Right. Yeah, for sure. And like I say, in the thing, like, I can't answer all the questions I can't make. I can't make it different, but I can give you five things to look forward to. And like five things. Like that's, that's something to hold on to. Yeah, for sure. And people have given ideas from. Somebody up at Fort hood was like, I love this chocolate milk at the gas station.
Like it's the best chocolate milk. And I'm like, Okay. And then I've had people give specific names of hairdressers and, specific doctor's names. It's like, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. yeah, I hate that's like one of the hardest parts and you don't have to sit on the spouse's page and be like, what doctor do I go
You know? Right. Yeah. You know, and I feel like we've come so far in that regard. because now , when we're going someplace new, I literally Google best. Dog groomer in my area, best dermatologist in my area, best eye doctor in my area, best blood, you know what I'm saying? during, so this PCs for you guys, tell us a little bit about how that's gone for you. What I'm just curious. So like you had the military pack you up and move you.
So how did the pack out and all that stuff go to that? Was that a smooth process?
Sarah: Yeah, that is my favorite thing. I tell everybody who will listen. The day they take away. The movers is the day I tell my husband to put in his packet to retire. I am not a Dinny person. I will not pack my boxes. like, no, if you want us to move, then you will come move us.
and I know that makes me sound like a dependent, but I don't care. Other things that I have to stress out about. Like I'm not gonna stress out about it. So yeah, we let them come pack us. We had kind of an interesting situation this time because we sold our house and we rented back for two months, but we had to be out by a certain date.
Sarah: We didn't get orders. until two weeks before the date we had to be out. And so we were contemplating, do we pack ourselves? Like, are we doing a entity? like, I freaking out.
Alison: Cause if you don't have hard orders, you cannot schedule move.
Sarah: Yeah, right. And the other thing we found out is. we could schedule the movers to come to a storage unit.
Right. And they would pay from the storage unit to the storage unit in Florida. That's where we're at. But we would have to still pack up our house, pay for the, moving from the house to the storage unit. but if we don't have orders and we pack up our house, And we do a Diddy. You won't get reimbursed for that.
If you do it before we, you can't date up to the duty you can't. Well, that's what we , that's what we, because that's
Alison: what happened to us on this last one is we did not get orders before our move. And we already knew that we were gonna do a Diddy because, and it's so. It's so interesting to me to hear your perspective on the move.
I am on the opposite side of that, don't touch my stuff. I'm so tired of it being broken and mutilated and stolen. And like, I have just had enough. So we, this was our eighth move and, I am, I'm done. So we DIDD, we had already planned to Diddy ourself from Washington to Colorado.
And so, When we were wait, we were waiting for orders and waiting for orders. And this is one of the things that is so challenging in the Navy is, or the Navy. I always say the Navy, the military is not doing the families any favors by holding orders as late as they are, because you just get put in such a bind.
But, anyway, so we knew that we were gonna Diddy, we did not get orders, but we had to go, , we had to be out of our house. Our lease was up in Washington and we had purchased a home here in Colorado. The girls had to start school. Like, I'm like, we're, we're going. And yeah, there's no option.
Yeah. And so, and, and my husband is like super analytical and like, he gets, he's reading all of the. All of the direction and they all contradict each other. Okay. So this, this, you know, bopper says this, but then second a says this, but then, you know, blah, blah, blah. And it was just that everything is, is like contradicting the other thing.
So it's really hard to get a straight story. So my personal experience was we moved from Washington, a did he move from Washington, Colorado without orders. And we were, were reimbursed a hundred percent. So the downside to it though, was that, because my husband. was gapped his, the bill was gapped for a while.
So , it was six months before we were reimbursed. Oh gosh. So we were out of pocket, all of that money, which is a lot of money for a really long period of time, which is very stressful. but we were reimbursed. So if you're okay. So that was our personal experience. and then right now, As of TW, I don't know if, I think as of 2020 with COVID, it used to be, if you were doing a Diddy move, they would pay 90% and it is now a hundred percent, because of COVID and not having the amount of movers.
And then I also saw on the real Housewives, I think it was the real Housewives of the air force, which is hilarious. If you don't follow their Instagram, they're so funny. but they are Mando Diddy. Now there are no more they're like, if you are moving. In June, July or August, we, you cannot schedule a mover and it's a Diddy and I'm like,
Sarah: okay. But , if you are a Diddy like that, if it's mandatory, you can still hire movers. They're just outta your own pocket. Cause that's what we were gonna do, cuz I was like, I'll pack boxes, but how are we? Like what, two things.
Alison: So this so that's and I actually did one of my episodes on that because we learned a lot in this Diddy that we did.
And again, my husband's super analytical spreadsheets all over the place. Lots of research, lots of YouTube videos. How do you pack this? What should you have? Blah, blah, blah. And the, one of the best resources that we found, because I feel like the. Challenging part for most people in the Diddy process is the loading and unloading of the truck.
Mm-hmm like, oh my God, I don't wanna have to carry all this crap. There is a service it's called hire a helper. It's just like Angie's list. But for moving companies and you literally put in, this is my address. This is it's a, this is the size of my house. One story, two story. This is the date that I'm moving.
This is the time that I want, I want this many movers it'll populate. These people are available for you. You can pick it. So we had two people, two guys. Come for two hours to load and to offload. And it is like, and it wasn't that expensive. It was like $200. And I'm like, that is money well worth it. And they busted their butt the whole time to like unload.
That was like the be because you're it's, it is so much work. It's so much work. And I feel like the, the loading and the unloading. The hardest part, and that was huge for us, but yeah, you're right. You can hire out whatever you want.
Sarah: The thing that we were also experiencing. We are thinking about doing pods or like U pack, like those kind of things. I mean, we were looking at every option, and there's not even storage available. Oh. So like, oh yeah. To be able. So, because we used a moving company, they have their own warehouses, but to move from like, That the pods were like not accepting people for certain areas and things like that.
And so like that was even super stressful. Mm-hmm , but it all got figured out. And that's what I have to remind myself is like, I try to remind myself, it'll get figured out and I'm not the first one to go through this. Mm. Like I try to remind myself that all the time. Yeah. Like I am not the first military spouse going through this situation.
like, There have been many before me. And there will be many after me who are going through this same situation and they will get through it and they have gotten through it. Mm-hmm , there's no military spouse who is stuck at her house in Maryland while her husband has deployed or has PCs to Florida.
Like yeah. You know, I mean, yeah, it might happen for a month or so, but it's not gonna like, it's, she's not still there and he's retiring, you know, like it'll all get figured out. We'll end up in the same place. We'll get our kids registered for school. Like. There will be a spot. Like I just have to remind myself that, like they, and I also have to remind myself we're moving.
Even if it's not a big military community, cuz like the last two we've been to, haven't been huge military communities. Yeah. There's still military communities and they still understand that there's a base down the street. They understand people are moving in. They're gracious about things like getting your kids registered for school and finding spots for you at doctors.
And, most of the time, including your kids into things, even though they haven't always been there, you know? And so you just have to remind yourself like, okay, I'm not the, I'm not the first person at this installation. Like it's gonna be okay. You know, mm-hmm mm-hmm so that's what I've been telling myself.
The. 48 hours. you gotta give yourself those
Alison: mental pep talks. Cause like you're like you're so in the weeds right now that it's just like, you have to, you have to think. And, and it is so unbelievably stressful in the time, like the, our last move and like, are we gonna get reimbursed? What's gonna happen?
We don't know. And it all ended up working out. But it was a stressful damn I'm six months at time, you know what I mean? Waiting to what's gonna happen. What are they gonna do? And we're already like, well, how do we fight it? You know? Like, like, we were already like, and we didn't have to do anything. They paid it all.
Like it was done. It was a non-issue there's always
Sarah: that. Thought in the back of your head, like what, what
Alison: And I, and I feel like, you know, having a podcast, I feel like that's a great place for you to be able to blaze the trail. And that was the interesting thing. When you started your podcast, did you find other military spouse podcasts? Like what,
Sarah: did you. So I've had a really unique experience with that as well. so I was talking to my neighbor in Kentucky and I was like, I think I'm gonna start a block and I'm gonna be like, and I was telling her everything I wanted to do.
And she was like, you're gonna be the. Army wife, very godmother and , this is how you do this. This is how you do that. Yeah. And I was like, yeah. And so I started writing a blog and then I got like two blogs in and I was like, I hate writing. Yeah. I can't spell, I don't know, grammar.
But I've listened to podcasts. My like I've not podcast my whole life, but I listen to podcasts all the time and I've listened to talk radio my whole life. And when I was in high school, people thought I was gonna go to school to be, or like intern at this radio station that I listened to and stuff.
Anyway, it was all talk radio, like things that my grandparents would listen to. And so I was like, I should start a podcast. Like I like talking, I like listening to 'em so I was like, I can't, I can't blog. I've tried it before. I hate it. And so that's where the podcast idea came in instead of the, and so I hadn't really looked for other military spouse podcasts.
Alison: it's, it's so interesting to me because when I went to start mine, it was after the Colorado, our moved to here and it was horrible. Like we had that bad experience and then, you know, we've been in, and I've told this story before, so I'll try and keep it really short, but. You know, I get here and Michael has to finish his tour in Washington.
So we're separated for like three months. So I'm here in Colorado with nobody, our family's all on the east coast. I don't know anybody here and I've got my, my eight and nine year old. And I'm like , this sucks. Like yeah. You know, like I know nobody and I'm like, I am so tired of this. I am so tired of having to start over and trying to find out the Facebook groups and blah, blah, blah.
And I'm like, I'm so tired of this. This just sucks. And then all the moving stuff, when , we were trying to figure out how to, I couldn't find anything. I would find , you know, six months out or a year out, you need to contact your insurance company and stupid stuff like that.
I'm like, that's not helpful. , how do I pack my kitchen? , cause we're doing a Diddy. , , what do I need to do to , make it as efficient as possible to move? You know what I'm saying? All the really practical, brass tack kind of stuff.
I couldn't find anything mm-hmm . And so, and then I'm Googling military spouse podcasts, and , I'm finding ones that are like defunct. You know, they have a, an episode in two years or there was one . That is active that's in Australia,
Sarah: but I'm, I was gonna say I found a couple from overseas.
Alison: Yeah. But I couldn't find anything for here. And I was like, well, there's clearly a need because , , there's nothing there. And then I start my podcast and now , they're all over
Sarah: the place. There's so
Alison: many of them, which is why I am doing this month. Because , I feel like there's just a, there's a dissemination of information breakdown , there's so many resources out there that.
We just, and I don't, and I don't know if it's a, you really need to make the effort to , look for them. It shouldn't be that hard to find it though. Do you know what I mean? So I
Sarah: think also the problem that I found a lot, like I said at the beginning was there's a lot of, this is how you get through a deployment.
This is how you deal with Tricare. This is how you, which is helpful, but. I already know that stuff. Yeah. And I think that's the thing that I was getting, not sick of. I'm very grateful. I mean, today I looked up I looked up one of the spouses who does a great job for new military spouses. cuz I was like, which one?
I always get confused, like Tricare standard and Tricare prime. And so I was like, which one is it that I'm looking for? So I went on her blog and looked it up and I was like, I'm so grateful she has this information. Yeah. But like, that's not something I need to put out all the time and she puts it out probably once a month, just a reminder, like, Hey, I have this information, which is great.
Mm-hmm because that's her audience, but mm-hmm . but like I just interviewed somebody about how to deal with time management. And like, honestly, when my kids, one of the topics that I wanna do is what's the difference between moving with younger kids. Like right now I'm moving with seven, three year olds and I'm seeing some things there.
But what's it look like to move with a 14, 15 year old mm-hmm like, what are the differences? What are the different things you experience? Because I'm not there yet, but in our next move, I'll be a lot closer. And so how do I deal with those emotions? What are things that I need to get from the schools as a high schooler that I didn't need to get?
Until then, like, that'll make it easier for them to apply for college. Like, those are the kind of questions that I have. Mm-hmm the girl who is really good, the girl who is really good at the Tricare stuff she came on and she, gave us five tips about Tricare. And one of 'em was that. There's Tricare for kids who are in college, that if your spouse isn't or if your parent is in the military, you can be on it until you're 23 or 24.
I forget the number mm-hmm but I didn't know that mm-hmm . And so, but I will need to know that in 10 years , you know, so I'm just grateful that there are those people that are specific in those areas. Yeah. But that's not like I want my goal to be. Hey, I don't know about Tricare. Let's have Sarah on here.
I don't know about time management. Yeah. Let's you know, yeah. I don't know. Five ways to efficiently pack for PCs. let's have those people on, you know? Yeah. Because. Again. Yeah, you're right. It's like, I don't need to reinvent the wheel. Right. There are people out there who are incredible at what they do and have more information and experience than I do.
Yeah. That's fine. Teach me
Alison: yeah, a hundred percent. I know what, I don't know, you know?
Sarah: Yeah. It's been really fun and like to find the people who just have gone before me, mm-hmm, like, that's all that made the difference with that military spouse at my first duty station is that she had gone before us and she. She was helpful. Like she was kind and she was, accepting and she answered those questions and, she gave those resources really was what the big deal was.
It wasn't like she had some secret, she was just sharing what she had already learned. And I feel like if we all did that with a positive attitude, like it would change the whole community because the only thing we're doing when we're negative toward each other or toward duty stations is ruining the experience.
For the people behind us, because the more negativity that is being looked at as people show up, that's how their attitude is gonna be. And then that's how the comu, no one's gonna go out. And no, one's gonna, like, if you talk about how bad the neighborhoods are, those people are gonna leave in two to three years.
Like, but if you keep talking about how awful the neighborhoods are, people aren't gonna wanna get involved. People aren't gonna wanna, be part of the FRG. Those FRGs only last a few years. And even if that, like people get switched outta companies and out of Italians all the time, I don't know the words for the other ju like the other, you know, branches, but they get switched around all the time.
Mm-hmm so a bad FRG experience in alpha company might not be a bad experience in alpha company with the new FRG leader or the new, you know, people mm-hmm because they
Alison: could have all changed last time. It changes over all the time. Yeah. That's very true.
Sarah: That's very true. And so, I don't know. I just, I feel like we're doing ourselves a disservice with the negativity.
Like it's not, you're not proving to anyone on the military insulation, how bad it is by speaking badly about it on this Facebook page is you're just ruining it for the next generation of spouses coming to that duty station. Yeah. You know?
Alison: Yeah. Well, I like the approach of, you know, Hey, what can we, what can we look at positively about each different place?
I think that's a really, I think that's a really good. angle to have at it. And I think that the, and that's another reason why I wanted to do the, do this month of, you know, mill spouse podcasts. Spotlights is, because I feel like there's, a lot of competition between military spouses too, is like, I just don't want there to be
Sarah: You know, like you look at all this, all the different podcasts that are out, no one has the same one. Like,
Alison: no, they're, that's it that's it, that's it. You know? And that's why I wanted to,
Sarah: I'm not gonna able to sit here and tell you how to have a good marriage. Like that's not, that's
Alison: not yet. It's it's there.
And that was, and that was the whole intent is like, we're all speaking to military spouses. But it's all with a different angle, with a different lens, with a different experience that you bring to it and there's room for all of that. You know what I mean? Because like, and, and like I was saying with, when I was talking to Brit is, you know, there's people that are gonna gravitate towards you and your personality and how you deliver and how you talk about stuff.
And there's people that you're really gonna. That are not gonna dig you. And they're gonna be like, Nope, not listening to that. And that's fine because they're not your people. Right. And that's okay. So like the best thing you can do is just be authentically yourself, put it out there. And the people that are supposed to find you will, and the people that are not your people will find somebody else, you know, and there's other people out there.
So that's fine. ,
Sarah: it's funny that you say that about Bri, because I talked to her about something and I. We, I was working with her as my coach and there's another spouse who was doing something almost identical to me. And I was like, why am I doing this? Why am I doing it? And she was like, how many of the followers do you guys have that are the same?
And I was like, not very many. And she goes, right. The people who wanna follow you and get your, their information from you are gonna follow you. She's like, think about all the different people who have the same type of news show or the same type. you know, political podcast, like everyone's talking about politics, but they all talk about it differently, or they talk about it the way you wanna hear it.
And so that's why you listen to it. You can listen to 10 different shows, but you choose one because that's who you, you know, connect with. And I was like, mm-hmm, . Okay. Yeah. yeah. So that's why I'm still doing this, this good for said the same thing to me, but yeah. and you know, the average, it was funny that you were talking about like all these podcasts, the average podcaster, just 10 episodes.
Alison: then, and then I thought it was seven. I thought it was seven. And then they, they, they call it pod fade. Right where like they just, and if you, and, and, and, and that's so interesting because if you go back and look at a lot of the mill P spouse podcasts that are like defunct now, which I don't know why, like, if you haven't put out an episode in like two years, why are you still listed in, in
Sarah: that direct?
Not are showing up. I know
Alison: that's so funny, I just wanna thank you Sarah, for your time. I appreciate you being here and sharing everything and, your podcast
Is military wives, top five, and it's available on all the platforms on apple and Spotify and whatnot. And I'll definitely make sure that I link it in the show notes. Okay. And, check it out for sure.
Especially if you're army, because there's quite a few army bases on there, right. That are the top five for army bases. So that would be a really cool resource for you to tap into and check.
Sarah: And if you have been at, if you're at a different branch and you've been at a military insulation that you love message me because I'm always looking, I'm not very familiar with the other branches.
you know, you hear the bigger ones like Penton and stuff like that, but I'm not necessarily worried about those ones because they get so much publicity already. . so if you've been to smaller ones, air force, I'm very unfamiliar with air force. Navy is like a total blind side for me. So really let me know if you just.
Sarah: Five things that you love about a duty station you've been at, or that you're currently at? I am trying to get it to be like currently or just left, because the resources need to be fresh, you know, mm-hmm, like we don't want hundred percent on things that have shut down or things, especially with COVID so much just shut.
Alison: know that happened that. Impacted a lot of businesses, for sure.
Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, the military wives top fives on Instagram too. there will be a lot more content starting in August, so awesome. Or see if we ever get a house
Alison: yeah. Right. Follow your PCs saga.
Sarah: we might still be in baby. Who knows? Check it out.
Alison: Gosh. All right, Sarah. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you.
Sarah: Thank you.