Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Talk to me Tuesday with Christy Tilton... a Miltary Wife

Let's learn a little bit of what it's like to devote your life to our Country...

Nathan and Christy are living in the panhandle of Florida now. We have been stationed here more than 2 years, in the United States Air Force. Nathan is from Pennsylvania and southern Arizona. Christy is from Arizona and New Mexico. Nathan works in Logistics on base, and is currently serving over seas. Christy, is an elementary music teacher and middle school band director at a local charter school.

Pearls: Can you tell us a little about your spouse who serves in the military?

Nathan is a man of high integrity and is a great leader. He grew up wanting to be a pilot, yet was unable to fly due to a medical issue. He still wanted to serve in the Air Force, and chose to go ahead with his plans. His honor and duty to his God and his country, his family, and his friends are foremost in priority.

Pearls: What is it like being a spouse to a soldier?

We had been married for about 2 1/2 years when we made the decision together for Nathan to pursue his dream of the Air Force. Because we made this choice together, I was able to join forums, attend his ROTC classes, and had time to ask any and all questions prior to even entering the Air Force. This has made being a military spouse easier than I would think most spouses have it. I didn't marry into it and know nothing prior. Another thing, there is a lot expected of those in the military, and as a spouse, I have to be willing to let him go and do whatever and whenever. Sometimes, being a military spouse is just being the "arm candy" for your spouse, making sure to look great, act appropriately, and know who all the bosses are. It can be fun, yet when the others get rowdy, it can be uncomfortable.

Pearls: What was the 3 most surprising (can be either good or bad or both!) things about being a military wife?

1-there is a Relief Society type organization for military spouses in the Air Force to aid in looking out for each other, especially in deployment circumstances! 2-though the medical care is free, it's horrible most times. I've been dealing with a bum knee for over a year and the doctors are taking their time in figuring out what is wrong. There is so much red tape they have to go through with insurance. 3-there are many forms of support and help for military families: forums, organizations, support groups, and clubs. It doesn't matter what you are dealing with, there is always a place to find help.

Pearls: How do you and your soldier keep your marriage strong with such distance between the both of you?

We have had half the world between us many times in our nine years of marriage. The earliest times apart, were the hardest and when we made the most mistakes. Now, we make sure to have a set schedule of scripture reading and prayer. We make sure to pray each time we get to talk, we started the time apart with prayer, and we read the same scriptures on the same day. We are completing the Book of Mormon in 1 month! Our goal is to complete the standard works while he is gone. We also do our best to ensure our conversations are always positive. Whining about the awful side of being apart just makes us both feel bad.

Pearls: What is it like being an military family as members of the church?

Living in an area that does not have a high LDS population, is always hard, especially after being raised in the west. At church, a lot of the member population is military, especially this close to 2 bases. It's nice having that kind of support and understanding from other going through the same things. At work on base, the other military member don't understand or have as much of a tolerance of the differences in those that are LDS. When the squadron goes out, they have a hard time understanding why we don't drink, or other things. Yet, they try to take advantage of our "soberness" by expecting us to be the designated drivers. Serving in callings is hard because you are not in one place for very long, so as soon as you get settled into the calling, things change, either with you or someone else that's military.

Pearls: How do you feel that the church is supporting you and your husband in your service to our country?

A lot of my answer for #5 can be used here. Being so nears base helps because most of the ward is military families. They have experience and are willing to help. Also, having the gospel in our lives, gives us strength to push past the hardships of being military. Overall, I am extremely proud to be married to the man I am, and for his desire to serve his country the way he does. I am also proud to be his wife, a lot of people in town thank the active duty members, but there are also quite a few who know of the sacrifice that spouses make as well and express their gratitude to us spouses as well.

As part of this interview, we contacted Christy's husband, Nate, (without Christy knowing!!) and asked him if he'd like to add anything to this interview.

This is what he wanted to say:
"Every morning when I head back to my tiny little piece of home here in the sandbox, I rest easy because of my wife. I do not have to worry like many other men do. My wife supports me being deployed. This is not to say she likes it. But, She always is quick to give support via phone or email. She takes care of the bills, the house, the yard, routine vehicle maintenance, and any other thing that could go wrong. "

"She has had to let go of so much of what she wants so I can be out here. It takes a strong woman to be able to do it. Many of my fellow service members deploy with bad marriages and go home to no marriage. But because of my wife's faith and supportiveness, I feel our relationship growing emotionally and spiritually. Even thought we are on opposite sides of the world, I still feel the spirit and the connection that we share as an eternal couple even thought we can't go to church, attend the temple, or spend a lazy sunday reading together."

"The bottom line is that I would not be able to serve like I am, without having the wife that I have. I love her with all my heart."

** Christy & Nate, thank you for helping us understand a fraction of what you both go through as you make big sacrifices for our freedom! **

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...