Life as an Army Wife

My husband’s jump yesterday was successful, but what many don’t realize is how difficult it is to be the wife to an Airborne soldier. They jump. A lot. Airplanes are meant to take you from point A to point B really really fast. For whatever reason, the Army likes Airborne soldiers to jump out of those super-fast airplanes and helicopters, propelling my husband and his friends through the air, careening with a cloth-like balloon on his back until he lands, hard, rolling, spitting dust and grass out of his mouth as he stands.

Of course, they think it’s cool. Me? Not-so-much.

On the days he jumps, I jingle for the entire day, or, at least until he lands. My first thought in the morning is to immediately reach for my set of his dog tags he gave me. I consider them his my good luck charm. I wrap them around my neck, muffling them as much as possible as I quietly tuck them beneath my shirt, hoping my kids don’t drag me around the house by them throughout the day as I pace, finding eleventy-billion things to keep me busy while I worry.

military dog tags
I worry about his ‘chute opening, I worry about wind shear, I worry about his landing, I worry he’ll fall hard, roll his ankle, break something, or worse. The worry is like a weight on my chest, an asthma attack with a gigantic anvil sitting on me. I function throughout the day, I repetitiously fix juice cups and prepare food for my children, combing hair, wiping poop, all while my mind is inward, of his face, his smile, the creases around his eyes, the smell of his neck, and the hope that will be able to kiss him again.

He’s jumped out of countless airplanes. I’ve worried over his jumping out of those countless airplanes every time. This isn’t old news, this is what he does, but it only takes one time, one mishap to change your life.

It goes without saying that I prefer it when he pulls Jumpmaster duty (as the man who “pushes” the soldiers out of the plane, as opposed to being the one jumping). Unfortunately, he still has to jump to remain “current,” as a Jumpmaster or not, until he retires out of the Army. This is part of my life as a wife to an Airborne soldier.

Airborne Jumpmaster
And until he retires out, you’ll hear me jingling. And worrying.

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