Add this to section of your website

Independent Dependent

My name is Annie Pearce, and I grew up with a mother who doesn’t recognize faces. True story—after being away at camp for three weeks, she brought my younger brother with her to point me out. My mom then argued with him about which kid was me (for the record, my brother was right). She has also videotaped the wrong girl during a dance recital.

All of this to say, I’m amazed when people remember me.

I grew up on a farm where I found my love of horses. I rode English, but my little brother rode Western. Since he didn’t practice much, I became the exercise rider and made a fool out of myself running barrels, pole bending, and keyhole. I wouldn’t blink at a 3-foot jump course, but put me in a ring with barrels and poles and I’m lost.

My dad served in the Navy (before I was born) and then the Air National Guard. This was my only experience with the military growing up. My parents also ran their own businesses, so I remember them being busy with work. I get my thirst for independence from them. Despite my parents’ busy schedules, we never spent a day in day care.

When I married Chris, I took on the new label of military spouse and dependent.

After graduating from Ithaca College, I moved just outside of Washington, D.C. to get out of my parents house. I met my husband, Chris, in Northern Virginia, while he was stationed at Fort Meyer. He was in The Old Guard, and beyond me going to see him in parades and ceremonies, the military still didn’t affect my life. I moved to Chicago to get my Master’s and shortly after, Chris moved to Fort Bragg. Those familiar with Fort Bragg won’t be surprised that shortly after he arrived, he deployed.

Thus began my first fully-immersed experience with the military. It was a short deployment, and we weren’t living together. I was able to throw myself into schoolwork and friends. Then came graduation and time for me to move to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Chris and I got married, and I earned a new label that I found made the job search all the more difficult—military spouse.

It wasn’t until we moved to Germany three years ago that I fully came to appreciate my new label. I was forced to come to terms with the fact that, while overseas, I’m a “dependent” and my choice of friends is limited. I was worried because our whole relationship, I’ve tried to keep my independence.

However, with our move to Germany came many firsts for me.

Throughout this journey I met some of the most loyal, friendly, and resilient women—all of them military spouses. And honestly, who do you know that can move their families and all of their possessions across the world with limited notice? These women can easily make a house a home in a new and sometimes foreign place.

Beyond my journey to acceptance of being a military spouse, while in Germany, I was also dealing with infertility. Notice I said “was”—so yes, this story has a happy ending. Our first baby, Owen, was born in November 2019. I’m beyond excited and a little nervous to accept my latest label of “Mom.”


  • Annie Pearce

    Annie was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, PA (Go Steelers and Penguins!). More than ten years ago, Annie met her husband Chris in Alexandria, VA, while he was assigned to The Old Guard, before being sent to Fort Bragg, NC. In March 2020, Annie and Chris moved with their 4-month-old son from Hohenfels, Germany, to Fort Drum, NY. They literally flew the day before the travel ban went into effect and got a house during the global pandemic—while NY realtors weren't allowed to show houses. Then two months later, Chris deployed. Any and all tips about surviving a deployment with a baby are more than welcome. Before moving to Drum, Annie owned her own event planning business—Attended. Her passion for events has led her to volunteer for non-profit organizations, including the AMA Triangle and Innovate Raleigh. Annie has served in multiple roles for large events including Event Director for Fail Fest Raleigh, Trade Show Manager for High Five Conference, and has managed multiple events for an economic development organization. Annie holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication from Ithaca College.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by ExactMetrics