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Luck and Locations of a Milspouse

It isn’t often that “luck” comes immediately to mind when I think back on my life so far as a military spouse. However, when I reflect on the past few years of moves and different experiences, I realize I have been lucky in a lot of ways!


Being a milspouse has given me multiple opportunities that I probably would not have had outside of military life, and that’s mostly due to all of the different places the Army has moved us!


The first duty station my husband and I moved to after we got married was Washington, D. C. When I’d moved to North Carolina from Virginia a couple years prior, I figured I’d never live in Virginia again!

So, a part of me was annoyed when I found out we were going to the D. C. area and would be living in Virginia.

I didn’t stay annoyed for long though, because D. C. has always been one of my favorite cities, and getting to live nearby provided me with some great opportunities.

It allowed me to find a job working with the military community, which I was able to keep for the next five years (and two more moves). I also got to live near friends and family, and experience so many amazing museums and cultural events. Best of all, our time there overlapped briefly with my brother’s Coast Guard assignment, so for a few weeks, I got to live in the same town as my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew!


In a different stroke of “luck,” while we were in D. C. I found out that I needed to have hip surgery.


Fortunately, I found a surgeon who specialized in the type of surgery I needed (and who took Tricare!) and I was able to have surgery on both of my hips.

If we’d been living somewhere else at the time, I likely would have had to travel for surgery and stay in a hotel for at least a few weeks of recovery.

While needing surgery didn’t feel very lucky at the time, in hindsight I feel very fortunate that we lived where we did at that point in time, so I could get the medical care I needed.


Our next PCS took us to Iowa, which was a big adjustment for me after living near the nation’s capital.


Once again though, timing was on our side because we moved in the months leading up to the 2020 election, which gave us the opportunity to participate in the Iowa caucus!

It was really interesting to get to see the political process in action; so many presidential candidates visited Iowa, and getting to meet and hear from so many of them was a cool experience.

Iowa was also a place I’d never visited and honestly hadn’t ever planned to before we moved there, but ultimately, I look back fondly on the time we spent there.

We were in Iowa during the early days of the pandemic, and having access to Rock Island Arsenal provided us with a place that we could go to spend time outdoors while still social distancing.

The best part of living in Iowa was adopting our first two bunnies, and they’ve moved with us to two more states since then!


Texas was somewhere else I’d never visited before we moved.


While we lived in Austin, we got to experience lots of concerts, nature, and ended up adopting another bunny!

Living in Texas also allowed us to experience some unique nature, visit two national parks, and I got to participate in my first artisan market, and sold some of my embroidery pieces! 

Ultimately, milspouse life isn’t as much about luck as it is about trying to make the best of wherever you are. It’s certainly challenging having to move every 2-3 years, and there are hardships that come with having to uproot your life so frequently.

But, sometimes luck can find you in the places you’re least expecting it!



*For more of Heather’s work, visit her M:M Author Page.




  • Heather Maxey

    Heather is originally from Virginia, and met her husband while she was working as a health educator at the Army Wellness Center at Fort Liberty. Since getting married in 2016, they have lived in Fayetteville, NC, Washington, D.C., Davenport, IA, and Austin, TX. Heather has a background in health education and research, and has a Master’s in Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She has worked with multiple local health departments and nonprofits, and much of her career has been spent working on issues that impact the military community. In 2019, she was awarded the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara medal for this work. She is passionate about helping other spouses navigate military life! In her free time, Heather enjoys traveling, yoga, embroidery and other fiber arts, and spending time with her husband and three rabbits."


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

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

EIN Number: 88-1604492


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