Seven years ago in history, on a chilly day in May, my life changed forever in two important, wonderful ways. First, on that drizzly day, I married the love of my life in a historic country church.
Secondly, our marriage ushered me into the wonderful adventure of life with the Army. So far, our journey with the Army has had its fair share of strange twists and turns, trials and joys, and unforgettable experiences.
Through it all, I find that my delight in being a part of this amazing community has not just survived, but has flourished.
This is not to say that our adventure has always been easy. When we were first married, I joined my husband at Fort Riley in Kansas, where he was currently stationed.
Next, we experienced Fort Cavazos, Texas, with all of its mixed blessings and trials (those who have been there will understand!) before finding our way to Fort Meade, Maryland.
As I am originally from the East Coast, our time at Fort Meade was a breath of fresh air, partly because we were surrounded by one of my favorite things – history.
Before marrying my husband, I studied history in college and graduate school, with every intention of working in a museum. While obtaining my degrees, people would often ask if I planned on working as a history teacher, to which I would always reply in the negative and then explain my museum career goals.
Well, as is so often the case with Army life, my career plans had to change significantly, given the scarcity of museums around most Army posts.
In an ironic twist, I finally found work as an online history teacher and discovered that I actually did love many aspects of teaching!
It allowed me to talk every week to a captive audience about my favorite topic – the history of our country and the inspiring stories of those who lived in the past.
Now, with the addition of two beautiful children to our family, my teaching days are on pause, but I still have a true passion for sharing my love of history with others!
To that end, I am delighted to bring posts to you focusing on the history of military spouses.
The spouses who lived in the past endured unimaginable hardships and experienced adventures I can hardly fathom.
For example, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, the wife of the infamous George Armstrong Custer, was nearly swept away in flash floods on a couple of occasions while she was in Kansas, not far from where my family and I currently live in Fort Leavenworth (Leckie, 99)!
The stories I will share with you will span our nation’s history, from the camp followers of the Revolution to more recent history.
The manner in which military spouses survived and thrived despite the challenges they faced provides me with courage, inspiration, and hope. I truly hope that the stories I will share of historical military spouses will encourage your heart as well!
From these individuals, I hope we can find the joy in our journeys, courage to face adversity, humor and comfort in knowing we’re not alone, and a deeper sense of the amazing community of military spouses we are all a part of now.
Thank you for allowing me to share my passion with you! It is largely because of fellow military spouses that my own journey as an Army wife has been so rich thus far, and I am excited to now be a part of this digital community of spouses!
*Editor’s Note: Anna Fitzpatrick Layer is Mission:Milpouse’s newest blogger and we are so excited to share the perspective she brings to our community of readers! Stay tuned for more amazing posts from Anna.
Leckie, Shirley A. Elizabeth Bacon Custer and the Making of a Myth. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993.