ABC11's Tisha Powell on the ups and downs of being a military spouse

I've been a military spouse for 20 years.

In 1998, I married a young Second Lieutenant with dreams of becoming an Army doctor. I had no idea where this journey would lead but grateful I went along for the wonderful ride filled with its ups and downs.

What I love most about being a military spouse:

1.) My husband is a hero. I'm honored to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Now Colonel James Wayne, the son of an Army officer, is continuing the legacy of military service. It gives me so much pride to hear, "Thank you for your service"... when we're out together as a family with our girls. They love and admire their dad who's a glowing example of what a husband and father should be.

2.) I love the countless people we've met along the way at Lackland Air Force Base, Ft. Sam Houston, Ft. Hood and Ft. Bragg. The military is one big family. It's heartwarming to run into an old friend and have a mini-reunion while continuing to make new friends every day.

3.) On lighter note...I love tax-free shopping! You can find me in the handbag and makeup sections at the PX.

The hardest part of being military spouse:

1.) The separation. It comes with the job and you learn how to make things work. Life has to keep going while they're gone, and they have to focus on the mission knowing everything is flowing smoothly back home. (Although often it's not.)

2.) It's difficult having to move from an area and the people you've really grown to love. I miss San Antonio the most, but with deployments, you quickly learn that home is not a house in a certain city, but it's where your family is simply all together under one roof.

3.) And finally, it stinks when you get a flat and can't call your hubby to fix it because he's out in the field, out of the state or out of the country. He's given me lessons on how to do it myself, but I've yet to try. I just call USAA and they send someone to do it for me. Over the last 20 years I've learned the value of a helping hand. It doesn't matter who does it... just get it done.
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