Just Another Day

Miss C took these photos. So glad she was there for him!
This morning, Miss C decided to go through her entire closet to see what no longer fits and what will be suitable upon her return to school next week.
Jaz decided he no longer likes oatmeal, and prefers Cheerios instead while Lola felt brave enough to taste my morning coffee and deemed it delicious, too.
I also worked from home today, my first official telecommuting day as it’s been six months on this new job and I’ve earned the privilege.

And on this bright and sunny Monday, my German husband of ten years went down to the recruiter’s office and enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserve.

My German soldier is on his way to become an American airman.
After clipping some coupons and running to the grocery store this morning, Martin headed to Andrews Air Force Base to take the oath of enlistment, officially joining the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Miss C went along with him while I stayed home with the younger two and my work email.
He is now enlisted. He will begin basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas in February at the lowest rank: Airman Basic. He will serve six years working as an air transportation specialist for the aerial port squadron at Andrews Air Force Base here in the DC area.
This was no surprise: we’ve been planning this for months. Only a handful of family and friends knew about these plans.
And contrary to some good-natured teasing, Martin did not join the military again so I could have more blogging material.
If only.
I can tell you some of the non-reasons.
He did not join for citizenship opportunity. He is still a citizen of Germany, and a legal resident of the United States. We’ve been married for ten years, and have lived in the United States for seven. If he wanted to become an American citizen, and he may get around to it at some point, he doesn’t have to join the military to do it.

Speaking of citizenship, during our visit to the German embassy last month, we learned that there are a few countries where Germans can enlist in the military and not automatically lose their citizenship. The United States military is one of them.He’s not doing this for the extra income or to find a job. He voluntarily left his job at his bank to become a stay-at-home dad after I accepted my current position. We are fortunate in that my job provides enough for us to do that and be comfortable.

He did not do this solely for education benefits, though they will be welcomed. Thanks to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, I could sign over my education benefits to him or the children. However, Martin didn’t want me to do that, especially when he learned doing so would require me to serve another four years beyond my current commitment.
It was then that the light bulb went off in our heads: why couldn’t Martin serve those years?
It made us laugh at first, but as we did the research, we realized that Martin met all the requirements. All he needed was a waiver for his military service in the German Bundeswehr, and that was easily granted, although his commission didn’t carry over as more enlisted rank, and since he’s not a U.S. citizen, he can not be an American officer.
He passed all the medical, background checks, and fitness tests, and scored highly on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery aptitude test. 
He’s the perfect recruit.
And the Air Force Reserve is a perfect fit for him. While he will be gone from us for about five months early next year for training, he’ll be doing his one-weekend-a-month/two-weeks-a-year here in this area for the rest of his service. He’ll remain committed as a stay-at-home dad during the week, taking college classes toward his degree, too. There will be possibilities for him to travel and deploy, of course, but it’s nothing we haven’t experienced with my military career: we can handle it.
He has our family’s full support.
So after all the paperwork was completed today, his recruiter and a random officer pulled from the visitor’s center stood underneath a flag pole on Andrews Air Force Base as Martin raised his right hand and swore to serve.
It seems so silly, doesn’t it?
Why would a 33-year-old man with a good banking career under his belt, living a comfortable life as a stay-at-home dad to three children and a gorgeous wife with a steady job, join the military?
Because he loved serving in the military.
Because he loved the routine, the order, and the people.
Because when he was young and daydreaming about his life as an adult, he imagined a military career and a gorgeous wife.
He got the gorgeous wife. *ahem*
And now, he’s got a promising military career ahead of him again.
He enlisted because it’s never too late to go after those dreams.
I am so, so proud of my husband.
First my German soldier.
Now my American airman.

Post-edit: As I looked at Miss C’s photo of Martin signing his Air Force Reserve contract, another similar photo from 10 years ago came to mind. 

Martin, 2002, German Bundeswehr, working in his dorm room.
Martin, 2002, German Bundeswehr, working in his dorm room.

Martin, 2012, US Air Force Reserve. Signing his contract.

The facial expression, the head tilt, and the way his left hand is placed … uncanny, right? 

I promise you, this wasn’t staged.  Miss C took the photo as her Dad signed his papers and she wouldn’t have known of this 2002 photo. So weird!