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  • Chris Keen

The giveaway signs that your other half is in the military


There are so many ways to spot a military family, here are just a few...


Your children were most likely born in different parts of the country/world

This is so common in the military community and it's really interesting to find out where people’s children were born!


Take ours for example... Holly was conceived in the Falkland Islands and born in York and Arthur was conceived in Worcester and born in Scotland.


So now we have a Yorkshire lass and Scottish laddie in our little family!


It feels like an achievement if you’ve lived somewhere for more than a year

We’ve moved 6 times in the last 6 years and we’ll be moving 2 more times in the next 18 months too, that’s averaging less than 1 year in each house!


Our next house move will only be for 6 months too which is going to be annoying. Having to unpack a whole house just for 6 months! Also considering it takes the first month or so to settle in, and a few weeks to prepare to leave, it’s hardly worth it!


This is just normal life for the military community though and it brings me nicely onto my next point...


You can’t be arsed to decorate your house because... Well, what’s the point?

As mentioned above, we move around so much that by the time we've decorate a house to a nice standard, it would be time to pack up and move onto the next one. There really is no point in wasting the time or effort.


We have come up with a few measures though to make our houses look as homely as we can get them...


These include putting up lots of pictures to cover the horrible magnolia walls, there’s no point in painting the walls because you just have to paint them back to magnolia when you move out.


Owning a selection of different sized curtains and blinds so that we can quickly take down the disgusting military issued ones as soon as we move in and replace them with nicer fabrics which wok with our furniture.


I can write a whole other blog about our top tips to personalise/decorate the houses, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do next. Watch this space!


You’re forever redirecting post

I mentioned above how often we move and it’s a pain in the arse having to change/update addresses all the time. There have been a few times now where we’ve had an amazon delivery go to our old address, which wouldn’t be too much of an issue if the delivery drivers actually handed parcels to recipients... Imagine our shock when we received a message from one of our old neighbours in York to say they saw a 12 kg bag of dog food at the door of the house we moved out of the previous week. Clearly the delivery drivers didn’t notice the house was empty and redirecting a 12kg bag of dog food isn’t as simple as forwarding on letters!


It works the other way round too, the amount of letters we get that are for the previous occupant... Somebody on the patch will always have a contact for them though so it’s usually a simple fix... A quick message on the patch WhatsApp group for the forwarding address and the problem is usually solved.


You see the contents of your loft on a regular basis

For people living in forever homes, you can whack stuff in the loft never for it to be seen again. We actually experienced this recently when my parents moved house. They’d been living in the house for 26 years and when it came to moving to the new one we came across stuff in the loft that they didn’t even know they still had!


For military families though because of all the moving, the loft contents appear every 2 years, so you don’t tend to hoard old things up there!


You use your well earned holiday to go and see family and friends

For most people after a hard year at work they’d be getting very excited about using their holiday to go on an actual holiday, say to The Maldives, The Caribbean, America, Disneyland etc...


For military families though, who often haven't seen their friends and family for months or maybe years... Their holiday/leave mostly goes on visiting people back home.


Then after the whole leave is taken up visiting people, they usually feel like they need an actual holiday because they’re so tired!


Acronyms become your life

Literally everything is made into an acronym within the military community...


Just as an example here are a few...


- SFA - Services Families Accommodation

- MQ - Military Quarter

- AFF - Army Families Federation

- FAM - Future Accommodation Model


We get used to them very quickly and they just become part of normal conversation. The thing we need to remember though is when we’re talking to friends and family and they slip into conversation. Then it’s all about the translation game!


Travelling 6 hours to see your friends/family - JUST FOR LUNCH seems totally normal

Until you realise it isn’t, most people wouldn’t travel this far without stopping over somewhere but military families often don’t even consider it a long distance to travel anymore. It’s always worthwhile for a catch up, as you don’t know when the next one might be and you may only catch up with some of your closest friends once a year!

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