11 years

When I was young I always wanted to marry a man in the military.
I thought that that way I would know that he had pride in our country like I

At 18 I meet that man.  He was in the Navy stationed in Bremerton, WA on the
USS Sacramento.

At just barely 19 we where married it was the happiest day of my life.  I
knew that being a Navy wife would be hard due to the inevitable 6-month
deployments.  But I knew what I was in for and I loved him.

At 23 we get stationed in Hawaii for 3 years.  HAWAII!!  At least that is
what I thought.  The first time I have ever been away from my family.  I don
’t know if I can do this.  But he is home almost every night.  I feel like a
REAL couple.

At 25 we have one more year in Hawaii and we now live in housing.  We have a
dog and a cat and life is good.

At 26 we get orders to San Diego and the USS Elliot.  Unfortunately there is
a 12-month wait for housing and there are no homes available for rent that
will accept our kids (the dog and cat).

At 27 I’m back in Washington while he is in San Diego.  We can do this for 2
years right.  A year and a half has past and he is cross-rating.  So now he
is off to Florida.

At 28 he is finally done in Florida.  And has orders to the USS Carl Vinson.
In Bremerton Washington.  We still have our mastiff (Toro) but now we have 2
cats.  The family is growing.

This brings us to 29 and the year 2003.  The USS Carl Vinson gets deployed
for a one-month training cruise on January 13th.  On January 31st our house
burns down and takes the kids with it, which has grown, again to 1 dog and 3
cats.  He comes home for only 2 weeks.  We pick out a new baby (a puppy) and
he has to leave before he even knows our new address.

At 30 I find out that the USS Carl Vinson will now be deployed for a 10-½
month cruise instead of just a month.

Just 6 more years.  I think that after 5 deployments, 2 years of being
geographically separated, and losing everything.  It couldn’t get much

I love my sailor and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Even though the past 11
years have been tough it has only made us stronger and more in love.

April Bullentini