Military Spouse Magazine

DEC 2018

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O U R L I V E S It Works for Us Why "geobaching" was a right fit for our military family. By Tammy Wartell, Navy Spouse THE L AST TIME OUR FAMILY MOVED, WE MOVED CROSS COUNTRY DURING A VERY BITTER FEBRU- ARY. My spouse was nowhere in sight as I flew across the country with three children to arrive at our new duty station. As I got the kids registered for school and settled into our hotel room, the craziness started. We spent Valentine's Day in a hotel room with my daughter suffering from a raging ear infection. We ate the hotel buffet for breakfast at 6 a.m. before we headed to school. We were living out of suitcases while in a hotel and trying to manage school. Three years later, we got our next set of orders with a freshman in high school, a middle schooler, and an elementary- aged child. This is when we entertained the idea of becoming a geo-bachelor family. As a submarine family, we have been through many long deployments with dad being gone. It was not unusual for me to be the only parent at home. As I sat down with my husband to decide on our next journey, we had several things to consider. Our oldest was a freshman in high school, was taking honors courses, and had transitioned well into his high school. We were wary of moving him during a critical time in his high school life. My daughter was involved in a ballet academy and was close to getting pointe shoes. The kids were happy and I was working at a job I liked. I did not want to start all over; neither did they. Our family began considering the benefits of geo-bacheloring. My husband would be stationed on the same coast and he could easily fly for a weekend to see us. The times that he flies to see us, he is completely off of work. It is leave time, and he is able to have more quality time with the children. My children are actually getting to stay in a school for an extended period of time. My oldest son will be able to say he graduated from the same high school that he began as a freshman. This makes a huge difference. There were no transfers and no loss of any credits. It is easy to progress to the next class because he had taken the required courses. He has also been able to establish good solid friendships through his high school years. We have been able to have the exact same doctor for the past few years dur- ing our geo-bachelor tour. The doctor has followed the care of my children through minor surgeries and some running injuries. It has been helpful to not have to reiterate over and over why they need certain care. Last year, when I was struck with a horrible case of the flu, many friends stepped up to help by buying groceries and picking up my kids. It is amazing how many people are willing and want to help when they know you are on your own. Most people are genuinely good folks who will help if you ask. The friendships developed during this time is like a second family. When we entertained the idea of becoming a family who lived miles apart by choice, we knew communi- cation could be an issue. Technology has made communication easier. There is FaceTime and Skype, as well as texting. Our children have texted and called their dad with calculus problems. We have Face- timed when they want some time with dad. It's not the same as him being at home, but it's more than we had during many deployments. As I look back on the choice we made over a year ago, it still makes sense. Our children are thriving. We see my husband more than we did when he was deploying and doing workups. It is not an easy choice, but it was the right choice for us. H THE ONLY DIFFERENCE WAS GEO-BACHELORING WAS A PERSONAL CHOICE WE WOULD MAKE. A BIG BONUS! MY DAUGHTER WAS AT THE BALLET STUDIO LONG ENOUGH TO EARN HER POINTE SHOES! Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert 24 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / DECEMBER 2018

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