Written by Randy, a sailor himself, married to another sailor and is now the father of two sailors:
“I was a nuke ET and an instructor in BS (90-99), now father to a nuke EM in the sub fleet. You’re blog about the significance of a SO that is your best friend and a partner that compliments your skill set making you a great team is essential. More importantly I’ve found that truly the most important thing is ‘open and honest communication’ at all times, especially where stressful jobs and distance come into place.
I moved insanely fast (as many nukes do) when I met my wife. It was Feb. 93. Within a couple weeks we were exclusive, within a month or so, we found an apartment together, engaged a month after that and married in July 93. I left San Diego in Sept. of 93 on my first 6 month run, like no other, because I was never coming back, changing home ports to Newport News, VA at the end to decommission.
In Dec. of 93, I pulled into Florida for a week and I flew her out to meet me. We had a blast, put her back on a plane, and about a month later…Western Union telegram (no email back then), she was pregnant…go figure his birthdate is 9-25-94. We really got lucky because honestly we hadn’t spent enough dedicated time together to even know if we really had the whole package, besides love…because many times, it’s not enough. Marriage takes a ton of love, patience, compassion, and communication to get you through the roller coaster of life’s obstacles, especially those that the Navy conveniently offers.
We had many bad years, but continued to fight through as we raised our boys. We’ve now been married for 23 years, are empty nesters with both of our sons serving in the Navy, and have a stronger relationship today than we’ve ever had, but none of it was easy.
Honestly I think the only reason we didn’t self destruct in the early years was because my wife is 5 years older than me and she had also served in the Navy as a conventional ET, so she fully understood what she was buying into. We met in a country bar…she was recently discharged and was out looking for her cowboy, instead she met a Sailor playing cowboy and after 6 years of active duty, she did another 6 years as a dependent.
After 23 years together, we still do quite a bit of two stepping in country bars. Now there’s a secret to a good marriage. Find the things that you like to do together and try to let go of the things that tend to separate you. And if you like to dance and he doesn’t, tell him to man up and be willing to take a few private dance lessons. I swear than one act can save a marriage. A dancing wife hates a wall flower.”