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Learning to Wait

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One of the unofficial mottos of the military is, "Hurry up and wait." There's a lot of time spent waiting for information, orders, action and news when you or a loved one is in the military. Because of this, it is important that loved ones and family members learn how to be patient with the military and with their military members.

First, family members should learn as early as possible that orders and information come on a need-to-know basis. There are a thousand factors in each new order or piece of information coming from higher-ups, including operational security (OPSEC) concerns, MOS requirements and testing orders that can prevent information from tricking down on a regular basis. Try to be patient with the process.

Next, remember that life in the military can be very slow and steady, but it can also be incredibly spontaneous. Be ready to pick up and move if necessary, or have the loved one sent away for training, TDY missions or deployment. For this, it is best to be prepared by embracing the military community, including other family members of military members, for support. Military wives, husbands, children and parents are often seasoned veterans of the spontaneity that comes with the military lifestyle, and can give great advice to be prepared.

Finally, be ready to embrace adventure. This adventure can lead you to exotic places like the Netherlands or Italy, or it can lead you to small-town America, in a tiny place where you never dreamed of living. This is the blessing and curse of the military. Members are part of the operation, and are put wherever they are most needed. But it is important that each family think of the situation as an adventure instead of an unstable life. Life in the military is an adventure, and it is important to remember that.

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