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Joining the Military at an Older Age

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My husband first joined the Military when he was 19 and got out when he was 21. We met when he was 25, got married, had a child and he re-joined at age 30. We made the decision for him to join the Army again together. We already had a child and we were about 10 years older than a lot of other Military couples.

Joining the Military at an older age can be an interesting experience. My husband is now 37 working with a lot of guys in their early or mid 20s. A lot of the wives are in their early or mid 20s. I sometimes feel like an outsider because I am no longer in that stage of my life. I have been out of my parent’s house for almost as long as I have lived on my own. We have been married over 10 years and two of our children are in elementary school. Many of the men my husband’s age have been in the Military for almost twenty years.

I feel as though my husband and I have a different perspective on the Military life. This isn’t something he is doing that he will be done with in his 30s. If he does his full 20 years he will be in his late 40s before he gets out of the Army.

We were married for 3.5 years before the Army became a part of our lives. It seems like a lifetime ago that we didn’t have to worry about deployments or Army frustrations. But I do have those memories. Memories of my husband coming home at 5 every night.  If he needed a day off for something, he would just ask for it. He never had to leave us for any amount of time. I can feel just how much the Military directs our lives these days. It isn’t just a job for him. He had “just a job” before. The Military is much different.

Because he is older and prior service he had to adapt to a different Army. When he first joined it was the middle of peace time and now it is not. The Army has changed a lot of the ways they do things and he had to adapt to that. He usually gets a nickname having to do with his age, as would be expected. He can offer advice to some of the younger guys because he has lived it. I know he isn’t alone because at almost everywhere we have been stationed there is usually one or two others older than him at his rank.

Joining the Military at a later age can be a hard decision. It isn’t as easy as when your younger but it can be done. Sometimes joining up in your late 20s or 30s is just the career change someone is looking for.  Although you are not starting out as young, you can have a full career with the Military.

Do you know anyone that joined the Military at a later age?