how to better understand male military spouses with david carrera (Navy spouse)

How To Better Understand Male Military Spouses

How To Better Understand Male Military Spouses

The Waiting Warriors Podcast

How To Better Understand Male Military Spouses with David Carrera

By Michelle Bowler

how to better understand male military spouses with david carrera (Navy spouse)

Hear from navy and male spouse, David Carrera, about some of the challenges male military spouses face and how female military spouses can help them feel more apart of the military spouse community.  

Read below for the transcript of this episode

How To Better Understand Male Military Spouses

Welcome to the Waiting Warriors podcast. I’m Michelle Bowler. I’m an army wife of over eight years, a mom of four little girls, and a huge believer that being a [00:02:00] supportive military or first responder loved one is way easier when you connect with a community. In addition to sharing some of my own insights and journey, I have set out to interview Waiting Warriors around the world so we can all learn together from their triumphs.

And their struggles together. We can do so much more than just survive. We can thrive. And that is what being a waiting warrior is all about. Hey, when you were out there, welcome to another week of the waiting warriors podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Bowler. And this week we have another first. I like it when we have our first, we have our first male military spouse, David, Oh, I.

Oh, I was saying it good the first time. You did. I did. Thank you. Thank you for saying it. I can vouch for you. You did say it good. Carrera. But that’s all right. Everyone else is Carrera. That’s fine. Carrera. But then I feel like I sound like. I don’t, I shouldn’t say that [00:03:00] on there. Like, making fun of people’s girl accents of Spanish.

My dad would just be ashamed of what I just did. But that’s okay. We’re excited to have you. Um, so David, why he is, I mean, he’s awesome for many reasons. Well, one of the few reasons is he is a male military spouse of 13 years, which we don’t find you unicorns. Although I like your explanation better, but we’ll get to that later.

Instead of unicorns. Um, he’s the 2020 and 2021 armed. Forces, Navy, military spouse of the year. He’s a prior first responder, a father to a son, and currently the AFN deputy chief of operations islands Bureau on Okinawa. I can’t say anything today. [00:04:00] So welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I appreciate you.

Yeah. So, like I said, I, I. Found David, came across David’s awesomeness because of the armed forces insurance, Navy military spouse award. And I love what you’re doing. It’s super cool because you’re giving one like male. Terry spouse is a voice, but also bringing awareness to the fact that we all kind of suck at helping you guys and including, including strong word.

So it has a lot, you know, it’s just that. You know, continue.

We could be better. It’s okay. I like, I don’t want to be rude, but I like being blunt. Like when we have a problem, I don’t feel like tiptoeing around it is going to do [00:05:00] anybody any good. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, I shouldn’t be so harsh, especially since I’ve never been in like a meeting or a coffee with a male military spouse.

So I can’t personally, you know, describe what goes on, but you can. So if you wouldn’t mind shedding some light, light to that, how has been a male military spouse? That life kind of been for you because you’ve been in it years is a long time. Yeah, since 2008. So, um, it’s been a while. It’s been a minute. And, um, you know, it, it’s not, it’s, it’s been interesting because in my first two, three duty stations, we really didn’t, I didn’t know we existed either, you know, I just thought, oh, so I guess, like, I’m the only one and I went, I went along with that mentality.

Uh, but when, uh, my son was born, um. You know, I, I started reaching out to the military spouse community. Now that’s spouse in general. [00:06:00] And what I found was I started to even think more that I was the only 1 because I didn’t really see anybody like myself, like, in the community meetings or in any of the meetings and.

Uh, but it just, it just wasn’t a thing. However, when I got to Okinawa is when you really start seeing it because this is my first overseas tour and you would walk in, well, I would walk into the commissary and you’d see like a guy with a beard, you know, and, you know, he’s out of rags. So, and then you’re like looking at him and he’s looking at you and you’re like, so

that’s how it started. I mean, that’s how I started figuring out, Hey, I’m not the only one, you know, gray. And there’s at least 1 other guy, cause I’ve seen him with his kids at the commissary. So. Um, you know, that’s, that’s pretty much how, uh, my, uh, career started as far as far as finding the other male military spouses.

I had a couple of, um, I won’t say bad experiences because they’re not bad, but really kind of odd experiences with going to a traditional military spouse, which has made mostly military [00:07:00] wives and not, and I’ll give you an example not to, um. Not that, you know, it was very, it was fine. They reached out to me and I said, sure, I’d love to join.

You know, they had like some kind of coffee talk or chat or something. And I didn’t know what it was, to be honest with you. So I went to the, uh, on base, it was this room and, um, I walk in and there’s coffee and donuts and I’m like, wow, you know, I don’t, I don’t do the coffee thing with people. Donuts is great.

So, um, I went sat down, they were in a circle and they’re like, you know, what’s your name? And I said my name and, you know, I’ve been here for a couple of weeks. That’s all. And thank you for inviting me. And they all got out their books and they’re like, all right, so we’re reading 50 shades of gray. Which passage would you like to read?

And I said, oh, you know what? I’m going to let myself out. However, I’m going to take a donut. Thank you so much. You’ve all been really wonderful. And I kind of like, walked out and I said, you know, the. The military spouse is not for me. That’s what I said. I walked out of thinking that, but it wasn’t their fault.

They weren’t, you know, how are they supposed to know that? There’s there’s a guy, you know, [00:08:00] that’s a military spouse looking, looking for opportunities to either help or join in a cause. So they, but they were super nice and and actually, I think, since then, they’ve tailored their meetings and organizations to include us as far as.

Where it’s, you don’t see the email anymore. This is Hey, ladies, you know, come on out to do this. Hey girls, you know, now it’s more of, Hey, military spouses, Hey spouses, you know, and I think that’s a, that’s a good first step and it does, um, make me feel a little better. And I think some of the guys I know feel better too, because the first thing when we see, Hey ladies.

We’re just like, okay, you know, yeah, delete or, you know, turn it off or whatever. And, but, uh, yeah, they had, they’ve come around and it’s been really, really enlightening to see and the outreach, especially, um, especially from when American armed forces insurance, uh, especially when armed forces insurance, you know.

They nominated me for the, just the base winner, you know, the base contestant. And then, um, [00:09:00] and I didn’t even know I was nominated. A friend of my wife’s actually nominated me. And then it took off from there where I won the base and then I won the overall Navy. And it’s, I won because people voted for me.

I still have a hard time thinking that someone actually got onto a computer and said, yeah, I’m going to pick that guy and just did that. So, um, it’s, it’s been really cool the way everyone’s reached out to me and actually had. You know, kind words and how can we do this? How can we do that? And I’ve been able to contribute a little bit.

It’s really cool. And I like, I like your perspective. Although I will just have to say like, I really. I would walk out of Fifty Shades of Grey too, I guess. Which is, I, you know, I don’t know. I, I wasn’t into the movie, not the book, not my scene. I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not just like a military wife thing.

I think that’s a select group, which if that’s your, you know, if a [00:10:00] group, that’s fine. But I don’t, I, that, yeah, that would be even more awkward. Yeah, I think so. I’m like picturing that book clip and that’s, that’s really interesting. Um, it just like threw me for a loop. So what, what has um, male military spouse life kind of taught you?

Because you, you haven’t had All of the community backing that we, you know, we hear from the get go, like get involved with SFRG and, um, the moms of preschooler groups, you know, like find your community that’s. So important to us from the get go, but yet it’s taken 13 years for you to find that. So how have you, I mean, what do you do?

Is it just that [00:11:00] guys cope different socially or what have you done? You know, it’s, it’s weird because as I said, the first couple of duty stations, it didn’t phase me because, you know, I didn’t need to lean on anybody. And I actually. You know, I was working and so that, you know, I wouldn’t have a son. So that took a lot of, um, equations, you know, out of factors out of the equation, but when you start to need somebody, or, you know, as I found out here in Okinawa with some guys, when you start to feel like you’re isolated and alone and no one’s there and you can’t reach out.

You know, that’s when it really comes into play. So for me, um, coming in the past 13 years, you know, I would actually say the past 10 was really about perseverance and just, you know, hey, you know, no one knows what you’re going through. That’s what you think in your head, but more people actually do know what you’re going through and especially the wives know what you’re going through because they’ve been through it.

Uh, into the male spouses. No, you just have to figure out where they are and go and find them. Um, another thing to do is, you know, keep your spirits [00:12:00] up too. And this is talking about if you get to a duty station where there’s nobody that’s either reaching out to you or there’s no programs you can join or volunteer.

I mean, or jobs to be had. I mean, just stay positive, find something to do, find something you like to do and keep your mind occupied. Um, it’s not always going to be an easy thing. You know, when, when two of my friends, Cody and Phil started man pendant here in Okinawa. I mean, there was just four or five guys that, that immediately logged on.

We already knew each other. So, uh, and then all of a sudden these people started like getting on and on and on and we’re like, wow, you know, so now we’re getting, we built a little community, which is kind of nice. And, uh, we do support each other. We do, uh, prior to COVID we had, you know, barbecues, we had a going away party for one of our friends.

We had a baby shower for another one. He was, his wife was, uh. It’s about to give birth and, and, uh, you know, we’ve just made it our own thing, but we also volunteer in other aspects like beach cleanups and other things like that. So, and we just try to get our word, the name out there and make sure that everybody [00:13:00] knows that if, hey, by the way, you know, it’s good going to the wives clubs because it’s good because, hey, by the way, if you run across someone who, you know, your, your husband runs across or your wife runs across that.

Is in the military as either male spouse, give them our website, tell them to go to Facebook and find us. So, we’ve actually been able to kind of flip the tables and use that to our advantage in order to get what the message out, which normally wouldn’t be, wouldn’t be out. That is as far as extended as it is now.

So, circling back a little bit, you said you mentioned the Facebook group, which I know, so it’s man dependent, or is it man dependent in Okinawa? So it’s not dependent. It’s man pendant. We’re not really dependent. Yeah, we’re not dependent on the government. We call man pendant because we’re dependent on man.

We’re dependent on each other. We use each other to lift ourselves up. We’re not really waiting. You know, we’re not sitting here waiting for our wives or husbands to come home and say, you know, here’s your [00:14:00] loans, you know, go do what you want. You know, it’s, you know, it’s not 1940 or 50, whatever. It’s, You know, it’s, we’re, we’re beyond that.

And I think what it is now is, you know, we just try to extend each other a helping hand and, and try to help each other, um, navigate the waters of PCS, uh, overseas tours, uh, new duty station and the, the ironic part. And I think the most successful part about man pendant again, full credit to Cody and Phil is that, um, you know, now that when they leave the island.

As Cody has, you know, they go to a different duty station and they’ll start up a local either man pendant page, or they’ll start finding the spouses, you know, and kind of like meeting up with them and stuff. So I see guys that are now in San Diego, Kentucky, Nevada, Florida. You know, starting and and by the way, man pendant is not exclusive male.

You know, if you’re a male military spouse, you need to join man pendant. It’s not. There’s like, there’s a, there’s a slew of others and all their names escape me right now, to be honest with you, but there are a slew of others [00:15:00] and there’s also a slew of like, uh, you know, doctors, spouses married to physicians, you know, they’re in the military.

There’s all kinds of groups. If you just Google, uh, I’m sorry, do a Facebook search. And you’ll find some of these, uh, Dependent Bros is another one, uh, that just comes to mind and they’re, those are all cool guys. And I’m a member of all those pages. Because I feel like, you know, that’s, um, what we need to do as a community now, there are some other pages that I’m not a member of, because I think it’s kind of sometimes it’s kind of kind of like, you know, they’re just bashing this or bashing that I like to keep the message positive.

I mean, if you don’t have anything good to say, and you’re a bad place, there’s no need to jump on your keyboard. But so I tend to filter that out, you know, because it’s just nonsense. But, uh, a lot of these other pages, you know, if you’re a male, uh, military spouse, get on dependent rows, get on some of these other pages, get on man pendant and or start your own and see who you can find in your own community that, um, that is around and that can help you.

And you start your own group and you’d be surprised. These guys are friends of mine. These guys. [00:16:00] Most of the people that have left Okinawa, I would not even hesitate to just pull up to their driveway wherever they are and say, Hey, man, uh, just driving through. Can I crash for a day or two? Yeah, no problem.

Um, it’s that kind of camaraderie that we built. Same kind of camaraderie that you have in the, in the wives clubs, just a little different. That’s all. Yeah. And it’s so funny to me because like, it’s, it’s the same. Same feeling, same theme with so many different things. Like if you, you feel alone and you feel isolated and like, no, there’s nobody else around you, but then when you actually search for the people, they’re there.

And those groups are there. Like, I love, love technologies that it’s just so easy for us to set that up and that you guys have those pages because there are so, so many similarities and I feel like. We should all be friends and the military spouse community would be so much stronger if we [00:17:00] collaborated more like we’re seeing with everything that you’re doing as the Navy spouse of the year.

But there also is something to be said about talking to people who are going through exactly what you’re going through. You know what I mean? And same kind of mindsets and stuff. So I love that you guys have that. Um, what do you think that the why better to help? The husband, military spouses. Um, I think finding out if you, if the wives or husbands see another, uh, member or they socially, or they see pictures, you know, whatever, you don’t have to troll them.

I’m just saying, if you know that, or if you know of them. You know, and they have a male military spouse at the house. So, you know, my, my husband is doing this, you know, just mention it. And maybe you mentioned it to your spouse when you get home. Hey, you know what, um, he or she has a male spouse at home.

And, uh, you know, you guys should get together and, you know, maybe play dates. If you have kids, if not, you know, [00:18:00] whatever, I know COVID restrictions, but COVID won’t, hopefully COVID won’t last forever, but, um, you know, you can, and as you would to meet people in your own, you know, uh, career field, you network.

This thing to make sure that you meet people in your own, you know, like count spousal feel and even if it’s not a male group, um, if you hear if an active duty persons, uh, here’s of a group that’s meeting. And it’s a spouses club, even if it is just, uh, wives, it doesn’t matter, you know, include them because only through that, um, will we actually, you know, come out of lurk, come out of the shadows as they say, you know, and actually you can, you know, the wives clubs have been really good to me and I can’t say enough about, especially my time in Jacksonville, like the Oak leaf club.

Um, a few members come to mind. Um, we had, uh, like, uh, Nicole was, uh, I won’t give her last name because she just want me to mention her, but. Yeah. Her and her husband were just fantastic to me. Um, and they became lifelong friends and they’re just dear friends of ours. And she introduced me to a whole world [00:19:00] of wives in, um, in Jacksonville.

However, they were just nonstop support. You know, when my son was born, they brought meals, um, you know, when. My wife was deployed and it was just me and my one and a half year old by myself, you know, they offered help. They, they offered assistance. They said, what can we do, you know, and, and in, you know, part of that too is on our end.

You know, we’ve got to drop the egos. You know, if you’re sitting here with a 1 year old, you know, with a full day from 1 hand and trying to get the black lab off your foot with the other hand and try to make dinner with the 3rd hand. Do we have free hands? No. So, I mean, you’re going to need help. And so, uh, I always tell the guys drop the ego.

If you need help, if you’re, if you’re overburdened with what you have going on right now, reach out to these clubs. I mean, reach out to these sources, reach out to us or reach out to them. It doesn’t matter. Uh, the same community has the same. I’ve noticed that whether you’re the Wives Clubs or the Husbands Clubs, they all have the same amount of determination to make sure that everybody makes it through this journey together.

[00:20:00] Yeah, that’s totally true. Because… Yeah, we don’t know everything. We don’t know what it’s like to be the husband of a service member, but we do, we are well acquainted of what it’s like to have no hands left and still have a whole bunch of problems and laundry and dishes and just wanting a break for five minutes and needing somebody to walk the dog or walk the kids.

We all understand deeply that feeling and we can, I love that you have had that support and that people can hear. That no matter who you are, that support should be available to you. And I think it is. Like, you’ll find, even if one person denies you, cause I’ve heard of like, everybody gets their choice, but I’ve heard of people saying like, no, you know.

We’re not going to help you or whatever, you know, people getting turned away, but I like that’s one person on a base. That’s not the whole [00:21:00] battalion. That’s not your whole brigade. That’s the whole division. Like, there’s all, there’s going to be people who will help you. You just got to ask multiple people sometimes.

Yeah, and there’s going to, and there’s going to be the, the occasional, yeah, it’s not really meant for you. Uh, and that’s fine, but that’s more, that’s very rare. And, uh, you probably a part of that organization anyway, but 99. 9 percent of the organizations and spouses aren’t even in an organization will be more than willing to, you know, help you in any way they can because they’re in the same boat as you are.

And, you know, it’s, I think it’s like, they extend an arm and maybe they need it down the road. You pay it forward, or they don’t need it. You still pay it forward. Awesome. So do you have any last advice for male military spouses? Especially what? Sorry. The new ones. Oh, I hope she told you [00:22:00] or he told you what you guys are in for.

I hope because yeah, so I have a funny story. Um, And, and this is like the basis of when, when I met my wife and, uh, we went out, um, it just turned out, it was very, just a surreal meeting. And, uh, we spent 4 hours, I think, um, uh, and in the afternoon, just talking and laughing and then, and then I didn’t hear from her for quite some time.

Um, so I was, you know, doing the guy thing, emailing, Oh, what happened? I thought everything was cool. You know, we had a good time. Am I a jerk? What did I do? And then I stopped because I’m like, okay, I’ve seen the movies and every, you know, every movie that guy just a little too far. Then it gets stocky. Um, but, you know, the funny part was, uh, I get a phone call from her, like, 3 months later and it turns out she was a basic.

And for, didn’t I tell you I was in the Navy? I’m like, no, you did not. I would have wrote that down somewhere. You know what I mean? Because, you know, when you disappear for 3 months, you know, so, um, I would say, make sure that you have, you know, if you’re new to this, make sure you have a [00:23:00] talk with your partner and your, your spouse and you just make sure that.

Um, you know that every 3 years or every 2 years, depending what service you are, you’re picking up and you’re going, you know, um, I had a very successful career prior to meeting my wife and I had pretty much done a lot of things that I want to do in my career field. I have the luxury. Of being older gentlemen as well.

So I have contacts and as long as we were living or stationed near an airport, which most most of them were, um, I could find work somewhere. You know, I could get a call and do something here or something there, or even locally. But for the younger spouses coming on board, maybe they don’t have that luxury.

I would say, look to the, um, the communities. I know that. Here in Okinawa, everything’s run on Facebook, like everything, like, uh, if you’ve got a question, you go to Okinawa questions. If you, if you want to find out where to go with kids, you Okinawa kids, you know, there’s so many resources out there. And I think, you know, I, I, you know, I tend to think that I’m a glass half full of guys.

I tend to think that [00:24:00] Facebook was meant for that, not for all the other nonsense and loudness that, that makes the papers and that makes the news. Uh, I think, you know, makes the papers, that’s how old I am. I remember newspapers. So, um, I, I would say to them, you know, Be resilient and be flexible because your life is going to change dramatically, but it’s also the best community you will ever be a part of, whether it’s the wives or the husbands that you make friends with, you will form lifelong bonds that will, that goes beyond anything in your imagination, beyond best friends in high school, beyond childhood friends.

I mean, these people that I’ve met will literally move mountains. To help you do anything you want, and in return, I think you should be able to offer the same thing. Moving is hard, PCSing is hard, but when you look across the table from you and you realize you’re doing it for her or him and you’re supporting the mission 100%, to me, that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Like, I could have the worst [00:25:00] day in the world, and I’m sitting down to dinner and I look at my wife, who’s hot, and then I look at my son, who’s cute, and I say, you know what, yeah. You know, all the crap that I’ve been through and, and, and the career changes, I mean, the job changes and having to say goodbye to people and, and being, you know, literally on the other side of the world from my friends and family worth it, worth it, wouldn’t change it for a second.

I love that. What is your personal, how David has done it, key to thriving? I laugh a lot at other people. Um, I just, I laugh a lot. Yeah, I know. That’s really bad. I just, I just find humor in the littlest things and I, you know, I’m sitting there and, you know, uh, for instance, when we PCS here, it took us forever to get to Okinawa.

We ended up getting here at 1030 at night. It’s all it’s 90 degrees at 1030 at night out of the airport. We’ve got 13 [00:26:00] bags. Our dog arrived a day before us. We haven’t seen him yet because we had gotten, we had gotten our plane tickets 24 hours before we were supposed to go. And so we get to, you know, we’d have to check in and now it’s 1 in the morning.

We finally get to our hotel that we’re supposed to be at. They give me my dog. And then all of a sudden fire trucks roll up, uh, because there’s a fire alarm going off at the hotel and then it starts to rain. So, and we’re stuck in the parking lot with holding a dog, 13 suitcases, you know, and so I start laughing because it can’t get, it can’t get any worse.

You know what I mean? I’m thinking, I’m like, this is, this is ridiculous. This is crazy. And we have to be up the next morning at 6 for like, some orientation thing, and we still don’t even know what time it is. Like I’m telling you at 20 am now, I’m telling you that three and a half years after I got here, but that day, I didn’t know where I was.

Everything looked weird. There’s Japanese writing everywhere. And, um, so I was just like, you know, you just start smiling and laughing. [00:27:00] And my wife goes, what are you laughing at? I’m like this, this is ridiculous. And I start laughing. I’m like, the fire department is here. It’s 1 30 in the morning. I think it’s somewhere has been done because I know when we landed.

So, uh, you just have to be, you know, I’m, I’m resilient. I, I adapt, I flex and, um, I just find humor and a lot of stupid things. I, my, my, my, uh, my wife, since I have the, uh. The mentality of a, of a 7 year old when it comes to laughing at jokes and stuff like that. And I think it’s hilarious. And, uh, yeah, she’s, I think someone else told me I have the iPod playlist year old girl, but whatever I like my 80s music and 90s music.

So, you know, I’m doing me and, uh, I just, I just look at the positive side of everything because, I mean, it’s, you know. Being this long in the tooth, I’ve seen a lot of things that they go horribly wrong. And so you just have to, you know, you’re going to get through it. You’re going to push through it. You know, it’s not going to be forever.

Those firetrucks aren’t going to be there forever. The hotel is going to be closed forever. You know, you just got to step past that [00:28:00] and enjoy what you, what you have. And I do. That’s awesome. That does sound like a scene from a movie, like something you would only see in the movie where your plane is later than it’s supposed to be, you have all this luggage, and it’s crazy, and then…

So Michelle, let me give you… Let me give you a, you mentioned it’s a movie and let me give you a funny tidbit. So I documented all of that. That is a video. And yeah, and so, so I started a channel, a YouTube channel and I call it my life in Okinawa and it starts with me getting the news that we’re moving to Okinawa and while I was working in DC and then I literally chronicle our flight from.

Baltimore to where I think it was Chicago and then to Tokyo and then to, I, I chronicled everything where you see my [00:29:00] rolly luggage, the wheels disintegrate in Chicago as I’m rolling it down the road to get to the airport and it’s all like crack, crack, crack, crack, and everybody’s looking at us, you know, because we’ve got a ton of bags and my kid and stuffed animals and we’re just the loudest people.

And we’re, we look like we’re, we look like we’re running away from home. That’s what we looked like. I kept telling my wife, it looks like we’ve literally packed everything we have and we’re taking the next flight to anywhere. And so, yeah, so I chronicle that and as well as I like to, and that’s another way that I, um, that I give experience and knowledge to people that are coming here is I, I do, you know, house tours.

I do things to look out for when you move to Okinawa things when you’re seeing, I also do a lot of cultural stuff here in Okinawa and also, you know, things to go with your kids, places to go, where to get your car, stuff like that. And, um, that’s actually been really rewarding for me. Because I get some emails and people telling me, oh, you know, I was going to Okie and you really helped me out with that car thing or hey, you know, I wasn’t sure what to expect for housing.

If I [00:30:00] get thrown off base, you know, like, there’s no housing on base. Now I know what to look for. Thank you. And I always put like names and numbers of people that can contact. So, um, when you say that, it sounds like a movie. I can go back and watch that and we laugh. I mean, we laugh when I, when we first exchanged money in Chicago for Japanese money and they have like, what’s a 10 bill, but it’s a 10, it’s a 1000 yen bill and the guy on it looks like Bruno Mars and I’m like, look, it looks like Bruno Mars.

And and my wife goes, oh, my God, it does look like Bruno Mars and we just had a laugh. And so it’s just little things like that. I go back and I watch it every now and then. And if you watch it, I want you to look at my eyes because they change as the jet lag sets in, they get wider and redder, uh, uh, especially, and then when the firetrucks show up, I’m just like, I’m just goofy at that time, you know, I’m like, what day is it?

Yeah, so, um, it’s a lot of fun and I try to make it entertaining. And, uh, yeah, so yeah, it is chronicle my life in Okinawa. Check it out. [00:31:00] I’ll have to, it sounds, I can’t get, like. It just would be a good movie and then you snap and the rain comes and you know the animated ones where it’s literally like nothing and then that’s just what I picture that as being so now I’ll have to watch and see if it’s as ridiculous as I picture it.

I think at one point I just looked at the camera and said, what are you doing at, you know, one in the morning? Not this. Hopefully not this. Although I guess from what I’ve heard, Most Oconus have some sort of 1 a. m. adventures. It’s just the way it has to be sometimes, but thank you so much for coming on. I am, uh.

Entertained and, but I feel like we have some more understanding of how we can bring more military spouses in and not [00:32:00] just kind of, not shove them to the side, but just kind of think like, Oh, they’re not me. So we don’t, you know, we won’t connect, you know, work. Yeah, there’s a word for that, but I mean, I think that as more women spouses start realizing that there’s other male spouses in the community, I think it’s only a benefit for them to have them join their club and or help them out.

We’re more than willing to do, you know, you know, we’ll help with whatever you need. If you’re, if you’re pregnant, you need to be else. We’ll, we’ll step up. You need something, some help around the house. We’ll be there. You need some, you know, babysitting play dates. We do the same exact things, you know, it’s just that we’re just, uh, I believe in 2016, we were 100, 000 strong.

I have to think that we’re more than that now. So, you know, we’re out there and just all we, all we like to do is be included. That’s all it’s no, it’s not a big deal. We just, we want to help out as we can, maybe not the 50 shades of gray type of help out, but maybe like, Hey, you know what, uh, my [00:33:00] kids are playing soccer.

My kids playing soccer too. We should get them together and do this or, you know, um, anything, anything they can think of. And there’s no silver bullet. To that will appease everybody as far as how do I, you know, the question that we talked about earlier was how to, you know, wives clubs bring in the male military spouses.

What can they do to make things better? I don’t think there’s 1 thing. I think it’s just extending the invitation. That’s probably the 1 thing that will start the dialogue and the conversation. And it’s not like we’re going to show up and we’re green and polka dotted really strange and have bad manners.

No, it’s like, we’re going to fit in. I guarantee we’re going to fit in. Maybe some of us won’t, but most of 99 percent will fit in, but, and I just say extend the invitation. You’d be surprised that the relationships you build and, um, and yeah, it’s just, it’s a good time, uh, especially with COVID and stuff, because I know a lot of people are, are, you know, locked in and probably not used to seeing new faces or talking to other people and they’re probably dying for it.

So I’m like, yeah, just invite us. Awesome. Solid advice. What [00:34:00] is the best way for someone to connect with you? I know you mentioned the YouTube channel, which we’ll put a link in the show notes and on the YouTube caption. Um, but what’s another good way? So I have a, uh, armed forces insurance and I’d like to thank them for everything they’ve done for me.

They’ve really given me a platform, uh, Lori Simmons and And especially the other winners too. We call ourselves a sensational six because we can. And, uh, so, uh, you know, I basically have, you know, partnered with these ladies and the organization. They can reach me on Facebook. If you just, uh, you know, uh, Facebook, it’s, I think it’s at military man pendant and, uh, that’s my.

Facebook handle, uh, I think I’ve, uh, you know, I’m sure it’ll be in the description, but look for me. I’m, I’ve got the slogan of Navy military sponsor of the year for 2020 and now because of COVID 2021 and, uh, you know, thanks, thanks COVID. And, uh, so now, uh, you can reach me there and you can also find, you can also message me through Facebook on that page as well.[00:35:00] 

And you can also, um, you know, go to YouTube on my life in Okinawa. You can message me through there. I put my email on there as well. So you can, if you have any questions, if you’re coming to Okinawa, by all means, ask me, you know, I’ve been around the island for three years and, uh, there’s not a lot that I don’t know, but if I don’t know it, I’ll definitely get you the right answer.

Yeah. Awesome. You’re so helpful. Thank you so much. I appreciate everything you’re doing again. I. Like, it’s, it’s really cool being able to watch you six, the things you guys have been able to do, regardless of COVID, regardless of everything that 2020 has, has brought out. You guys have put out some really cool stuff.

For the military spouse, you for all of that. Well, isn’t that what we’re all about? Right? Like, you know, if you’re if if we couldn’t handle deployments and, you know, it’s funny when everyone says, oh, my gosh, now I have to stay home and, you know, and can’t go out and do anything. I’m like. You know, that’s spouse life sometimes, you know, [00:36:00] if you’re on deployment, depending on where you are, sometimes there’s restrictions and you have to stay in base or something like that.

So, but we, you know, we’re always a good group of a good community. I say, we’re a great community that helps each other out, no matter where we’re stationed. And I would just say, reach out to people and and don’t stay home. Even during code, if you can socially. Distance and go out for a hike, a walk or go to the park, uh, do it because, you know, mental health, uh, these days is, uh, is, is, you know, it’s, it’s not cheap and we need to make sure that we cleanse ourselves of all the stuff that’s out there and just kind of like try to connect with one another and the spouse community to make sure that make sure that we’re good.

Make sure that we’re okay. We’re in a good place because I’ve here on island. We’ve had a couple of guys that were not in a good place and we reached out to them and got them help and made sure that they knew that they were valued. And, you know, it’s not just the, you know, the kids, you know, sometimes it’s the adults that need, you know, the helping hand.

So. Make sure that you, uh, check in on your friends. You may be friends you haven’t seen for a while. You were [00:37:00] stationed with them somewhere else. Hey, how you doing? How’s this COVID thing affecting you over there? Start the conversation. And sometimes, you know, I know that when my, uh, and I, since I’m Okonis, I know that when my messenger rings, because my phone doesn’t ring, no one’s going to…

Spend that money to call me, uh, I know that my messenger rings, it’s, it’s usually someone that’s, you know, wanting to reconnect. And, and I’m glad to take those calls all day long because I just feel it’s so much fun to relive and rehash some of the fun things that we did, stupid things that we did. Um, and that just brings in, you know, just makes you feel good and gets the endorphins going.

So, uh, by all means do that, reach out to some friends and make sure they’re okay during COVID wise words. Thank you so much for coming on the show guys. Make sure you reach out. I know I’m going to go check out that YouTube video of the Okinawa. That sounds, uh, entertaining is not the right word, but I’ll probably laugh, but guys go check that out.

And thank you again, David. And remember just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s miserable. Have a good week guys. 

3 Ways To Set Up Your Relationship For A Successful Deployment/TDY/Training

3 Ways To Set Your Military Marriage Up For A Successful Deployment, TDY, or Training
Michelle Bowler- military spouse - creator of the Bulletproof Your Reintegration Course

Author - Michelle Bowler

 Army wife of 11+ years, mom for 4 girls and a boy in heaven, and hardcore believer that it’s possible to have a thriving marriage, family, and military life.