To those who know us, our announcement about this next chapter in our life should come to no surprise.
We’re 26 and 28 years old. We were married when we were 19 and 21. I was injured in an accident and became a paraplegic at 21 and he was 23. We survived our first deployment at 22 and 24. We traveled Europe and Africa at 25 and 27. And now we’re saying goodbye.
There are several “checkpoints” in an Army career where you have the option of leaving service or diving a little deeper into the commitment, sacrifice and adjustments the Army life requires. In Dusty’s career, when we moved to Fort Leonard Wood, we were faced with another checkpoint. But there was a problem; for Dusty to continue with the Army, it would make my dream of going to medical school with the support and help of a present husband just a little harder. We prayed and prayed. God molded our hearts and pointed our feet towards the door. Our life has definitely shouldered too many struggles already. We don’t need to voluntarily add more.
So Dusty found an Army Reserve unit in Denver. I studied my butt off and did well on the preliminary medical school admission test. We sold our couches, dart board and donated boxes of clothes. I explained all the upcoming changes to Ethel. And then we bought an RV.
We’re setting out on a journey to wake up each morning with the only goal being to enjoy the day. We’re putting aside the constant race of getting higher in the career ladder, making more to buy things we don’t need and falling asleep each night just a little exhausted by the trivial fires that seem to be lit every morning. We have this next year before I know where I’ll be attending school and Dusty just has to drill once a month. We set up a home base in Denver, got a PO Box, put cars in storage and now we’re hitting the road.
There are more important things to spend the day with than the anxiety and ego that seemed to underlie the career focus our life had. So we’re shutting the door on those to instead embrace the beauties of the Western US and the happiness of the complexities of marriage. And Ethel, with her travel bowls and working vest ready, has been more than happy to discover this life with us. As long as her Kong is full of peanut butter, she’s a happy camper.
Wish us luck and please follow us along here as I write our Wheeling Diaries and more!