Hooah Hottie of the Week: Heather!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, job, hobbies, your background, your family, where you are stationed, what branch of the military your loved one serves in, etc. My name is Heather and I’m 31. I currently live outside of Nashville, TN. I was born in Texas (Ft. Hood!) and we moved around quite a bit due to the Army and the FAA. I earned my B.S. in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and my M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University. I’m an alumna of Delta Zeta Sorority and try to stay involved as I can. My boyfriend is in the Army and is currently stationed at Torii Station in Okinawa, Japan. We went to middle and high school together but did not start seeing each other until December 2008. He has served for 12 years (9 years commissioned, 3 years National Guard) and I’m super proud of him!
Favorite TV Show Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite Meal My mom’s Chicken Pot Pie or Cordon Bleu – yum!
Favorite Book Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Favorite Website My name is Heather and I am a Facebook addict.
Twitter Username dzheatherb
What has been the most challenging aspect of military life and how do you cope with it? The distance has been the most difficult part thus far. Between a deployment, extended TDY and simply not being able to move to where he’s stationed right now, we end up spending quite a bit of time apart. We make sure to talk on the phone as much as we can and plan times that we can be together somewhere – anywhere! When he was deployed, we depended quite a bit on email and Facebook. I send him care packages and random little notes. Other than that, it’s important to stay busy and have a good support system.
How many deployments have you experienced? What are some things you have learned for surviving them? While he has been deployed five times, I have only been around for one. It was probably easier (as easy as the deployment of a loved one can be) for me than it will be in the future because we were used to being separated. He was at Ft. Bragg when our relationship started and I was in Nashville, so the long-distance aspect of it was normal. Of course, there was a heightened sense of fear and concern for his safety that wasn’t there when we were just a few hours apart. I know that I have a lot to learn, but it was important to me to try to stay positive when we talked and to always be supportive. While it was hard for me to know he was out there putting it on the line every day, I knew that he had the stress of actually being the one to do it. I learned to value every moment we spoke and appreciate every message I received. I also learned not to expect any kind of regular communication patterns because everything was so unpredictable.
Why are you proud of your service member? He is the most honorable, brave and outstanding man I have ever known. He takes his service to our country very seriously and is humbled when anyone expresses respect and pride regarding his service. He doesn’t see himself as a hero or anything special. He just sees himself as another person doing their job. He embodies the Army values every day and I have such a great respect for that.
Have you experienced any negativity from anyone outside the military community? How did you handle it? I have had friends ask me why I would date someone in the military and why would I “put myself through” a long-distance relationship. Isn’t the answer the same for any relationship? I do it because I love him. If I’m really challenged about the military aspect of it, I just state that I am incredibly proud of everything he has done and continues to do and that I will always support him.
In 3 words, I would describe this life as… unpredictable, rewarding, amazing – I would not trade it for the world!
Please include the address of your blog or website so we can feature that also. heatherashleydz.blogspot.com