Why did you tell me that you can’t be a military spouse if you can’t drive? I’m a new Air Force spouse, a college student in my mid 20s. In June, I started to experience symptoms that have caused me to lose my ability to drive. When we were in California, this wasn’t much of an issue—everything was within walking distance of where we lived.
Now we are stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB, in the deepest darkest suburbs of Ohio. No driving has started to take a toll, leaving me feeling socially and geographically isolated. My condition has not been diagnosed and I have no idea if this will be a long-term or short-term problem. I have been to several doctors and specialists, but as of now, my life is my home when my husband is at work.
I have been told that my role in my husband’s career is essential and necessary (apparently officer wife function are vital). But going to any kind of meeting is entirely dependent on my wonderful husband’s availability which is limited –as you all know!
I see many of the club meetings are held in the mid-day at the base and I have no way of getting there. Public transportation in this area is limited. Even when available, it is also dirty, long, and not very safe. The cab system here is even thinner and very expensive.
I also do not have children, and in no way do my husband or I ever want any. This creates a huge problem in the Air Force where everything is very “family” (i.e. child) orientated. Being a young couple, most all the other people we know have children. We love to have fun in the spur of the moment, but feel we (I) can no longer experience life to its fullest.
So, what is a military spouse to do at this point? How can I become more involved not just in our military life but in my own life without the ability to drive? How will the spouse community view my situation? Is it better I stay behind the scenes until things are figured out?
I ask you spouses to try and understand how to better my situation. I do not work, not because my medical issues prevent me from holding a job, but since I cannot drive this removes my ability to get to any employment. I need help trying to figure something out in this foreign state, and foreign situation. Any suggestions are utterly appreciated!
Hayley is an Air Force Spouse currently located in Ohio.
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