Until about a year ago, my military knowledge came solely from movies like Pearl Harbor and Major Payne. I’ve always respected our military men and women, but never gave any thought to the lives they lead day to day. That is until I got on Bumble and met an officer in the US Army, and let me just say that it has been eye opening.
You know all of the badass stuff you see in the movies? Yeah, he doesn’t really do that. Even though my boyfriend, let’s call him The Lieutenant, continuously trains for combat, he has a desk job just like the rest of us.
Also like the rest of us, The Lieutenant is the low man on the workforce totem pole; only in his case it’s the Army officer totem pole. He’s younger than most of the men and women in his unit by at least 10 years, and he catches a lot of shit for it. The older people in his unit like to make jokes about him needing a permission slip from his parents to go on any deployments and how all of his combat gear needs to be child proof.
Apparently the military is not like the movies where every soldier is young and looks like Ben Affleck. Kind of a shame…
One of the biggest things I’ve had to get used to when interacting with The Lieutenant and his Army friends is their FOMO, or fear of missing out. It’s real, and it’s 10 times worse than it is for civilians. They miss countless major events in their friends’ and families’ lives because of their military duties, and sometimes they have major anxiety about it.
By the end of his first deployment, The Lieutenant will have missed 5 of best friends’ weddings, an entire football season, and most importantly my 25th birthday. We all have to make sacrifices, people.
Aside from the kick ass health insurance if The Lieutenant and I were to ever get married (if you’re reading this, notice how I said IF), one of the biggest perks of being in a relationship with a military man or woman is the Military Balls. Imagine a fraternity formal but with better booze and food and people who can actually hold their liquor. You also get to rage with older people who have seen some serious shit. I don’t think I’ve ever been surrounded by so many people who could drink me under the table, and that’s saying something.
Following this, you usually get to late night with some very high ranking officers at an Outback Steakhouse (true story) or something similar. If that’s not a party, I don’t know what is.
So even though defending our nation can sometimes looks like a bunch of guys in cubicles, I’m incredibly thankful for The Lieutenant and all of the other military men and women who dedicate their lives to make ours easier. My advice to the rest of you is to get on the dating app of your choice and find someone in the armed services. You’ll learn to appreciate them even more, and it’s actually working for me..