Posted by CWO3 Chad Saylor, Friday, December 15, 2017
Once a month, Coast Guard All Hands will feature “Dear Coast Guard Family,” a column for Coast Guard families by Coast Guard spouse Rachel Conley. Rachel is married to her high school sweetheart, Chief Warrant Officer James Conley, and is the mother of three children. Rachel passionately serves as a Coast Guard Ombudsman and advocate of Coast Guard families. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the United States Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year Award.
Written by Rachel Conley
I can’t tell you that the days will always be easy – life is full of ups and downs, but hopefully, those trials and tribulations will make us stronger in the end.
When I met my husband (way back in high school), he had already made the decision to enlist in the Coast Guard. I knew from the very beginning that a life with him would also mean a life as a Coast Guard spouse. To be honest, I never thought twice, and just over 18 years ago I told him goodbye as he left for basic training. Eighteen years ago I had no idea what being a Coast Guard spouse would mean – we were young and dating at the time – but, today, I do. Today, I also know what it’s like to be a mother. I know what it’s like to stand on a pier, holding our children, while watching a cutter disappear into the distance. And, I know that as the cutter moves towards the horizon or as the plane departs, I will have to pick up our children and walk away. In that moment, I know that I have the ability to make the difference. I comfort, I reassure, I stand strong.
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