Supporting Your Spouse During ALS (Airman Leadership School)

Ahhhh, going back to Anchors & Planes basics today… a new step in the military life. One of my most popular blog series is about Basic Training. After BMT, we headed for Tech, first duty station, multiple deployments, training’s, and most recently ALS (Airman Leadership School.)

My husband tested out of cycle post-recent deployment, and found out he made Staff Sergeant (SSgt / E-5) just a few days after our son was born. It was such a surprise to him, but not to me; he is a natural born servant -hearted leader. So the next steps included several testings, CDC’s and ALS. Your loved one, no matter the branch, may have to take the school at another base. Luckily, we got to stay together this time! His class was on base, so it was only a five minute commune. His time in the class was different then his normal work schedule, so Anakin didn’t get to spend much time with him during the week, but the weekend were our jam (when he wasn’t doing homework.)

Your loved one may mention a few events that are taking place during the class: Class potluck/ BBQ, flag ceremony, and graduation. My husband was very casual in mentioning them, and putting no pressure on me to go to them, but was clear in saying “you’re invited” and “kids welcomed” or “I think kids can’t go.” The BBQ was super casual, and I brought Anakin hoping to meet other new moms… but there were only small handful of spouses. Which was great because everyone wanted to meet our baby, but a little intimidating when the ALS teachers decided to sit with us *tries to act civilized.*

When Anakin and I came back a couple weeks later for the flag ceremony, I was shocked to see only one other spouse there. The ALS teacher and base commander came over to chat and play with Anakin. One looked at Anakin saying, “You won’t remember today, but your daddy will never forget you being here for him.” Y’all, I wanted to cry. No matter how busy I am, how tired I am, how piss-y Anakin is – we will always do whatever it takes to be there for Davis. Sometimes showing support is just showing up.

So unlike my previous posts about supporting your loved one in the military, I am going to ask my husband, Davis, about how he felt the past month…

How did you feel supported by me?
Davis: I felt supported by you watching Anakin all day. Even when I came home, you watched him everyday, all day.

How did you not feel supported?
Davis: I didn’t feel not supported.

Looking back, what would make you not feel supported? Like if I did these things, it would make your time in ALS harder?
Davis: Hmm, complain about schedule. Complain about how much homework I had to do in the beginning. If you didn’t going to graduation without a good reason.

What would be “a good reason” to miss graduation?
Davis: Not having a baby sitter that you trusted, working – stuff like that.

If you could give anyone advice going into ALS, what would it be?
Davis: Take good notes and manage your time wisely.

I hope you enjoyed this post! ALS is short time that plays a big part in our loved one’s military career. Here is a vlog from the day of the flag ceremony and graduation; overall it just shows you it doesn’t matter how your day is going or how you’re dressed – sometimes you gotta just show up!

Davis, I am so thankful for you. For your hard work, for your fatherly heart, for your servant-hearted leadership. I love our beautiful life together, our family – and giving all the glory to God!

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