Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Officer and A Gentleman…A Family Story- Guest Post by Simi Rush

I have a very high admiration and respect for military wives. They deal with long deployments and many are raising children as a single parent for long stretches of time. They have the stress of a spouse so very far away and when they do return they have to deal with what can sometimes be a rough transition for the family. Simi Rush is one of my dearest friends. She is married to a fantastic guy who is also a military man. Together they have a beautiful son named Ronin. I asked Simi to tell us a little bit about the realities of being a military wife. 

When Elissa asked me to write about being a military spouse,I thought to myself “sure, no problem.”  I went for it. I started writing away about my life now; a full time mom with a full time job, juggling life as a single parent with a very busy two year old and a “gone again” naval officer. I re-read it and realized how negative I sounded, and how the post read as “woe is me.” Truth is: I don’t feel that way! Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I cry in my car listening to a song that reminds me of him, or feel a deep sense of sadness when I realize how dad hasn't experienced all the milestones hit by our little guy, but all in all, I know this is the life I was meant to be in.

So, I scrapped what I wrote and have decided to keep it real…at least from my perspective. 

Here’s my story:

I have been married for 7 years to an incredibly awesome man- his new nickname among his peers at work is “BTR” (Big Time Rush- Rush is our last name). Ask, Elissa, she gave him the good ole Mexican family grill when we first started dating over dessert and tea in Hillcrest. She might correct me, but I think he got the OK “nod.” I remember telling my sister (Elissa’s Boo) that if someone were to bet me a million dollars if this was the man I was going to end up with, I would have put my money on his number!

Fast forward seven years after being married and all kinds of Navy adventures: 4 deployments, port visits in Thailand, Dubai, Bahrain; moves to Monterey, CA; Newport, RI, and then back to where we call “home,” in San Diego, CA. Then, adding a little guy to our family in 2010-- all I can say is the military life provides a lot of adventure and change.  

The Navy is also rich with traditions and customs.  Anytime you are on a Navy ship there are all kinds of bells and whistles (literally), and each symbolizes something. It’s pretty cool to be part of.  In addition to that, the military has its own language. I remember one of my first gifts- it was a Navy dictionary, filled with acronyms and what everything means. I swear half the time I talk in all acronyms and life gets really wild when acronyms from 2 parts of your life overlap. Whoa! Let’s just say, I have learned to read a lot of Navy lingo- from paychecks to orders. I admit that I kind of enjoy it now, and sometimes have to remind myself around non- military friends and newly minted military spouses they don’t understand and often explain all the nitty gritty details.

The military takes care of their own. There are so many resources available, that it’s almost hard to sift through what is what. Each “command,”the place that each sailor is assigned to, has the distinct responsibility of taking care of each service member and their families. When my husband was selected to take on the job of executive and then commanding officer, the Navy sent us both to school—to train us on how to take care of our Navy families. It is a choice, so I have chosen to help by reaching out to the wives and other family members and try to schedule events to let them know that I am right “there”with them.  In part, I hope to dispel the perception that if you are an officer’s spouse that life is easier. There are no special “perks,” and contrary to what some believe, there are many added stresses for the commanding officer, because no matter what happens, if there is any sort of snafu, it’s “game over” career wise.  As a spouse of someone in this role, it’s incredibly important to listen and be supportive, because they are often the receivers and have to help everyone else.

We are an on-the-go family. We have been that way since we have been together. So when daddy is away, we keep incredibly busy to help the time pass. I do what I can to focus on spending quality time with my little guy,and admit I feel selfish for getting to have all the special memories and moments without having to share him with anyone.

We have less than 100 days to go on this deployment… I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive network of people in my life: my family- my sister has flown from Chicago more times than I can count to spend time with us, my parents come down as often as they can, and my other sister has put thousands of miles on her car driving back and forth from LA to watch the little guy when I need a break.  My non-military friends, who know that I am better when I keep busy; so they come over for wine nights, offer up their babysitting services, and schedule girl’s nights out. 

Then, there are my military friends,who I now call my “sweeper sisters,” who are in the thick of it, just like I am. I admit, that it is sometimes easier to hang with my military friends when he’s gone because they just get it- they never ask “when is he coming home,” or“how do you do it?” They do it, too. It’s a reality we all go through, and the solidarity that comes with this unspoken understanding, is like free therapy. We can bitch and laugh at the same time.And, if someone’s special someone is to come home sooner than the others’ we relish with them at becoming “whole” again, but also know the challenge there union can bring—getting back into a routine when daddy has been away takes time and patience.

Finally, I am able to be the Navy wife because I picked the best person to share this life with. I truly did marry the Officer and the Gentleman. Although it’s not ideal, I guess I knew a little bit of what I was signing up for when we fell in love. We communicate sometimes more than our“never gone” married counterparts (#lovetechnology). We know how precious the time is and how important it is to communicate our day to day to keep each other in the know. I am lucky to have a guy whose work persona is different than who he is as a dad, a partner, a friend, a son, and a brother.

So, stay tuned for our next adventure. I am sure it will be ripe with just enough change to make us feel like we are turning the page in a new chapter of a great book!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Simi. 
And for the record your husband passed my interrogation with flying colors! I would have married you two right there at Extraordinary

Do you have a question for Simi? Or are you a military spouse yourself? 
Leave us a comment we would love to hear from you.

- Simi Rush is currently a Grant Manager, a wife and Mommy to 2 year old Ronin. Her favorite things to do with her son are to practice facial expressions in the mirror and chasing him around the park. She has a freakishly good memory. She is the only person who has made me laugh so hard that my face was literally sore the next day. 


  1. Simi, You are an inspiration as a mama, a wife and a friend. The love that emanates from you and Eddie when you are together is blinding. Keep on shining!

    1. Awww, this comment warmed my heart (Thanks SMenefee)!

      Simi, you and your hubby sound like a rock-star couple! Thanks for sharing your story with HerMamas.com!

    2. Thanks Irene!! You are welcome!

    3. Sondra- Miss you guys!! You do it, too (Mrs. Coast Guard Spouse)!!


Comment aka Props!