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The Story: Why it's called "My Longest Year"


His Longest Year

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    A few pictures from J.'s Longest Year...

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I stopped to say a prayer for military spouses after reading your post. Thank you and your husband for your service to our country. I know you have both sacrificed. Congratulations on your new future and may God be with you.

Congratulations on the new chapter of your family's life! You'll be able to take all that you've learned over these past years of military life, become this amazing "civilian" woman who has so much to teach others, those may not understand the whys etc. of military life. What a blessing you will be able to be to those around your family!
I agree with your mom, you'll always be "military". I've seen it in the friends of ours who have gotten out - they still have all the "military" without being in the military.

May God bless each and every one of your steps.


I stumbled across your blog through a link to one of your aprons but this post really grabbed me. Congratulations to your family on the new job and adventures ahead and thank you for all that you've sacrificed. I am so sorry for all of the politics that you've had to deal with during his deployment. I can't even imagine. The deployment itself would be hard enough but not feeling supported has to make it that much more difficult. Fortunately I come from an area where for the most part people support our troops and what they are doing. At a local parade yesterday the entire crowd stood and clapped every time a military group passed by. I wish our troops and families like yours could feel that type of support every day.

Thank you for sharing your honest feelings here.

Crystal - What a great post. I read it quickly on Friday, but came back to read it again today. First, congrats to J on his new job. I know it will be stressful to move, new job, etc, but exciting at the same time. Secondly, you summed up alot of my thoughts. My husband was only in for 5 years, but it defined alot of how we act now, our friends, etc. Sometimes I think I miss it more than he does b/c I miss the friendships, the patriotism, etc. I think thats why I read so many military blogs and try to stay in touch & connected. Beautifully written. Best of luck to you all.

Congratulations, Crystal,J and E! on your news, on all the new adventures to come, and for all that you have learned from this present/past in the military. I am grateful for everything your family has sacrificed and could not forget that for a single moment...not a chance. Have faith that your new world appreciates that reality and will help you turn this corner. You will not be alone. Happy Mother's Day, my friend. xoC

I am in tears what a great post!! Congrats to your family, best wishes on your new journey.

You are an inspiration to military and civilian wives alike. The grace and dignity you emote in your writings provide an accurate representation of what is a 'true' military wife. I am not lying when I say that I am a bit jealous that your family is entering the civilian are correct when saying that it is a difficult time to be associated with the Army. I wish you the best of luck in all that you do and know that there are women around this world that look up to you and your ways. C., J., and E. may you be blessed and happy in North Carolina...go South!

Bless your heart! We're currently on deployment #4 in 5 years (3rd combat tour to Iraq). Your blog certainly hit home!

Kudos on "graduating" to civilian life!!

What an amazing and poignant post. You expressed so well something that I have a hard time saying sometimes, and I'm just a girl who was raised a military brat to a 20 year daddy in the Army. You're right - I really think that it is impossible to understand outside the 'circle'. So many thoughts with you and your husband as you make this very strange and new transition in life. I hope for you both that it turns out amazingly, and you can find the same level of love and respect in your 'new life'.

beautifully written. congrats on the new opportunity! that is exciting! you will always be a military wife- and will probably encourage and inspire other military wives because you have "been there and done that" and you will always get it. i like how you have emphasized how much the military has meant and defined YOU. i feel the same even though i have never put on the uniform. many spouses will say things like "HE is in the military I am NOT" but i just don't see it that way. my life is dictated by the military so i serve in my own way :) best wishes for many good adventures ahead!

Hello, little girl :) I will echo the sentiments left here by your friends... we are proud of James, and of your family; of all that you have done to make this world a better place at your own expense... And remember--they can take the wo/man out of the military, but they can never take the military out of the wo/man. It forever defines you.

love u,
mom xo

Thank you for posting this. It's good to know how soldiers and their families view their service to our country. I want you to know that most of us who are quietly going about our lives feel deep respect and gratitude to those who willingly sacrifice and face hardship and separation from family to fulfill their mission. We just don't gather at the gates of military posts with signs -- and maybe we should.

God bless you and your family in the next chapter of your lives. Even though you're leaving the Army, it will always be a part of you and nothing will change that.

Thank you Crystal for this beautiful post. I can only imagine your feelings right now.

You will always be a military wife :) You will always understand. Your amazing positivity and pride while J was deployed inspired me and I am sure so many others.

The experience has built character you will carry with you into your post active-military life. You are now just an alumni of this crowd! Any time you want to check back in I will be happy to share sob stories.


ack! i'm in tears reading this! i'm an ex army wife and my entire family is army...i completely understand.

congrats to the hubby on his new job! and from this texan, i completely understand why you wouldn't want to be there for too long!

This, of course, hits home. I do the same - try not to discuss my feelings about these things - because I know that people "in the real world" just wouldn't get it. Well, please know that I got it. I hope you all love NC, it's a beautiful state!

I just found your blog recently and have admired your crafty creations...I guess I'm hoping your creativity will somehow rub off on me if I read your blog and look at your photos!:)

Anyway, I don't have personal experience in the military, but I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am to your husband, you, your daughter and all the other military families you represent. I am honored and humbled that you have given so much for all of us. Thank you.

God bless you and your family as you close this chapter of your lives and open the next. I hope your experience in the Army will somehow prove to be instrumental in making a huge impact in the lives of the people you meet as you go forward.

This post is dripping with pride! I admire you for that. Be proud of who you are and the road you have travelled. I'm happy I read today.

What a personal and honest blog post.

I will not dare to say that I understand. I don't. I don't understand any of what you (military families) go through on a daily basis.

I will not dare to discuss my (or your, or anyone's) specific political feelings. They do not matter. Opinion are just that. Support and love are all that I can share.

I will say thank you for all that you have endured and for all that you are about to accept in this world of people who do not understand.

I will say good luck and best wishes and travel safe and that I hope that you find the life that you are dreaming of waiting out there for you.

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