KellyI don’t live the life I envisioned for myself. Growing up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, I had a very close family and tight-knit friend group. Honestly, I never saw myself leaving. I loved my home because it was all I had ever known – I even attended college in Pennsylvania. My life and my future changed when I met my husband.

I am proud to be married to my hero, Staff Sergeant Jonathan Kelly, who serves in the United States Air Force. Our love story began when we met through mutual friends. One of the first things I said to him was, “Hey my first name is Kelly and your last name is Kelly. We should get married.” Here I am five years later with the name Kelly Kelly!

My husband joined the Air Force in 2012 after following in the footsteps of his family members. Both of his parents served in the Navy and his great-grandfather was the first-ever Navy Frogman, John P. Spence. The military is what his family knew best and Jon was eager to serve his country. Jon and I married in May of 2013, and moved cross country the same weekend. I still remember when Jon got the call that determined his first duty station – Tucson, Arizona. Until that moment, I didn’t even know where Tucson was. I soon found out I would be moving to the desert and although I was nervous, I felt ready to take on the adventure with my best friend and husband. The transition of leaving my home, career, and friends behind was not easy, but I have no regrets.

I once read an article that said every military spouse has a box of curtains from each house they lived in. The curtains never seem to fit the windows once you move to a new location, but you keep the curtains anyway because they each tell a story.

The past five years have been filled with ups and downs, including employment, unemployment and deployments, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I have met some of the most wonderful people at each of my husband’s duty stations. People who have come from all over the United States to serve their country and to serve their loved ones in the silent ranks of being a military spouse. When I look back at the adversities my husband and I have endured in just five years of marriage, I realize that I need to give myself a little more credit for developing the strength and perseverance I have now.

It takes a strong person to be a military spouse. Believe it or not, every single one of us is strong. Sometimes we don’t know it and sometimes we don’t feel it. It’s like that old saying, “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.” For me, being a military spouse meant choosing a life full of unknowns, but knowing that I didn’t want any other life. I always try to remember that if you have each other, everything else will fall into place. Houses and locations can change but love will stay the same. That is what being a military spouse means to me.

– Kelly Kelly, Hire Heroes USA Transition Specialist