A few weeks ago, Noah sat me down on the couch and said there was something he had to confess.
"I've been...on a website I don't think you'll be very happy about."
Turns out that was the most suggestive and potentially horrifying lead-in ever to tell me that he'd been looking into joining the Army National Guard. He wanted to become a soldier.
Anyone who has known Noah for any amount of time was surprised by his decision to become a police officer, and probably more surprised that he'd want to be in the Army. But as I've watched him change from a quiet, boyish guy into an exceptional man these past few years that I've been his wife, nothing surprises me anymore. I know that he is capable. Believing in him has helped me believe that I can do things I never thought I could, such as sleep alone in an empty house for many nights in a row, single parent a baby for days at a time, and reconsider my stance toward sci-fi.
We consulted several friends who have been in the Army and subsequently in the National Guard (and been deployed with both). I gave the okay to talk to a recruiter.
Noah's recruiter urged him to consider Officer Candidacy School (OCS). The NC National Guard is in dire need of officers, and Noah's qualifications make him a prime candidate. He's not one to brag (I, on the other hand, am): He scored in the 98th percentile when he took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test, which is the most widely used military aptitude test in the world. His recruiter said she'd never seen anyone score that high.
Now it's a matter of working out the details. What unit would he join? When and where would he go to basic training? What's his unit's place in line for overseas deployment, and are we okay with that? Would he take the longer, weekends-only route for OCS, or the faster but more intense (and a longer chunk of time away from home) route and go away to OCS? Etc. etc. etc.
This isn't a decision we're making lightly, or one we're making without tremendous ethical considerations. Since Noah joined the police, we've had to rethink and reevaluate our Ivory Tower beliefs about the use of force, the role of government, and war. In my experience, Noah's philosophical/faith dilemmas are precisely what make him excellent at what he does.
And just like that, I'm on my way to being an Army wife.