Jessica Bertsch, president of Powerhouse Planning and proud 17-year military spouse to a CAPT in the U.S. Coast Guard

In 1976, my father-in-law wrote Nobody Asked Me But . . . and my husband, who is currently serving in the United States Coast Guard, recently sent it my way. I thought the write-up was brilliant, and I wanted to attempt to write it from a military spouse perspective. So, here you go . . .


The following is a list of what frustrates me to no end when it comes to being a military spouse:

  1. The 25+ deployments I have been through
  2. The endless nights of solo parenting
  3. The dang fire alarm that ONLY goes off at 2 a.m. when my husband is at sea
  4. The T.V. remote that never works once he ships out
  5. The ant invasion that happens day two into his deployment that means I now have to become the “exterminator”
  6. The car issues I have to deal with by myself and explain by noise and vocal demonstrations to the mechanic
  7. The selling of homes twice solo
  8. Reregistering my company in five different states
  9. Having to change my state of residency three times because of owning a business
  10. Dealing with a break-in and going to court solo to provide a statement to the judge
  11. Registering the kids for doctors and dentists every. single. move
  12. Finding a new church every. single. move
  13. Building a sense of community every. single. move
  14. Chasing a squirrel out of my house while my husband was at sea (Thanks, Tim and Ron, for helping me on that one. That’s the best defense I’ve ever seen in a noncompetitive sport.)
  15. Evacuating from two hurricanes with three small children and a dog (which was made even more frustrating when all the stores ran out of ice, so I was “forced” to buy boxed wine so the wine bags could serve as ice bags to keep my food cold)
  16. Sending a dog to heaven solo
  17. Finding a leak in the ceiling of our first home only to realize the home was infested with black mold and being removed for months while the home was tarped, gutted, and remodeled
  18. Having to explain that the U.S. Coast Guard is indeed part of the military
  19. Having to explain what the U.S. Coast Guard does
  20. Having to answer the question “How do you do it?” a thousand times over the past 17 years
  21. Not being able to travel internationally easily because my spouse needs special permission
  22. Not being able to take vacation easily or on a whim because my spouse needs permission
  23. Not ever having a spouse that is settled in a career because he is essentially restarting his career every two to three years
  24. Having a spouse who has a PhD but makes only a portion of his worth
  25. Dealing with a horrible dental plan (currently we pay out of pocket for ours)

But the thing I hate most is that I love it.

I love the other spouses and friends I’ve met on this journey.

I love that I’m married to a man who has given so selflessly to our country.

I love that throughout his career journey he has seen me as an equal and provided me a place to share my dreams, hopes, and wishes and has worked tirelessly to provide me fulfillment too along the way.

I love that I’ve been forced to learn a ton of things the hard way, but, man, it’s made me strong.

I am grateful for this military spouse walk and can proudly look back at every single home we’ve had and see blessings each step of the way.

Onward I go to keep loving this crazy life we’ve built.

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Jessica Bertsch is a proud Coastie wife and mom to three children. In her “spare” time she runs Powerhouse Planning, LLC: