By Kitsana Dounglomchan
Something unexpected happened last week. I got an assignment to New Delhi, India.
It wasn’t entirely a surprise; I did apply for the position by clicking a button on the assignment management website, but I’ve clicked plenty of buttons on there before without anything happening.
This wasn’t the biggest surprise of the week. That came when I told my wife, Cassandra, about our new duty location.
Her first question was, “Can the dogs go?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, frustrated that she wasn’t displaying the level of enthusiasm I expected. And then she did something I never thought a military spouse at Cannon Air Force Base would do. She got upset at the thought of uprooting our lives yet again.
I was shocked, and we started arguing.
“This is a great opportunity to live overseas and travel the world,” I said. But none of this mattered to her — Cassandra has come to enjoy living in Clovis.
I don’t remember when it happened, but when I look back at the past year and a half I see how it all came together.
At 31, she decided to live by the adage “it’s never too late to go back to school,” so I transferred my G.I. bill to her, and she’s been attending Clovis Community College ever since.
She befriended a talented hairstylist, Shannon, after they started taking day trips to Lubbock. Now they’re always working on nifty crafts they’ve found on Pinterest and hosting crafting parties with other friends.
Truth told, I think these actually double as wine festivals.
Cassandra spends her Saturday mornings running 5k races around town with her friend, Maggie. And when there’s not a race, she drags me out of bed so we can loop around Colonial Golf course with our three dogs (we just got a puppy).
On nights when I get off work, she has dinner waiting for me in the oven. And when I was grinding 12-hour graveyard shifts last year, she would plan and pack my lunch and dinner for the everlasting night.
But I didn’t think about the life she had created for us in Clovis when I found out about India. I only thought about my career, and expected her to pick up and move without the slightest bit of trepidation.
But what powers this American military life is the foundation our families provide. “Happy wife, happy life,” my old boss once said. And if you have a spouse like Cassandra, you know how crucial they are to your success, as well as your sanity.
We made up the following day, and apologized to one another. She told me she was excited to be going to India. She’s just going to miss the routine we’ve grown accustomed to in Clovis.
It’s going to be strange going from a city of 37,775 residents to a metropolis of over 22 million. But no matter where the tides of the military take us, we’ll be happy together.
Kitsana Dounglomchan, an 11-year Air Force veteran, writes about his life and times for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: