I'm a Military Blogger


Monday, February 1, 2010


Contrary to what you're thinking, I'm not homesick for Utah. No, that nanny state can kiss my butt. I'm homesick for Missouri..the location of our first base.

I don't know what it was about that state or that base, I just cannot let it go. Fort Leonard Wood, as a base, was a little piece of nothing in the middle of nowhere. But that's precisely what was so amazing about it. That was the smallest, most rural town I have ever lived in. I forgot how wonderful it was to not have people swarming all over the place.

Part of it, though, revolves around the fact that Missouri was the site of a lot of firsts:

1) First alcoholic drink (Mmm St. Louis)
2) First anniversary
3) First official military base
4) First time renting an apartment without my parents help
5) First time driving/Navigating across the country
6) First time moving/living "out of state"

My decision to move to Missouri was a rash one. It was criticized by everyone from family to friends to random strangers. I mean come on!! Who moves to a base in the middle of Missouri for 3 months just so you can be closer to your husband for the last bit of training? I do, that's who.

Just reminiscing now, that was quite an adventure. I left Salt Lake City on July 29 with absolutely no prospects for an apartment. As far as I was concerned, I would be living out of hotels for the first few weeks. I managed to book a week at a budget motel and swore to apartment-hunt while I was there. Shortly after leaving I received a call from a guy in Missouri renting out a basement apartment.

2 days later I was pulling through the gates at Fort Leonard Wood, absolutely TERRIFIED of the place. I was a stranger in a new state. I had no knowledge of the area and I was utterly lost. It took me a solid 2 weeks to even get my bearings of the base and avoid getting completely lost. I was living in a room in the basement of another couple's house, but managed to find a little short-term studio rental for the last 2 months.

That first month in Missouri was AWFUL. My car broke down and required $1,200 in repairs, the humidity absolutely killed me, I hated my living arrangement, and I only saw my husband on the weekends because he was so busy with school. I spent most of my days browsing around the base or else hanging out alone at Walmart with everyone else in the town. I despised Missouri.

Luckily, things turned around the 2nd month. We went to St. Louis and I fell absolutely in love with that city. We made several more weekend trips to St. Louis, and I got to hang out with my husband's friends. We went to movies, we went to the local dance that I think about it, St. Robert epitomized everything that movies portray small towns to be. It was SO small, so quaint, as almost all towns in Missouri are, but it had character and life. It was empty, but full of love. Fort Leonard Wood was a very welcoming base. It was small so it felt like you were really part of a base family. I had a lot of great experience in Missouri, from the weekend parties at my apartment, to being a regular at Applebees, to catching my neighbor naked in the hallway, to getting a Federal speeding ticket (which, btw...if you're going to get a speeding ticket, get a federal one. They're so cheap!) Of everything of note that has happened to me in the past year, 90% of it occurred in Missouri.

I didn't realize it until I left, but Missouri/Fort Leonard Wood actually really grew on me. I don't ever remember experiencing any kind of home sickness for Utah while I was gone, which is why it's so strange now to be in California longing for that home-town feel again. Camp Pendleton just is not the same. My first time on Camp Pendleton was just confusion. It's so big and it has NO trees. I don't even go onto that base if I can avoid it. It just feels to foreign and there's really no need for me to go there anyways. Fort Leonard Wood just had something about it that made me feel home. The day we left it POURED. I was completely drenched just running from the PX to the car. I like to think that maybe that torrential downpour (the worst since I was there) was Missouri saying goodbye.

And I know all of this is extremely sappy and cheesy, but I really can't convey it any other way. My experience in Missouri was COMPLETELY abnormal to what most people experienced at "Fort Lost in the Woods" but there was just something so new and amazing about it that I would give anything to go back in time 3 months to be living in Missouri again. I proposed that idea to DH and he said "ick what a po-dunk town. I hate that state" and it makes me sad that he doesn't appreciate Missouri like I do.

Oh well, maybe I can talk him into going back to St. Louis. That city is amazing after all.

Click here to listen to "Missin' Missouri"


amanda said...

oh sheesh lol. You are a strange one. But if you like vacationing @ St. Louis, I think that you will love Chicago =) we might go this year and I'm taking u dammit!

Jes said...

You're right, you're experience at the wood is COMPLETELY abnormal! We're stationed here now and CANNOT wait to get out of here! Yeah, we've made some good friends, and have actually enjoyed our time here because of them, I long to be closer than 45 minutes from a Target and have more than 3 decent restaurants to choose from when we want to go out to dinner!

Glad you enjoyed your time here and have fond memories of this place. We do too, but I'm sure we won't look back once we're gone!