I am married to a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine. Specifically, married to a Chief Engineer. Thus the name Snipe Wife. While in some circles “Snipe” is a derogatory term for engineers, I use it with pride and affection. Ours is not an unique situation but it is far less common than most. This is for everyone who asks me what is the Merchant Marine and how do I handle the “life”.

I am not a military wife nor a single mother–two demographics that I give the utmost respect. Theirs’ is a far harder life than I will ever live. I shy away from being compared to them. And I try not to complain.

That is not to say mine is not without trials and joys that I think will resonate with most readers. My trials and joys just have an added twist of DH being at sea 5-7 months out of the year.

I hope you enjoy these musings and learn a thing or two along the way about the U.S. Merchant Marine.

**Oct. 14, 2011–while I agree that I want my main purpose to be about the Merchant Marine and the “life”, I have been recently diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and I find myself posting a great deal about that. I am trying to tie those posts into how it relates to the Chief being gone or home, and its effects on the children as well as the “life”. Stress plays a big part of things, whether I’m ill or well, and this “life” is definitely stressful. I’m not creating a separate Page yet as I hope life will return to a new normal and the PsA will just be part of that new reality without any major problems.

Thank you to all who have found my blog and who follow me. I appreciate all the kind words.


  1. All are invited to check out the posts and links at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PMMC-NLUS. Sign up if interested. Better yet, join the Navy League and the Pacific Merchant Marine Council. I would be pleased to be your sponsor. No requirements besides being a US citizen and paying the dues. Members worldwide. Also see http://www.navyleague.org/membershp.

  2. Hi it’s Chris here…..it is taking me awhile to hand out the 3 awards but today it is you! Congratulations!

    • WooHoo! Do I get a badge to post on my blog? Thank you so much for visiting and promoting my little ol’ blog!

  3. Hi! I know I haven’t commented in a long while, but I’ve been reading… I really have!! I was awarded a Liebster Blog award for up and coming blogs with promise, under 200 daily followers. Tune in tomorrow to accept it, if you like! 🙂
    Happy Blogging!

    • Cool! I need to remember to pass on the awards I’ve been given–I wasn’t sure about how to go about doing that. This will make me get on the ball!

  4. Hi! I finally was able to post about the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you again for thinking of me! 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog and hope this award brings more followers to do the same.

  5. Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with arthiritis now, and for other reasons that made me face several years of living with chronic pain, I think I can relate to how you feel about having this condition. Sending you my best thoughts and wishes! 🙂

  6. Oh! I can’t wait to read your blog! It’s so nice to ‘meet’ you!

  7. Good to know there are others out there dealing with this life of being a Merchant Mariner’s wife.

    • ooo! You need to check out Enchanted Seashells–she’s a tug captain’s wife! Please join us!

      • Great, thanks!!

  8. I wish you well with coping with and recovery/acceptance of your ‘PA’. I remember one grandmother had server arthritis – and ended up moving to FL in her later years. My DH travels a bit too (though not as much as yours). And it is different being empty nesters now. As our family grows and shrinks we have different issues to cope with. Aging parents and grandchildren, both blessings in their own way.

    Thank you for visiting my Mindful 4 (Jan) post.

    Happy New Year.

    • I am truly grateful for advances in modern medicine. While I would never have wanted to develop the disease the medicines make it managable. I’m hoping that my children are spared PsA but hope that years from now they have a cure or the ability to go into remission without weekly shots. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Howdy from Nashville Snipe Wife! Happy to meet you through our mutual fun friend, Enchanted Seashells. Cheers!

  10. How is being a Merchant Marine wife different from that of a Naval wife? I must be missing something. Very nice to meet you, by the way.

    • I certainly give more respect and honor to military wives. Not all merchant mariner jobs are the same but for me, when the Chief is home, he’s home and we’re not worrying about where the next job will come from. And he doesn’t have to go to work like the Navy guys do (he just works for me). We don’t have to move every so many years–we can live where ever as long as he can get to an airport. I have lived within 40 minutes of both our families for over 17 years. Again, not every job is the same but we’ve never had 6 months deployments. There are other minor things like we don’t have a wives group, don’t live on base, do not have commissary priviledges … but those things are minor compared to the sacrifices military families make. I can call the ship directly if there is an emergency, any time day or night. I doubt a Navy wife would dare that. Yes, the merchant marine can be called into service in times of war and many sail in the Ready Reserve Fleet or Military Sealift Command (I think that name changed recently). International piracy is a big thing we face if they sail international waters and ports. Nice to meet you too and thanks for the kind note. I just try to keep it a little humble–military spouses are a special breed!

      • I see the differences, but you both make the sacrifices for the love of your husbands – that’s wonderful.

  11. I just got done checking out your blog and really enjoyed the visit. Being that you do advocate military spouses, I had a quick question and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks!


    • Sure. What’s your question?

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