ST. JOSEPH, Mo. --
Balancing civilian and military life, finding reliable daycares for the children and preparing for deployments can feel like a juggling act for some dual-military families. However, the Antes’ say there’s no challenge they haven’t been able to overcome.
Master Sgt. Chris Antes, 241st Air Traffic Control Squadron specialist, and Capt. Audra Antes, 139th Medical Group clinical nurse, both serve in the Air National Guard and work together to support their family and get the mission done. Chris works full time at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base and Audra has two civilian jobs on top of her traditional Guard duties. They say the secret to their success is open communication and Google Calendar.
“Google Calendar has been a life saver,” Audra says. “And also trying to communicate, sending reminders and just having face-to-face conversations.”
“We both can talk to each other and understand the ups and downs of the military,” Chris adds. “It helps us talk about our military careers as opposed to, maybe, a spouse who doesn’t understand.”
The Antes’ met when they both enlisted in the 241st in the early 2000s, and married in 2011. They both reached the rank of master sergeant in the 241st when Audra decided to commission to the medical group after some encouragement from Chris. He says he is proud to salute her.
“She earned those bars,” Chris said. “I get a front row seat to her professional career, so I’m pretty proud of her.”
The Antes’ try to stay involved in as many military opportunities as they can as well as involved in their family life. They recently deployed with the 241st to Hawaii together. Chris organized the trip for the 241st, and Audra served as medical support. When they’re on deployments together or working drill weekends they say they’re blessed to have their families to help out with their two children.
“Our family, friends and neighbors have been there to help us out when one or both of us are gone,” Audra said. “We are super lucky.”
Over all the struggles of being dual-military, the Antes’ say the best part is getting to experience the world together.
“I’ve stayed in the military because it’s an adventure,” said Chris. “And I get to share that adventure with her.”