Larry Boyd (Spouse Spotlight)
FOR: R&R Pacific
16 May 2012
BY: Stephanie Lundberg
Larry Boyd is many things: a veteran, an ordained minister, and an at-home father to two children. He also happens to be a military spouse.
Boyd served in the Air Force for 17 years as a training specialist, and medically separated in 1993 shortly after serving in Desert Storm. He met his wife, Lt. Col. Donnette A. P. Boyd, 36th Wing Chaplain at Andersen Air Force, a few months later while she was attending squadron officer school at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
“We left Moody for Germany, Ramstein Air Force Base, that was in 1994. We left there in 1997 and relocated to – she was a line officer then, and that was when she decided, we as a family decided for her to become a chaplain, so she returned to Montgomery, Ala. for seminary,” said Boyd.
That call to lead people in faith is something that the Boyds share; Boyd preaches gospel services at Andersen on a rotational basis, and he graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary with Bachelor of Science in Theology in May of this year.
“It was something that I really wanted to do deep down, but never really had the time. Early on, because I was a training specialist, I worked in that for years. And then when the opportunity presented itself, I said ‘yeah, that’s what I really want to do.’ I realized that there was a calling in my life…I love [it], I love being in the pulpit. I have a tendency to always gear [my sermons] toward God’s love, because it’s impossible to please him without love.”
Boyd is also enthusiastic about his role as a stay-at-home dad to his daughter Verily, 16, and his son Joshua, 11. Although Boyd says staying home required an adjustment on his part at first, seeing his mother take on the bulk of the traditional housework as he grew up gave him a different perspective going into his own marriage.
“I had to really adjust, you know, because I grew up in that traditional home where the father was the breadwinner, the father went and worked every day, and my mother, she worked as well, but [she] cleaned the house and so on. [Seeing] your mom cooking three meals a day, cleaning, washing – I said when I get married my wife will not have to do that on a regular basis. So that’s what I brought to the table – I do all washing, I do all the cleaning, I do all the cooking.”
“I’m going to continue to be in this role, because of my kids,” Boyd continues. “I’m going to continue doing the stay-home dad thing until my son graduates, and then I’ll return back to the working world. I see the benefits of me being at home, or at least of a parent being at home.”
Having taken on several different roles over the years, Boyd can offer counsel to those who are seeking to make similar transitions. For those seeking to make a move from the workplace to the home, he advises optimism. “[My wife recently] met a young couple who just got married, and this is his first assignment as a stay-at-home dad, and he’s miserable. And I hear a lot of those stories. My advice for them would be to stay positive; to welcome the challenge, and keep themselves busy.”
Boyd also notes that the shift from military to civilian life is just as challenging, particularly if one’s spouse remains in the military. “That transition is difficult, from dawning the uniform everyday to then becoming a [civilian]. What was a challenge for me was learning my wife’s social security number, because everything now is about the sponsor. But my advice would be to them is to find a hobby. Find something that will fill in that gap, whether they need to volunteer or [do something else].”
Finally, Boyd emphasized the importance of maintaining the bonds of family, whether it is between a husband and wife or parents and their children. “I would never have actually said or thought this back in the day – I remember hearing it, but I was like no, there wouldn’t be a need for me, not my family – but planning; you have to plan dates, you have to plan time. My wife and I have date nights, and we also have planned outings with the kids. So you definitely have to plan, because you can so easily get pulled in so many different directions.”