RaeLynn’s debut album, WildHorse, just hit No. 1, but her biggest fan, husband Josh Davis, won’t get to celebrate it with her. As a recent military enlistee, he’s been off at basic training since mid-February.
“I haven’t talked to him in three weeks, and I haven’t seen him in a month,” RaeLynn, 22, tells PEOPLE. “It’s crazy.”
The rising star prefers not to identify her 26-year-old husband’s branch of service – she says he, too, is keeping her identity under wraps at boot camp – but she will say he didn’t sign up to be a military desk jockey.
“He’s interested in just being a bad ass,” says the “Love Triangle” singer. Before he reported for duty, she adds, “my husband was rucking 65-lb. packs on his back doing 12-mile hikes a day.”
The couple, who met in 2014, married last year when Davis was working as a financial advisor.
Was it a shock when he told her that he wanted to enlist?
“He’s always talked about it,” she says, “and it’s something he’s always wanted to do, so I kind of had it in the back of my mind.”
With an older brother in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), RaeLynn is also well-acquainted with military life. She and her brother are “super close,” she says, so it quickly dawned on her that “of course the man I marry would want to do this!”
Now that she’s in a marriage that will no doubt endure long separations, she says, “we’re just gonna make it work. I would rather not see Josh but once a year and be married to [him] than be married to anybody else. He is the light of my life in so many ways … I’m just so thankful in every way and so grateful for him.”
Her brother’s wife, RaeLynn says, has been giving her advice on being a military wife: “She said there’s going to be days when you’re going to be pissed because he’s gone and he’s missing things, but at the end of the day, she [said], ‘The one thing I love about the military is it gives you no time to fight because you just always miss each other.’”
These days RaeLynn and her husband are restricted to staying in touch with old-fashioned letter-writing, and she’s finding it’s changing the way she communicates.
“When I’m sitting there writing, I’m not going to write down the negative things that have happened or bring up things,” she says. “I’m going to talk about how much I miss him and talk about the good things. Why focus on the bad when you only have a letter? … It’s so easy for me – or anybody – to get irritated and fire off text messages … But, you know, when you only have a certain amount of time with the person you love, you’re gonna think about what you say.”
His letters, she confesses, are “just super-mooshy-gooshy all the time” – something that keeps her checking her mailbox several times a day.
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RaeLynn’s also counting the days to Davis’ first 12-hour furlough on April 30. Ten days before that, she’ll be launching a headlining eight-stop club tour around the Midwest to support WildHorse.
She’s come up with something novel that she hopes will leave a lasting impression on fans: a half-hour after-concert dance party with a deejay.
And she’ll be out on the dance floor?
“Heck, yeah,” she says. “We’re going to figure out the security thing. Hopefully nothing crazy happens. It’s going to be great.”