Well, now is as good a time as any to check out the different Armed Forces and see what each offers: www.goarmy.com www.navy.mil www.airforce.com www.af.mil
The chances of your being stationed in Europe are as good as anyone else....The Needs of the Army/Air Force/Navy/Coast Guard come first, of course. That is what the "wish list" or "dream sheet" is all about
As for shorter deployments and dwell time: While it is true that the Army is attempting to make at home dwell time ~ 3 years for every year deployed (see June 8, 2009 Army Times, pg 22), both the Navy and Air Force have shorter deployments and longer dwell time, I believe. There are numerous postings on All Nurses regarding this very subject. Then again, by the time your wife graduates, has her application packet accepted, who knows where we will be (politically and militarily speaking). Besides the fact we have service members at 2 "fronts", we also have service members stationed in: Japan, Korea, Africa, Sinai, Honduras, Cuba, Kosovo, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Germany, Italy.....
I know some spouses of AD who are professional teachers teach ESL, but I am not sure about your being able to find employment on or off post/base.
Will you feel ostracized as a male? You will be a member of a far larger "family": a Military Family. There are thousands of male spouses who are married or in a committed relationship with a female Soldier/Sailor/Airmen. Being in the Armed Services is what you make of it, and what you take from it. No need to mention why you are unable to "join"....You are supportive of your spouse: that speaks VOLUMES to me!
You ask "How do you explain this commitment to your family who is worried about sending their daughter into combat?" You don't. She should. It seems to me she has already explained her reasoning with the person who most matters at this point in her life: YOU.
Make sure your wife speaks with a Health Care Recruiter
no matter which service she is looking into.
Good Luck to you and your wife. And welcome to All Nurses!