I received an email last night from our FRG President reminding me that we are only 1/2 way through this deployment..until then I hadn’t really thought about it..well I’ve tried NOT to think about it.
1/2 way. This can be seen as either a good thing or a very depressing thing. Last year my husband was deployed for 6.5 months. By that time frame he would already have been home, as it stands now we will be celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year and quite possibly Valentine’s Day before he gets home…and that is on top of already having spent the end of the school year, summer vacation, 2 birthdays and the start of a new school year without him….looking at it this way it feels almost like ground-hog day.
Everyone I talk to is shocked at how long this deployment is. Most are on average 7 months. Some extend to 9. Usually the only reason a sailor is away from home longer is if they are stationed on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan serving what is known as an IA or Individual Augmentation. As bad as a long deployment is, going IA is far worse….All I know is that just as I start to think we are moving towards the finish line, the finish line gets further away. AHHHHHHHHHHH!
I’ve never experienced loneliness quite like this before. If I were single I could at least enjoy a dinner date or movie or even a mindless one night stand (not that I would…but the option would at least be there). Being a married woman to a man in the military is not for the faint of heart or the weak minded.
This is a selfless position and you need to be prepared for it when it arrives, because trust me no matter how ‘flowers and candlelight’ your life may be right now there will come a day when it’s all gone and you are left in a cold bed cuddling a pillow when the lights go out.
Don’t get me wrong, is it worth it, of course. I have this great man, who when home romances me, does laundry, takes care of our kids and occasionally cooks dinner but most of all who does exist. Somewhere. Out there. Does that compensate for the lack of affection I feel? Sometimes. Do I cry for no reason, frequently. Do I shrug my shoulders when I’m asked when he’ll be home…all the time.
I know he is having as hard a time as I am. I at least have work, shopping, baseball and kids to distract me and push me forward. He has a steel house that he can’t get off of. He is surrounded by the same scene day in and day out, forced to deal with the same people 24/7 and if there are personality conflicts too bad, you can’t get away from them. The weaknesses I feel sometimes, I KNOW he feels too and as bad as I could a hug I know his need is sometimes greater.
The stress our military members feel has to be unbearable at times, they have to not only protect themselves but their fellow service members. They need to answer to a higher authority and I’m not talking about God right now. They shower in less than desirable circumstances, their beds would rival that of a toddler and there are days when those beds go unused. Some comforts of home can be mailed to them but when they get it is anyone’s guess.
I love my husband and if this deployment doesn’t prove that I’ll do anything for him, I’m not sure what will..lol
What I’ve learned being a military spouse is:
Military members sacrifice themselves for their country.
Military families sacrifice their families for love of their spouse.
Military members often survive on lack of sleep, poor living conditions and often eat meals that are nothing to write home about.
Military families often survive on lack of sleep out of worry for their service members, poor living conditions as the result of Murphys law…if something is going to go wrong it will while your spouse is deployed and as far as meals, I’m less than inspired to cook full-on feasts as my kids just don’t eat that much.
It’s amazing at how our lives here at home sometimes mirror, albeit relative to a fun house, the lives of our service members overseas. Maybe Gods way of helping us both relate better to each other when we are reunited?
Stay strong and know that we all share the same moon and the same sun and we can always see each other in our dreams.