Deployment - The Army Wife Story
Deployment ~ The Army Wife Story
(This is a multi-part hub)
So here I am going through a second deployment (to the land of sand) with my soldier and hating every minute of it. The first deployment was hard, but did not seem nearly as bad as this one. I think a lot of this stems from things that I have seen on the news since his last deployment; i.e. soldiers driving their vehicles over IED, mortars and rockets being dropped out of the sky to anywhere possible, PTSD, death, just to name a few. Then I have my emotions playing SO MANY tricks on me, it’s like I am starring a bad horror film that I can’t get out of. UGH
Getting the news
We found out that my husband was going to be deployed, again, almost a year before it was going to happen. Of course, they give it as the “possibility” of deployment, but every soldier and every spouse knows in their hearts, it WILL happen. When my husband first told me about the “possibility” news, my heart sank as low as it could possibly go. Questions went through my mind ‘why him’, ‘why are we still fighting this war’, ‘what if he is badly injured’, ‘what if he doesn’t return’. Then, my thoughts turn to ‘well it IS only a possibility’, ‘maybe they will skip right over his name’, ‘maybe the war will be totally ended by the date he is SUPPOSED to go’, although, still knowing deep down, that it is inevitable that he WILL be deployed.
So for a whole year, I think about this deployment. I cannot get it out of my head, knowing that he will be gone from us for over a year. Not being able to share in the things that he usually shares with us. (During the last deployment, he missed the whole first year of our son’s life, with the exception of 2 weeks when he was home for R&R. He missed the birth, first crawl, first words, all of the joys of the first year of a child. (I did write a 'letter' from our son every month for my husband, of everything that was going on, nothing like being there, but it was something) These first year happenings are something a mother or father can never get back to experience, if missed.) How will I ever get through this deployment, if I can’t even get past the news of it coming?
The actual papers
My husband received his orders the morning of August 18, 2010, to head out on September 16, 2010, deployment not to exceed 400 days. The feelings that overcame me are so hard to describe, it is almost like hearing of a death in the family. I go into this mode of sadness, anger, fear, disgust, distress, terror, anxiety (holding all of my feelings deep inside). WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN TO MY HUSBAND?!?!?! I know that my husband chose to go into the military and serve his country, and I married him knowing his career; am I being selfish and only thinking of myself with all of these emotions? Surely, there are other spouses that feel this way, but it sure feels like I am about the only one right now.
So at this point, I am down to one month ONE MONTH with my husband. Our son is down to one month ONE MONTH with his father. Is this fair?
Deployment day (September 16)
WOW where to start with this. Actually let me add that he was “advanced party”, which meant that he, along with about 20 other soldiers left before the rest of the Battalion. So, the day before my husband was due to leave, they had a “Call to Duty Ceremony”, which basically paid homage to the soldiers and of course there were SOME state political figures there to give their speech and thanks. I stress “some” here because “some” had their assistants show up to read a letter. Anyway, this was two hours of my life without my husband. Yes, without. The soldiers were not allowed to sit with their families, even though they would be away from them for over a year.
At lunch, my husband kept asking me if everything was okay. Of course, I try to be the “strong person” and say ‘yeah, I’m fine.’ HA, was that a front! I guess it was pounded in my head to be strong and supportive of my soldier, the person that I tell all my problems to, the one who knows me and knows when something is bothering me (hence, the reason he kept asking me if I was okay. He knew and I refused to open up). So, here I am basically LYING to my husband because I was told to be ‘strong and supportive’.
This night before the leave, was the shortest night of my life, or so it seemed. It was like someone had a remote and put my life on fast forward for that night. The next morning at 4:00 a.m., the alarm goes off, my husband gets dressed and I drive him off to the airport. As we did our hugs and kisses goodbye, I burst into tears. I wanted him to hold me forever. I didn’t ever want him to let me go. I hated that he had to leave me. Part of my heart is leaving and there is nothing I can do to stop it from happening. The drive home was one of the longest most emotional drives I have ever had, even though I knew he would still be stateside for 2 ½ months for train-up, it was like the Army stuck their hand into my chest and ripped my heart right out.
That day I actually decided to go into work rather than stay home. I figured that being at work would keep me busy and possibly keep my mind off of things. I cried several times at work and cried myself to sleep that night (what little sleep I got).
The next week was depressing, I cried so much, I think I was all cried out (if that is possible). I was so numb. I talked to my best friend; I talked to my parents; I cried myself to sleep. Nothing was helping me, I wanted my husband back. Is this going to get any better? How do other spouses deal? Is what is happening to me “normal”? Why, why, WHY us?
TO BE CONTINUED