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Deployment - The Army Wife Story

Updated on September 1, 2011

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?



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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Nov. 2, 2011

      Dawna . . .Voted UP and away on this wonderful, honest, from-your-heart hub. I not only admire your husband for what he is doing for our country, but YOU, for being so confident, reassuring and uplifting to him. Rare is the woman who can be a TRUE Army wife. What a life of sacrifice you must lead. I am proud, no,honored, to meet you. And pray God's BEST blessings on YOU, your husband and family. Sincerely, KENNETH

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago


      Have a son in the Airforce and actually almost got killed by snippers...needless to say, is a career he chose, not seeing any better in main street USA. I pray for your relationship and suggest to join an awareness group that you might find online. Have a blessed day!


    • DawnaT profile image

      DawnaT 5 years ago from U S of A

      Starr ~ yes being strong is a big part for a spouse in military life. Deployments are rough, and prayer is helpful! Please be sure that you have someone to talk to and "vent" your emotions to, it helps so much. And please do not hesitate to contact me! I am praying for you and your husband during his deployment!

      JT ~ Thank you! Often times stories that the public sees are of the military men and women and their struggles, I have started to see a few programs of the families left behind. There are so many struggles on so many different levels. It helps (for me) to write it out and to have someone to talk to. It is a "battle" on both fronts.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi DawnsT,

      I think it is really important you publish as spouses of deloyed military have stories that are not often told.

      Thank you for the hub.


    • Starr Brunner profile image

      Starr Brunner 5 years ago

      Continue to keep strong, from one Army wife to another, we need to stay strong. My husband is also deployed and this is our first deployment, I just try to take one day at a time and pray often for all our men and women to return home safely and soon.

    • DawnaT profile image

      DawnaT 5 years ago from U S of A

      Lindsley ~ Thank you!

      Pamela ~ It is very hard to keep your mind on other things, because their deployment is constantly on the brain 24/7. I can try to keep myself busy with hobbies, but you still think of loved ones in a country that does not care who they hurt or kill, sadly enough. This "writing" is sort of my "therapy" to this whole deployment.

      AA ~ I have read so many stories of relationships ending after and even during deployments. It saddens me to hear that. I will keep strong and I know it helps to have a great friend to talk with. She knows me and how I am and what I want to hear, and she has helped me greatly through this deployment!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

      The military lifestyle is a brutal one. The deployments, the worrying, the longing, and the abruptness of it all has destroyed many relationships. Only a select few can survive. Thank you for sharing.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I can't imagine being in your position but I have been through having sons and nephews deployed which is also hard. You think about them constantly and pray for their safety. I pray that your husband will be home safe in the near future. I think it is great that you are able to write this experience so others understand this huge sacrifice.

    • Lindsley profile image

      Lindsley 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      I pray for you and your soldier my younger sister is dealing with the same thing her husband just got deployed for another year and she is pregnant with their first child! Be strong girl and there are other women out their going through the same thing. My heart goes out to you and your family!!!

    • profile image 6 years ago

      I too am a hater of military life and what it does to a marriage. I feel surrounded by tons of others who don't seem phased by it. Trust me you are not alone! Please hang in there....

    • blark profile image

      blark 6 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      That's rough, Donna. I wish you didn't have to go through this.

    • profile image

      Your Husband 6 years ago

      I always enjoy reading your stuff. You should continue this and maybe publish a book about military spouse hardship.