Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Wows and Woes of the Army

WOW! The past couple of months have really shown me how unstable the military life can be. We always count on a timeline. Even if we are the most spontaneous people, there is a point where you want to be able to plan for your future. Now we all know that the military is not known for it's ability to give a lot of warning on things but it was still a surprise when they decided they were deploying some of our guys in less than a month. Talk about utter panic. There was no time to deal, no time to plan. Women who were planning on moving back home while their husband's were deployed were suddenly in a whirlwind of confusion, trying to pack and make plans as fast as possible. But first....just tears. Everyone was crying. Everyone was holding their breathe waiting to see if their husband would be chosen to deploy. I have never been so stressed. And then the bombs dropped. We were fortunate to not be chosen but several of our good friends were. They're families were devastated. Our fellow soldiers were pulled from their friends and throw into other units with people they had never worked with before. It was madness. They have now been gone for a few weeks. I wish them all the best and my prayers and love go out to their families. May they all come home safely.

We are now getting ready for Brandon to deploy. Though we had a little bit more warning that the other families, it has still been a shockingly sudden development. We spent months being told we MIGHT deploy (not exactly the most comfortable state to live in), then it went to "you are 100% NOT deploying" after they pulled half our unit out to send out with other people. Just as we were getting comfortable with that idea there was a 180 degrees flip and now they are leaving in only a few weeks. I was planning to move back with family after he was gone but since he is leaving sooner than we first expected I don't think I'll be all packed by then. Looks like I'll be sticking around for awhile afterwards. Oh well, I have a wedding to be in anyways. No matter, now it begins. All the scrambling to prepare and to spend as much time with your spouse as possible. Every moment apart becomes so much more excruciating as the days tick away and the date of deployment sneaks ever closer. We start to appreciate more each kiss, each moment snuggled against each other. I love yous are dropped more often and you drink in the long stares into each other's eyes. These are the moments that build a lasting relationship through the times apart. Deployment is never easy but seasoned families have their routines to go through that make it just a little bit better. Study them. You'll start to see what I mean.
It begins now. The rushing to get ready. The turbo packing. The flustered arguments and the passionate make ups. This is the time that stress really sets in. You normally hear all about the sweet parts of deployment. The happy reunions and the affectionate send offs. What people seem to forget is that despite our "infinite wisdom" (hahaha yah right) we are still humans who are very very much affected by stress. More so than we like to admit or let show. We react in the same ways that most people do. We fight, we cry, we lose sleep. The only thing different is that we only have so long to make up before our spouse leaves and so we tend to let things go a lot faster than we would in a normal situation. Not sure if that is good or bad yet hahahaha. Point is we are survivors but we are also normal couples with normal emotions. So if you know someone who is a military spouse (or you are one yourself) don't pass up opportunities for hugs and words of encouragement, even if everything seems to be under control. You can't imagine how much something as simple as that can give us just the boost we need to get through the day.
Despite all the frustration it comes with though, I wouldn't give up this life I have. There is nothing easy or simple about being a military spouse but there is something blessed about it. Every day is a new chance to grow and to strengthen yourself. I have learned more about myself in these past couple years than I had in all the 20 years prior. I have found an inner strength in me that I never knew existed. So even though there are a lot of "cons" to this life, there are still a lot of "pros" as well. =) Now excuse me....I have to go pack some more. =S