The military life is not for the faint of heart. And as a supporter of one in the battle, it’s required a strength that I never imagined. For instance, deployments are a bear. And anyone who says otherwise is on something. Sure, my grandfather would tell me stories of when he was fighting during WWII….how he was away for 4 years straight with nothing but letter writing. And that I should be grateful for shorter timelines and modern technology which allows for better communication. I should be grateful, I know. But it is difficult not to focuse on the cons of the circumstance. There are so many “thorns” to a deployment that I rather choose not to dwell on those things I cannot change. But the roses are where it’s at….it’s what I want to focus on during a bad day, when I’m feeling sad or lonely. Some are serious, some not, but each I hope will bring me some joy during our next deployment and remind me that I do have so much to be grateful for.
10. No extra laundry. I dread laundry…the multi-step process of sorting, washing, drying, sorting again, ironing, putting away………the “ground hogs day” of it…….ugh! It’s enough to make me crazy. Maybe this should be #1.
9. Dinner time can be whenever and whatever. If I want to feed my children peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and eat a waffle, I somehow feel the liberty to do it.
8. Schedule is my own. Any relationship requires modifications and during this time, I don’t have to make any. It’s a little break to give of yourself to less people.
7. Saving on some expenses. Gas, groceries, etc. It adds up.
6. Skype…you have to love the ability to stay in contact. During one of our deployments, my little one was an infant and she and my husband were still able to connect so the homecoming was such an easier transition. Video chatting is a beautiful aspect of today’s technology.
5. iPad. Next time around, we will have an iPad which we never had before….YES! Anything to make life easier….no more carrying 3 or 4 electronic devices for music, ebooks, cameras, etc or missing skype calls.
4. Prime excuse for anything you don’t want to do….when you begin a sentence with “my spouse is deployed so I can’t xyz….”, there is leverage.
3. The trump card. I’ve always told my friends that I have a couple of rules….not asking someone with MORE children than I do for a favor is one for instance. But during a deployment, I have a trump card to truly ask for anything I need.
2. Work on myself a little. With military moves, family and supporting another’s career, you can often lose yourself a bit. So during these times, I’ve taken classes, traveled with my kids, etc. Next time, my plan is to do a little Rosetta Stone and learn a new language.
1. Homecoming! It’s the best to be reunited with the one you love and there is no better feeling in the world. If they never left, you wouldn’t get this occasion.
So next time I’m in this situation, I will look at this list constantly and may add to it to keep me going. I will remain positive. I will remain strong. I will fight my own good fight and do what needs to be done for my family with grace and honor. God, I pray for all the men and women serving this country and all of their families.