Going Down the Long Deployment Road
At the start of every deployment, I would picture myself standing at the end of a long road. I would have to walk down this path and at the end of the road was homecoming. I didn’t know how long this road was, what types of twists and turns I would have to go through to get to the end, and I didn’t know what shape I would be in when I got there.
Over the months my husband was deployed, I sometimes was able to run along this road. I felt like I could conquer anything and was able to keep up that pace for a while. But then I would trip and fall, and the only way I could keep moving forward was to crawl.
And for a time that is what I had to do. I was moving at a snail’s pace, or so it seemed, but with each passing day, I was getting close to the finish line.
After some time I would be able to pick myself up and start walking and eventually get back to my run, only to have to slow down again with a challenge of some kind that got in my way. But eventually, I did make it to the end. I made it to homecoming and enjoyed the return of my husband.
I then looked back along that deployment road, at all the twists and turns I had gone through. At all the challenges I had faced. I looked back and saw the people who helped me through, good friends, family members, and even strangers who never even realized what they had done to help me.
As a military spouse, I always knew that there would be long roads in my future. And that each one would look a little different. But I also learned that however long the road was, whatever the challenges would be, I would make it through. One day at a time if need be.
If you have just started a deployment, take heart in knowing that you too can get through this period apart. It’s going to feel so strange at first, not having your spouse around. This will take some getting used to and you probably will never 100% get used to them being gone.
You will have good days, days when you feel like you have mastered everything. You will have bad days, days that will make you want to tear your hair out.
But over the time your spouse is gone, you will learn so much more about yourself, and you will see how strong you truly are.
If you are almost done with a deployment, know that the last few weeks can sometimes be the most challenging. You are done with the deployment except you have a little bit more to do, and that can be overwhelming.
Know that eventually the deployment will come to an end and you will be standing there, holding a homecoming sign, waiting patiently for that first kiss.
If you are getting ready for another deployment and feeling so much dread, try to think about all the good things that can happen when they are gone. There could be projects you have been putting off, you can use the extra pay to help with your student loan, and you know the deployment will be good for their career.
Deployments suck. There is no other way to put it, but if you can find the positives of them, that can go a long way in helping you through them.
Wherever you are on your deployment road, know that you can handle this. There is never a right time for a deployment, and you will always wish that your spouse didn’t have to go, but deep down you know this is all apart of the military spouse deal.
If you have just started a deployment or will be starting one soon, check out my free guide for the first 30 days of deployment!