If you are married to a member of the National Guard, you know they might get deployed. The National Guard does go on deployments to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world, just like the active duty military does. They can also get activated or called up when the country needs them.
The National Guard will go and help after a hurricane or tornado. They assist in disaster relief and have even been activated to be at the border. But now, it looks like they are going to be needed once again, to help our country during this COVID- 19 crisis.
If you are a National Guard spouse, you either know your spouse is going to have to go or know that they could be. While other friends are getting ready to spend possibly more time with their spouse, you are on the edge of your seat wondering when and if they have to go. And when they do, what they will have to do, and how long they will be away.
So to my fellow National Guard spouses, this isn’t an easy time for us. We might not be sure what is going to happen. We are just not sure how this will all play out. And the public doesn’t always respond well when the National Guard is called up.
And the thing is, we really can’t talk to anyone who has been through this exact type of thing before. Because what is happening now, hasn’t ever happened before. The entire world is dealing with this virus and we are not sure how long any of this will last.
So what can we do? How can we stay sane through all of this? How do we handle all the emotions that come with waiting to find out what will happen with our National Guard service member?
A lot of what we can do is similar to the unknowns associated with a regular deployment. I know for me, during deployments, there were times when I had no idea when my husband would be home.
Maybe two months, maybe six? I really didn’t know. I didn’t know what the future looked like or how long I would have to solo parent. I just had to take it day by day. And that is how I am going to have to go about this in these times.
I am going to need to stay busy, although how I normally stay busy is going to have to change. I can’t go meet a friend for lunch right now or take my kids to very many places. Movies are out. Chuck E Cheese is out. Playgrounds are out. We have to stay at home as much as possible which I know is going to be challenging.
If my spouse does have to go away, that will add another layer to this staying at home business. It won’t make it easier that’s for sure, but I am hoping we can find a good way to handle all this. We might have to be more creative.
We National Guard spouses will also have the fear of what our spouse is going to be doing. Will they be in contact with the virus? Will the public become afraid of them? It’s so hard to know what being activated or called up for this will entail.
I am going to try to stay away from being fearful or all the what-ifs. That’s a hard road for me to go down. I want to stay positive. But that isn’t always easy for me to do.
I also know, this might be yet another challenge for us to endure. Life isn’t always easy and as a National Guard soldier, this is a part of his job. Still, that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy to get through, no matter how long it might last.
If you are a National Guard spouse too, know that I am right there with you. This is a scary time, but at least we can help each other through. Know that no matter what happens, we are not alone and not the only ones going through this. That is so important to remember.
I thought I had this year figured out. But everything has been turned on its head. From school, to how we spend our free time, and now to what my husband is going to be doing. I’m going to try to take it one day at a time.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” –Mary Anne Radmacher