No, You Never Get Used To Deployments
I am not sure when my husband will deploy again. During our last deployment, I thought that would be our last one. Then he joined the National Guard. And although we have not experienced a deployment with the National Guard yet, that could happen. So I have to think ahead and prepare myself.
When I think about him deploying again, I get that nervous feeling in my stomach. Even though I have been through deployments before, the next one will be completely different. My boys will be different ages; we will be in a different type of situation, he could end up going to a different type of place.
You see, each deployment is its own experience.
Your first deployment might not be your hardest, your shortest deployment might prove to be harder than any other deployment. As most seasoned military spouses know, you never quite get used to having your spouse live away from you, in a war zone, fighting for our country.
Just because you have been through a deployment before, it doesn’t mean that you have every future deployment under control and that they won’t challenge you, because they will.
And although you will never truly get used to them leaving every so often, you will learn better how to get through those times apart.
You will figure out what works best for you and your family.
You will learn if counting down the days works for you or if you should just count down the months instead.
You will figure out how to stay busy, even if how you choose to do so changes during each deployment. You will learn about resilience, patience, and how to be more independent.
You will learn how to mow the lawn, take your kids to all their sports events alone, and how to stay sane when you feel anything but.
You will figure out that what works for you for this deployment, might not work for you for the next deployment and could be entirely different from what works for your neighbor for her deployment.
You will figure out how to find people to get through the deployment with, even if that feels overwhelming at certain duty stations.
You will understand what your spouse needs from you while they are gone, whether that is a care package once a week or just to offer a listening ear when they call.
Over the years as a military spouse, you will figure out how to cope during deployments. You have to. If you don’t, you would never be able to make it through.
You will never get used to watching your spouse walk away, you will never get used to those lonely nights, and having to be both mom and dad to your kids.
You will never get used to that last kiss, that last hug, and that last goodbye.
Your tears will always come, the first day will always be hard, and you will always wish that they didn’t have to go.
This is a good thing. This means that your spouse is someone special. That their presence in your home is a welcome one. That them being gone is not the norm, even if you understand why they have to go. That when they return, you will put the pieces back together and can be a full family once again.
No, you never get used to deployments, but you can find support and rock the heck out of any deployment you will have to go through.
Although you start off feeling like a huge weight has been put on you, you will figure out how to lessen the stress and be able to find ways to thrive during your time apart. As the days go by, you will find yourself getting to a place where the deployment feels more manageable. Where you can see how you are going to get through the deployment, and how you can make the best of the situation.