About Me

Fort Bragg, NC, United States
I'm a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. I am the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel. I do my best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. I enjoy playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow me on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Several weeks ago I wrote about dwell time, and the false sense of security that it gives spouses. We hear all about how once they come home, our active duty spouses are "supposed" to get a year at home. And while this is a nice goal, often it just doesn't happen. What's more, even though our soldiers are "guaranteed" a year at home, we've come to discover that a commanding officer can, in fact, waive the requirement that a soldier be at home for a year. And, as we discovered last month, a TDY to a combat zone is also a possibility.

Last month, my wife was sent on TDY back to Afghanistan. She was there for almost a month. Many tried to "reassure" me by saying things like, "at least it's not for a year" or "she'll be home soon". But what so many fail to realize is this: whether it is a short TDY or a long deployment, being sent to a combat zone is dangerous and full of risks. Furthermore, whether it is a short separation or a long one, it is still a separation. You still have to go into deployment mode as a spouse. Once again, the overnight transition from being one parent with one role into being one parent with dual roles takes place. I go from being Dad to being both Dad and Mom.

So this week my wife transitions into a new unit here on Fort Bragg. The upside to this new unit is that they deploy for only 6 months. The downside is that her slot will come up in May. They've told her that they are well aware of her dwell time issues, that she won't have been home for a year until the end of July. That said, it might not make any difference. At this point, I would give it a 60/40 chance (deploy/not deploy) of happening. Add that to the month she just spent in Afghanistan... well you get the picture. 9 months home instead of a year. So now, we're waiting to find out. We should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not this is going to happen by late March/early April.

The fact is, if they tell her to go, then she'll go. And I'll go back into deployment mode again. One thing I can say is this: I don't fear the deployments any more. I've been through them, I know the depths of the trials they present. It is something I can not just survive, but thrive in. I remember the things I did to help cope with the challenges of the deployment. If it comes, I'll be ready for it. In the mean time, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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You can follow me on Twitter if you so choose... @Armyspouse007

5 comments:

  1. I commend you for being there for her. I def understand what you're doing through I have two sons in Afghanistan, one will be home in March. I also have a niece. I am the wife of a retired SGM. I just found your blog. I aim to follow it.. Your writing is fantastic.... Hooah on being a stay at home father....

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  2. I totally understand what you're feeling, as I'm feeling something similar. My husband came home from his first deployment last July, and we immediately had to prepare for the PCS he got orders for while he was still in Iraq. We got to his new post in November, and he discovers that the unit he just got assigned to is set to deploy this spring. Not only will he be gone for NTC for a month, they're also sending him to BNOC before the deployment. So much for a year at home. So I understand your fears and worries completely. Even though it doesn't change anything, it's nice to know that I'm not alone in how I'm feeling. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. Tim, Have I told you lately how proud I am of you? You and Devon? You and your beautiful children whom I mess so dearly? You are the best father/husband/family man/you-name-it-you-can-do-it-guy I know. Know that your family are in my thoughts daily. Continue the wonderful blogs, they can be so healing. Love to all, Aunt Vicki

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  4. I can totally relate to everything that you write about. And you write so well.
    We chose to come to Alaska because the unit was not on any lists to deploy, but that quickly changed once we got here. We've been here since May 2010 and so far, he's done a 4.5 month humanitarian mission to Pakistan, and we find out very soon on if he'll have to go to Afghanistan this May.
    Separations suck! Deployment/Survival mode sucks! And waiting for the other shoe to drop does nothing for my anxiety issues.
    But I take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone.
    J~

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