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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What a difference a year makes

Two years ago this month, my wife and I were staring down a year long deployment to Afghanistan. It was to be the first deployment since our children had been born. We were both filled with a sense of apprehension and a bit of fear of the unknown. And the first days and weeks after she left were quite hard. So many nights I would roll over and look at the untouched pillow on her side of the bed and think to myself, "I hate this." In the early months of the deployment that followed, there were many dark and depressing days. Some of those days were bad enough that I had difficulty even cracking a smile. And now, 2 years later and one week into another deployment, it is hard to describe how different things are. There are many factors at work, for sure, but the sense of dread and sadness simply aren't here.

When you think about it, what was once uncharted territory is now familiar ground, sort of a home turf. As I've told so many people who've called to check up on me or written to see how I'm doing, this isn't my first time around the block. I know what to expect this time. I know how this game is played, how this song is supposed to be sung. Obviously, we miss my wife deeply. We wish she were here. And yes, deployments do indeed still suck. And yet, in spite of those feelings, this deployment isn't the crushing monolith that the last one was. Sure, I'm tired and we've probably eaten out more than I'd like to because I'm not in the mood to cook. But at the end of the day, I sleep peacefully, the kids are happy, and I'm content.

You see, once you've been through a deployment, each additional one brings fewer and fewer surprises. You know what you're doing, you know how to cope, and you know how to win. That's right, I said win, because I believe that, as milspouses, we can win during a deployment. We can use the time to better ourselves and grow. Further, as we grow and (dare I say) get stronger with each deployment, we are far more capable at helping fellow spouses who are having a tough time of it. When we say we're all in this together, we have a responsibility to reach out to our fellow spouses and encourage them, lift them up, and help them along.

It is amazing to me what a difference a year makes. Having learned so much about myself during the last deployment, I'm in a totally different place this time around. Sure, there will be down days, and yes, the deployment blues still strike unexpectedly. However, I'm ready to face each day and I'm confident that I will be just fine this time around.

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

4 comments:

  1. You hit it right on the nail when you said "each additional one brings fewer and fewer surprises". In a few days, we begin Major Separation #5 (I'm counting 4.5 months of additional training in this, and he does too), and with each one, we learn more and more about ourselves, deployments in general, etc.
    We even predicted today that we'd hear certain news...Yup, it happened. No surprise.
    But, you'd think I'd be a Pro at this stuff by now. It doesn't get any easier, but I know more and more of what to expect.
    At this point in time, even my 9 year old son just wants him to "go already" so that we can each get on with our lives, and not continue with this little bubble of sadness that's hovering over.
    Have a great week,
    J~

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  2. I'm new to this whole thing, my fiance just shipped off to Basic recently and I miss her like crazy (I'm gonna be an Army husband like you). Thank you for your posts they're very encouraging.

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  3. Glad to have you as a part of the family Jayson!

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  4. Hi this is long overdue...Your blog has been my bible and I read it everyday. My wife leaves for basic January 22nd and the to OCS for her officer training. I too have 4 children and believe me I've been elated and so proud of my wife while terrified and unsure of my own identity at the same time. I'm so greatful for all the time you put into this. It shows. Looking forward to more as my family begins our journey. Oh and myself and my wife are both Savannah natives and currently reside here. Small world!

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