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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When the fun has run out

So. Here we are at the 4 month mark of this deployment. There have been many ups and downs. Some days are good, some are bad. But if there's one thing that is certain, it's that I'm ready for this to be over. Yes, I know, it's only been 4 months. Many of us have done year long (or 15 months) deployments already, so 4 months isn't really that big of a deal. But, in truth, it is. Each day that my wife is gone is one day too long. Every event that she's missed is one too many. And every night we spend apart is one that is gone forever.

There's no arguing the point that what she's doing is important and vital to our nation. I get it. I understand the idea of service. It's just that there are days, like today, when I feel like I've done my bit for king and country. As milspouses, we give and serve just as much as our soldier spouses do. Most of the time, we serve under the radar, doing the things that civilian families do every day...except that we do them alone. After a while, though, a weariness begins to creep in. And, I'll be honest: I'm tired of my wife missing birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. We are staring down yet another Christmas apart.

So here we stand, just 3 and 1/2 years from retirement and I can't imagine myself fighting though any more than that. As I asked my wife today, how many more birthdays, Christmas's and anniversaries do we have to keep missing? Sure, there's plenty of talk these days about draw downs and reduced deployment lengths, but at some point you just get tired of being apart.

The truth is, I've found that you basically hit the doldrums of a deployment at about the 4 months mark. It was like this during the last one, too. The newness and pain of a recent departure is gone, and the thrill of finding your groove and getting things together has faded. Now, it's just the day in, day out living apart. This is when the fun has run out. This is when you find out what you're made of.

This is probably why making the decision about what our future will be after 20 isn't something that should be done during a deployment. You don't think clearly and rationally while you're in the furnace. All you can think of is escape. These discussions will definitely be coming up between my wife and I. But they are definitely best left until we've been reunited and reintegrated and the bad days of a deployment are only in the rear view mirror. Until then, we'll keep moving forward and do our best.


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

7 comments:

  1. We have done 2 deployments but none with kids, i give you so much credit. Thanks for posting its nice to see it from a husband.

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  2. I completely understand where you're coming from. We're on our 2nd deployment in a year and a half (Canadian tours are usually shorter) but in between there my husband has been on courses. We've been married 13 months, he's been away at least 8 of those and I'm 20 weeks pregnant and he's missed a lot of that.

    Keep your chin up and know you're not alone! from what I've read, you're handling all of this beautifully! Your kids are really lucky!! :)

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  3. I have found that the four month mark is where I find my stride. I agree in that it's a point where I'm finally finished morning the farewell but for me its a time to pick my head up and start making concrete plans/routines for what will get us through.

    Its good that you keep the focus on the future horizon - like you mentioned, your wife has only 3 and a half years left. My husband is currently on his 4th 12mo+ deployment and just passed the 9 year mark of service. It makes the next 10 years a bit daunting to think about with the wars in our world. So although we plan financially for retirement - I try not to think about how many more family holidays my husband will miss before he can officially retire. For now we'll savor the good and face the bad as a team.

    I wrote about our 4 month mark here if you would like to see it.
    http://household6diva.com/2011/07/deployment-milestone-four-months-in-military-spouse-milestone.html

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  4. I totally understand where you are coming from. We've been in Alaska for a year and a half; my husband is on his 2nd deployment since we've been here, so that means that he's been in AK for about 5 months total, and this is our 2nd Winter here without him.
    This is our 5th major separation in about 6 years. My daughter is 3 1/2 years old and he's been around for 17 months of it (yes, I've actually counted all the missed time).
    I'm in the process of trying to get home to Louisiana on Early Release of Dependants, because I just can't do this anymore.
    This military life is such a roller coaster. It's got it's pros and cons, and the experience has definitely been one of learning. Most of all though, I'm grateful for the opportunities that it's handed to us.
    Keeping all military spouses and families in my prayers....
    J~

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  5. I give you so much credit. I cannot imagine how hard it must be everyday to be away from your spouse and run a household with four young children. I also really appreciate the sincerity and honesty in your posts... You and your family are so strong and will be in my thoughts and prayers!

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  6. What can I say but hang in there. My husband retired at 23 years as a LTC. The deployments were hard and you're right, they seem to go on and on no matter the actual length.
    You're doing the right thing, living during the deployment. I find that the times that I mourned rather than lived made each day creep. Celebrate this time and enjoy the kids so that you can share them with your wifey(in much detail!!)
    While we were stationed in Japan, my best friend was a stay a home dad. My house was right across from the girl scout hut. During meetings, he and I would (as his wife put it) whine about our spouses while drinking much wine. good times....
    Great job and stay strong!!!!

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  7. Thanks so much for the comments all. It really means a lot to me.

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