Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ten things i think you should know about deployment

Ten Things I Think You Should Know About Deployments

1. They are occasionally lonely. 
I got married because I love R and I love spending time with him. He makes me laugh and he usually cooks dinner and he's is nice to look at. The Navy thinks I got married because they think I love moving every year and because I love alone time while my sailor is away at sea. The Navy is wrong. 

2. They are occasionally awesome. 
Are you married? Did you ever live alone before you married? Remember that brief period of time when you could leave your dishes in the sink and you undies on the bathroom floor and eat Oops All Berries for dinner and sing really loud to music from Nashville and no one gave you sideways looks? Yea. 

3. You better love writing emails. 
I touched on this here, but it bears repeating that writing emails is so lame! It's not so bad on those days when there isn't much to say, but on those hectic days when you just want to vent about the guy that cut you off on the freeway in rush hour, emails simply won't do. Which brings me to my next point. 

4. Your BFF's are the bees knees. 
Since I can't vent/rant/spillover with excitement and get the immediate response I need from R through email, usually I call up one of the next five people on my speed dial. In no particular order and depending on the time zone, that means my Mom, my sister, and my three best girls. When I need face to face time (read: wine) or have a military specific rant (see below), I am lucky to have a few good women here in VA to lend an ear as well. Probably a whole post need to be dedicated to the fine ladies who support me through deployments. 

5. The military can be the thorn in your side. 
What!? Who would ever complain about the great fighting forces of Amurica?! (Cue the National Anthem and an eagles cry.) Well folks, it's me. There is no institution I can think of that jerks you around more than the military. "Your deployment is six nine months. No wait, just kidding it's six again. You get to come home early! And then you're going back out. But maybe we'll sequester and we won't have money to send you. Or bring you back. It'll be one or the other for sure."  Even this week, as R is supposed to head back out, they have changed the departure time twice. However...

6. You will heart deployment pay.
To make up for the fact that the Navy is sending you on an ugly metal ship that stinks like jet fuel and serves nothing but mystery chicken for every meal, they don't tax your income while you are in a combat zone. Not bad for R when he's in port and not bad for me when I'm in need of a pedi. 

7. The port calls are pretty fabulous.
This is really R's number one favorite thing about deployment. Or probably anyone's. He visited Spain, Greece, Bahrain, and Dubai on the first leg of this cruise and there are some pretty cool new stops rumored for the second leg. He tried all the local cuisine and drinks he could and took pictures of everything. It truly is a great reward for the hard work and long hours and months away from home and I'm really glad he gets to see the world and get paid to do it. Really glad and a little jealous, of course. 

8. Other military spouses really get it. 
My speed dial girls aside, there seems to be no one who understands better than other military spouses all the nuances of deployments. They just nod and understand when you say you'd rather not get a call when he's in port than sit around and worry you've missed a call. They just seem to get it when you talk about all the fights you got into before he left. And they laugh with you when you tell them about a coworker/friend/relative who said with sincere compassion, "Oh, he's deployed? I know just how you feel, my husband has been gone on a business trip all week and miss him like crazy."

9. The goodbye is rough.
Nothing like dropping your sailor off and watching him walk to the boat with his sea bag all the while glancing back, while you think, "This is the last time I am going to see your face until ______." It sucks. That's my week this week and I am not thrilled about it.

10. The welcome back is really the best. 
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and there is nothing like seeing his face and feeling his arms around me again after all that time. And the last two months have been spent richly, telling stories and catching each other up on everything that couldn't be expressed in emails. Deployments, with all their pros and cons, are good for helping me remember exactly why I love that sailor. 





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