So my husband recently returned from his very first deployment, and we have spent the past few weeks slowly adjusting back to our old routine. I will admit that while he was gone I enjoyed letting my domestic duties fall to the wayside a bit. Only going grocery shopping once a month was heaven, and doing laundry every other week was a win. But in reality, the lack of chores and errands that I had to do just made me miss him more. I missed his clothes strewn all over our bedroom floor, and the small little habits that usually frustrated me.
Now we have spent plenty of time apart when he first joined the military, from basic training, tech school, and when he moved across the country to his first duty station. I decided to stay behind in Michigan to finish college, my attempt at being a responsible adult, but those 2 and a half years of being apart on and off never fully prepared me for this deployment. Every second of every day my mind was consumed with him, worrying about him, missing him, just wanting to hear his voice and know that everything was going to be okay. I was grateful for those day in which he did call, and heartbroken when I recieved those missed calls and knew that I couldn't just call him back. I was literally attached to my phone and computer at all times. While I was lucky that his job required him to stay on base at all times, and his deployment was relatively short, a war zone is still a war zone. All in all, I was so incredibly grateful and moved to tears when I saw his face through a crowd of people at the airport. There is nothing quite like a military homecoming, you feel as though you are seeing them again for the very first time.
It weighs heavy on my heart for the many families that never get to see their soldier again, and it gives me a great amount of respect and gratitude towards those who serve actively in the military, and the family members that serve along with him. Those men and women who have to suffer through year long deployments with very little contact to the outside world are always going to be heroes in my book.
I like to think that my personal experience as a military wife has made me stronger, even when at times it has made me feel my weakest and most vulnerable. While he was gone I felt as though I was completely alone. I have no family close by, and very few friends in Arizona that I could rely on. It was tough, I felt tested everyday, especially when the Murphy's Law of Deployment became a reality. I felt as though everything was going wrong and I didn't have my best friend by my side to calm me down and talk me through it. If it wasn't for my family and friends back home, I don't know what I would have done.
After going through that experience I feel as though I still have a lot to learn about the military lifestyle, but I am very thankful for all of the new opportunities and resources it has provided us with. It also reminds me daily of one of my favorite sayings, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Until next time,