Just within the last few weeks, I have heard from several Army spouses that their soldier has become the “lucky” recipient of deployment orders for the third or fourth time since 9/11. Going through one deployment is hard enough. But dealing with your third or fourth twelve plus month separation in the last nine years? That’s pretty tough.
While my husband also did multiple deployments, they were of a much shorter timeframe. So while I have some understanding of it, I never had to endure such long periods of separation due to deployment. His were in the four month range. I do, however, know what it feels like to be on constant countdown.
Counting down until he leaves…counting down until the next phone call…counting down until he comes home…I felt like all I ever did was count!
For those of you who are about to endure this (or already are), know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support from those who are around you. There are many people who want to help but just don’t know what to offer.
Tell them what you need. There is no need to play superwoman and pile it all on yourself.
Lean on others and let them lean on you. It is our support networks that get us through tough times and will continue to in the future.
If you know someone who is going through a deployment, pick up the phone just to chat. Send a card. Offer to take her kids so she can have two hours to enjoy a coffee and browse at the bookstore alone. Invite her for dinner. Just be a friend. Listen to her vent, cry, laugh and share. Be her rock when she needs you to be. Let her know you are there.
We must stick together and support each other.