10 Things Never To Say To Someone with a Deployed Soldier

I have been through a few deployments myself, and I’m always amazed by some of the comments received.

Through his time in the Army, I’ve heard quite a few and heard many more that have been relayed to me by other Army spouses. So I decided to develop the top ten things you should never say to someone who has a soldier deployed. Ready?

1. I don’t know how you do it.

Well, guess what? In all honesty, I don’t know how I do it either. I just do. Because really, what other choice do I have?

I’m sure this is supposed to be a compliment in some way, but it rarely comes across that way.

2. I could never deal with it if my husband were gone for that long.

Hmmm…how does hearing how someone else can’t deal with it help me to deal with it?

I would never choose to deal with him being gone for so long, either. But it is what this life entails. And the purpose behind it does make it a little easier to handle.

3. Are you scared that something may happen to him while he’s there?

This one has always really perplexed me. Of course, I’m scared. I wouldn’t be human if I weren’t. But being reminded of something that may happen to him doesn’t help me out.

This has always been my biggest fear. Every time the doorbell rings unexpectedly, my heart stops. I’m terrified of answering the door to find two officers in uniform standing on the other side.

4. Do you miss him?

Whenever I was asked this, I just wanted to respond, “Oh, no, definitely not. I like it when he’s gone. It allows me to be all by myself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Who wouldn’t want that?”

Of course, I miss him. Wouldn’t you miss your husband?

I don’t know a single Army spouse who didn’t miss their soldier when he was gone. When you look back at how much time we have spent apart, it is quite crazy.

5. I know just how you feel. My husband was on a business trip last month for three days, and I just thought I would die.

I realize this is probably a one-up, but are you kidding me?

First, I barely notice now if my husband is only gone for three days. Second, unless his business trip was to a place where everyone is openly carrying a gun in the street trying to kill him and suicide bombers and roadside bombs are prevalent, it’s not remotely close to being the same.

The only thing I may give you on this one is that you know what it’s like to sleep in an empty bed.

There is always the possibility that it is the last day even when he isn’t deployed, and you don’t know that. But standing there and hugging him for what could be the last time is a feeling that is impossible to describe.

6. Do you worry about him cheating on you? Or along the same lines…How can you go without sex for so long?

Well, people, it is a little thing called self-control. That and a love for my husband and respect for my marriage.

Do some people cheat? Sure they do – both here in the states and overseas. But people cheat in civilian marriages too. Being in the military has no bearing on that.

If removing that from your marriage because thousands of miles separate you means you no longer have a marriage, there are much bigger issues. The deployment didn’t make either of you cheat.

7. How can you sleep at night knowing your husband is a murderer? Won’t you be afraid when he comes home?

This one sets me off more than any other. No soldier is a murderer.

Have they had to kill someone? Quite possibly. But there are a great many soldiers who never have. It’s not something they talk about in daily conversation.

Regardless of what they do overseas, it does not make them a murderer. They are in a war zone and following orders. I have never once even thought that I should be afraid of my husband because he is a soldier.

The insinuation that anyone should be is asinine.

8. I’m so sorry your husband had to be deployed. Don’t you hate President (Insert Name)?

My husband joined the military of his own free will AFTER 9/11, knowing full well that he would probably be deployed.

The President may be the one running the show, but both my husband and I knew what we were getting into when he joined. I’m proud of him and his accomplishments.

And I don’t discuss politics or religion with anyone. 🙂

9. If you truly supported your husband, you would be protesting so…he wouldn’t have to deploy again/could be brought home/the war would end.

Really? My definition of support must be much different than the definition of support by these people.

Supporting my husband means supporting him in what he does and what he believes in. It does not mean disrespecting the men and women who volunteered to defend our country and our rights.

If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have the right to protest in the first place. I’m certainly not putting myself in a position where it could be construed as anything other than 100% support for our troops and their families.

10. I can’t believe your husband did this to you. Aren’t you mad at him?

Um, what?! My husband didn’t do anything to me. We made this decision together.

He honors his agreements, and he follows the orders of his superiors. There’s certainly nothing sad or maddening about having a husband who fulfills his commitments.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m proud of my husband, and I completely support him.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. We aren’t even together… he’s a bestfriend with romantic moments and periods. Jeez he hasn’t even been gone that long, he’s just in basic! He is the person who makes me feel safe and at home, I really miss him. He’s going to be home in a month, it’s only for a weekend but I can’t wait! God, he’s going to be gone until March of 2018, I sincerely doubt I can make it without him for another six months, hell I’m barely making it through four…

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