Your Army soldier has just left and if I had to guess, any mention of the Army or anything patriotic right now brings instant tears to your eyes.
Don’t worry; it’s to be expected. When my husband first left, I could see a flag waving in the breeze on the way to work and be in tears.
It was somewhat out of sadness but also out of the enormous pride that I felt that my husband had volunteered to serve his country.
The Bad News
I’ll go ahead and hit you with some bad news right off the bat. It could be a little while before you hear from him.
By a little while, I mean as much as two to three weeks. My husband could call as soon as he arrived at Fort Benning, but I missed the phone call.
That is just my luck, right?
All he had time to say was his address. Thankfully, I received a standardized letter in the mail a few days later with the address because I would have never figured it out from his phone message.
Missing Phone Calls
Speaking of phone messages, I was absolutely devastated when I missed his phone call. In fact, I missed the first THREE phone calls he made.
He called the second time when I was out. After that one, I decided I was never leaving the house on the weekend again. The following weekend, I stayed home all day Saturday and Sunday, jumping each time the phone rang, only to be disappointed.
On Sunday night at about 8:45 p.m., I left to mail his letter at the post office. I was gone for ten minutes, and…you guessed it!
When I returned, the message light was blinking. I was beside myself. Not only had I missed his call, but he sounded sick and begged me to send him some mail on the message.
The problem was that I had been writing daily for two weeks. It killed me to think that he could not get me on the phone, and he didn’t think I had been writing to him either.
From then on, if I ever left the house, my cell phone was glued to me. Remember that this was 2003 when it wasn’t so common to always have your phone with you.
The next weekend, I received a call on my cell phone with a number from Denver, Colorado.
I almost didn’t answer it but then decided to, and it was him. It was showing up as Denver because of being on a pay phone. He was very sick, actually, and could talk for only about three minutes.
But that was the best three-minute conversation I had ever had. I was in the mall when he called, and I’m sure the folks around me thought someone was calling to tell me I had won the lottery!
Moral of this story:
- Always be around a phone of some kind that your husband knows to call you on.
- No matter how strange the phone number looks on the caller ID, answer it!
Please remember that phone calls do not come very often. I generally talked to him for about 5-10 minutes every other weekend.
It’s not much, and you never realize how short that really is until it’s the first time you’ve talked to him in two weeks. After basic, it is more likely they will earn a pass.
This is their free time to do as they please (but they can’t leave Sand Hill). Many head to the Recreation Center and eat to the point of being sick – all of those goodies they haven’t been allowed to have.
My husband always headed for the closest pay phone (remember, 2003! lol). During one of his passes, I talked to him for three hours.
Needless to say, I was a very happy Army wife that day. Your main communication during his training will be letters.