Amber over at Goodnight Moon! posted this awhile back and asked that everybody write a post about being a deployment survivor. I started this post back in September but really didn't know what to say. How could I explain myself so that others could understand. I didn't want to offend anybody or sound to self absorbed. I just didn't know how to put all the feelings into words. This is long overdue. This is the honest, write what comes to mind, unedited post. This is my story.
I've heard some compare deployment to being to pregnant. Perhaps they are right. Me? I don't know yet seeing as I've never been pregnant.
Looking back now I can tell you that during those 7 months my life was completely different. I don't want to say I put my life on hold..... but in a way I did. There were things I didn't do because I wanted to wait till Marine was home and we could do them together. Sometimes going out and having fun I would feel guilty. How could I go out and have fun and smile while Marine was on the front line? Patrolling for hours on end in the 115+ desert heat. Going without cold water because their refrigerator was broke. Sleeping on a cot in a small tent with 9 other guys. Going days if not weeks without a shower. And never once did he complain.
I know I shouldn't have felt guilty, but how could I not? Marine was making sacrifices and I felt that I should be to. I know it may sound silly but that was how I felt; a feeling that Marine and I have since talked about. He always wanted me to be out doing fun things and encouraged that while he was gone. But it was a feeling I couldn't explain.
Every time my phone rang with a 1111111111 number I knew it was the family readiness officer and each time I said a silent prayer before answering.
I walked on eggshells and my phone never left my sight. Each phone call was a heart soaring thing. No matter if they were 2 minutes or 20. Each minute was precious and cherished.
Letters were the same way. Every letter I would read a 100 times at least.
Some days I cried for no reason. Some days I just wanted to alone. Some days I wished I had someone to talk to that could relate and at those moments I was so thankful for my fellow military girlfriend/wives/fiancée friends.
Surprisingly during this time I was fairly laid back when it came to anything else. I learned to look at the "big" picture and not sweat the small stuff so much. When friends would call with relationship drama I had to remind myself that even though to me it seemed small, to them it was a big deal.
During this time I apologize cause I was highly self-absorbed and my focus was really only on one thing - Marine's safety.
Deployment begins with you looking forlornly after a bus as it leaves with your Marine. The tears fall and it takes everything you have not to chase after that bus. All the days in between become a blur and then that day you never thought would arrive finally does. The best part about deployment is homecoming. That first sight. That first hug. That first kiss. There is truly nothing like it.
I am a deployment surviver. There are millions out there just like me. Girls that fell in love with a military man. One's that spent nights praying for our man as well as other men we had never met. Girls that slept with the telephone right next to them. One's that feared any knock on the door. We are all the same. We are all different. We all have a story.