Surviving Deployments Part 2
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Before I delve into the slope going up the hill of deployment I need to discuss something extremely important that can save lives. Also if you haven’t read Part 1 and would like to do so, click here.
OPSEC , if you do not know this term, you need to, and never forget it. Make sure your friends and family know it too. OPSEC stands for Operational Security. Deployment dates, travel info, any sort of info that your Significant Other gives you about where they are and what they are doing can become dangerous in the wrong hand.
- Do not talk about what they are doing overseas in any public place, you never know who is listening.
- Do not share anything on Social Media about what they are doing or where they are unless they have given you permission to do so.
What can possibly be so wrong with sharing that info on social media or in public? Sadly nothing good. If that info were to get into the wrong hands then your SO’s flight to get home could be delayed and that is not a good thing when you and a ton of other wives are planning for homecoming. There are other reasons but you should ask your SO what you can do to make sure you follow their OPSEC rules.
This is when the term “Embrace the Suck” has many meanings. You are about to go up that deployment hill, you’ve gotten as prepared as you can. You’ve gotten your deployment window. And that window could be all day. Or even a couple of days. Personally he’s left at the crack of dawn, afternoon, or even middle of the night. Regardless of when they actually leave the routine is generally the same you get to the meeting place, they generally have to show they have all of their stuff required for this deployment. You wont want to let them out of your site, but you should have started the day with pulling on some big girl panties cause you will need them to get through the day. Let them get it done and out of the way. You should get time after this to say your “goodbyes” or just “see you later’s” This part sucks. Sometimes the FRO will bring snacks, drinks, and coloring stuff to help occupy little ones, but despite that you may be on an emotional roller coaster, and that is ok. That is normal. Some people will treat this time which is usually in some sort of parking lot to basically tailgate and have a tiny farewell party, not all units appreciate this so if you plan to do something like this make sure its allowed.
Then they load up and leave… you hope.
We have had this happen once and as much as I appreciated the extra day. It confused the kids to no end and having to say our goodbyes two times over just sucked. They had gotten all the way to the plane but due to something wrong with the plane (see it’s not just airlines! it happens in the military too!) Their original flight got delayed by a whole day. If this happens to you, go do something special. Take advantage of the extra time you have been given!
Okay they have left, this makes it more real. Now what to do? I’ve heard of other wives starting special traditions to make it not suck so much for the kids. Loved the idea so we started our own tradition. We go get donuts to gorge ourselves on once we get home. Not talking about the bags of chocolate or powdered donuts. We go to the bakery section of our local grocery store, Dunkin’s or Krispy Kreme and each kid gets to pick out two special donuts. Make sure to get some extras for yourself cause a glass of wine and something super sugary sure helps take the edge off after a long beyond stressful day.
You did it! It has officially begun. Now for the ‘hurry up and wait’ part. But seriously, take advantage of your time. Start a new hobby, get organized if you’re not already. Learn a new language. The best thing I could tell you is find something to keep yourself busy, it sounds cliché but it really does help make it go faster.
Things I have personally done was learning to crochet, started our homeschooling journey, reorganize kids rooms, decorate the walls with photo collages, make TP art, try new recipes, started a garden. The possibilities are endless, and thanks to Pinterest you can have an endless supply of ideas too. One deployment we even braved the long trip home to spend some time with family.
For the married spouse. I should say I am a Christian and these are my personal thoughts on how a wife should treat her husband while he is deployed. Please do not take offense if you don’t like it, I am just talking about things I have done and experienced during deployments to keep my marriage going strong. Things I have done to help our marriage during deployments and would highly recommend you to pay attention.
If you are at this point in your spouses military career, hopefully they trust you enough to give you a POA. Do not do anything to make them not trust you. Military towns are full of places to go and people who go to those places that can cause harm to your marriage. I would highly recommend staying away from bar’s, club’s, strip clubs. Just don’t. One night of fun and ‘harmless’ flirting is not worth throwing away your marriage for. I have seen too many marriages fall apart simply because the wife wasn’t faithful while her hubby was gone. If you value your marriage, do everything you can to keep yourself out of any situation that is questionable. Please don’t get me wrong, have fun, be your own person. Just don’t be stupid about it. Your SO shouldn’t be having to worry if you are cheating on them, it could put them and their buddy’s in danger for them not having their head in the game.
So there we are heading up that hill going to the top or plateau if it’s for a long time. My next Post will be about Embracing the suck. What can go wrong will go wrong while he is away. You know it’s the wonderful Murphy’s Law of Deployment. You can find that next part here.