9/09/2010

Deployment Survivor

My bloggy buddy Amber at Goodnight moon has this great idea to do a link up for survivors of having their spouse deployed.

Matt and I had been friends forever before we started dating. When we first started talking, I knew that he was going to be deploying within the next year. Mentally I had to make a decision if I was prepared to handle it before we even started dating. Of course I decided he was worth it. Before he deployed, I took a leave of absence from work and drove out to Seattle from IL and stayed with him for six weeks. We had a great time and did lots of fun things in those six weeks.

D-day June 2007

He left at noon on June 10th. I'll never forget those buses that took him away. After he left, I had to pull myself together to drive back to IL. When I got back I worked at my office job and also a shit job. I worked between 50-70 hours a week. I paid off all my bills. I sent Matt care packages at least every other week. According to whoever check his mail, he got the best care packages of anyone in his unit.

His R & R was in November and we got engaged. R & R was bittersweet. We had a great time together but I knew I had to say good-bye again. By this time, he had already lost one of his best friends.

After R & R, he had another 10 months of deployment left. He was deployed for a total of 14 and a half months. We missed every holiday while he was deployed, some twice.

We didn't have the best communication while he was deployed. He emailed me most days but rarely called. He would go to an outpost that didn't have phones or internet for 3-4 weeks at a time. He did this 3 or 4 times. So that's 9-16 weeks where we had zero communication. There was no Skype. If there was we didn't know about it. We did do yahoo messaging with webcams but it would always disconnect and one of us would get fed up with it.

I like to think while he was deployed I was strong. Yeah, I'd lose it sometimes. I was grouchy at my shit job but hey it was a shitty job. I didn't whine about him being gone or complain about all the things we were missing. I might have thought it but I didn't whine about it. I held my head up high and tried to remember that most people couldn't do it.

The day he came home was the best day of my life. It was better than our wedding. Words can not describe the feeling of knowing he was safe, I was back in his arms, and that we had done it.

Homecoming August 2008

I've been thinking a lot about those who will never get to experience this feeling. The family of his friend that died and wives who lost their husbands will never know how great this felt. It breaks my heart.

We got married two weeks after the deployment was over. In some ways I'm thankful that we got to go through this. It's made us closer. And he understands that I will always be there for him.

13 comments:

annoyed army wife said...

Such a sweet story! :)

Frugalista said...

It really and truly does give you a better appreciation for that person when you have experienced such a long time apart. It's so hard!

Goodnight moon said...

Thanks for linking up your story! WOW....14 1/2mths...that is such a long time! It sounded like you kept yourself super busy though working all those hours. Deployments are so tough...it either breaks you, or makes you stronger. You did an awesome job supporting him while he was gone.

And your right...when those buses drive away...it is the most heartbreaking feeling in the world!

Angie said...

Awww...thank for your story. It is so hard reading this because I know that this time the roles will be reversed and my handsome will be the one waiting for me. I bet I am going to start crying when I leave and when I come back!

ArmyWifeAsh said...

aww this reminded me alot of me and rob... so thankful we only had 12 months and not 14 1/2! Glad you were able to keep busy and get through it!!!

MiMi said...

I just can never imagine that. Such hell. I think I would bawl nonstop.
I love the picture of his homecoming!!!

♥Miss Brittney♥ said...

Wow Steph! Mad props to you!! 14 and a half months!? My husband was gone for 10 & 1/2 months and I was ready to lose my mind!! lol. But kudos to you because you are a survivor!! :)

shortmama said...

I cant even imagine...

WhisperingWriter said...

What a wonderful entry! I love that last photo.

Heff said...

God Bless you and all involved.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

I love these stories...
And being away does make you closer

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Oh my goodness I have chills! What a sweet story :)

Beka said...

I love this! It made me cry, great story and thanks for sharing! My husbands deployment is over a year. He left a few months before his deployment so once he comes home, it will be about 16 months that he has been gone, so I totally feel you on the missing every holiday, even some of them twice! :(
Your an inspitation. It's nice to hear about other ladies surviving LONG deployments too!
XOXO