So in my super late Weekend Wrap Up post yesterday I mentioned that I’m struggling a bit with the emotional side of pre-deployment. I thought that since writing has always been a creative outlet for me, that creating a blog post dedicated to touching base with how I’m feeling, how things are going, etc. would be healthy for me, and maybe one day someone else who’s going through the same thing will find this and read it and feel understood and heard.
Anyways. I have no idea where to start. Umm well Ben and I have been together for 6 years. We met during our first degrees 7 years ago, became really close, and realized we just couldn’t do without annoying and driving one another crazy every day of our lives.
About 3 years ago Ben joined the Army as a Reservist. I have never had any experience with military life, so being thrown into it was both a time of struggle, and more importantly a time of growth. When I flew out to Fort Sill, OK to see him for his graduation, and hear his voice after a few months of not hearing it at all (except in my head when I read letters….don’t tell me I’m the only one who reads letters from people in their voices…in my head! Not outloud!!!) I was so excited, and terrified. What if we didn’t mesh together again, what if I’d changed too much, or he had too?! But oh that was the sweetest weekend in the middle of no where that anyone could ever have.
All in all it made us stronger as a couple, because I knew no matter what I wasn’t going anywhere, and I think he knew the same. Then when he got home from AIT (Advanced Individual Training) we slipped into the life of typical Reservist families. Normal life except for one weekend out of the month and 2 weeks out of the year where Ben would go to his base unit, or another unit for training. We adjusted and life was normal.
Then towards the end of summer last year we found out that Ben’s unit would be deployed. It felt like a round house kick to my gut. Especially because I was naive and didn’t realize that Reservists would be deployed when we weren’t in an “active” war. I have since learned the true role of Reservists in our military, and how naive I was to think in my mind that we were safe from that life.
The biggest struggle I think I’ve had to deal with is just that. I was naive, and didn’t realize the potential impact of being a Reservist. It’s more than just a weekend every month and 2 weeks every year. Ben, my Ben, signed the same paperwork that all soldiers sign, that when asked to fight for our country, he goes.
I have always struggled to imagine how hard it is for military families to deal with deployment, and am still struggling with it. I’m grateful we don’t have children that I have to explain this to, or a pregnancy that I’m going to worry about going through alone. But in the same vain, I’m so sad, and stressed, and angry, and anxious.
I know that we will be stronger because of this, and that even though it feels like an eternity now it will just be a short period of time in our journey, but I can’t help but remind myself of the other way this could go.
I’m rambled on long enough now, but I want to say that not only am I extremely proud and in love with my soldier, but I am proud of all of the soldiers, whether Active, Reserve, or Retired, and their families for the sacrifice and commitment that they give to our country, and lives, every day.
Here are some pictures from that weekend in Fort Sill, OK.