This blog is just getting off the ground, and already I have a pretty serious topic to broach. It's one that, depending on your spouse's personality, you might have to deal with too.
Last night my husband asked my permission to deploy.
We recently got orders to PCS this winter, and all of the soldiers in my husband's course were tasked for "branch immaterial" jobs, which basically means they just need warm bodies to fill slots. We could give preferences based on location, but no one knew which jobs they would be tasked for. Both my husband and another soldier were assigned to the same post but different units, and the other soldier's unit is already slated for deployment. My husband wants to trade with him.
Every time I think I couldn't be prouder of my husband, he does something to amaze me. This other soldier just returned from a deployment, and my husband doesn't think it's fair that this guy should do another so soon when my husband hasn't been since OIF II. But there's more to his decision than just equality of downrangedness: my husband thinks that the War on Terror is important. He wants to do anything he can to help our country come out on top. He gets personal satisfaction and meaning from doing a job that matters in the world, and right now he thinks he could matter more on a deployment.
So he asked my permission. And I granted it.
I know that this decision is easier for me than for others because I don't have children to worry about. Deployment is not nearly the strain on me as it is on those of you with little ones. But that year of separation still hurts even if I don't have any added responsibilites. No wife wants her husband to be in harms way, and it's even worse when he wants to do it on purpose! But I also want him to "be all that he can be", and if deploying makes him feel closer to finding purpose in his life, then how can I deny him that?
I also think maybe part of the allure of this scenario is that we can feel like we're in control of this scary situation our military is in these days. If my husband and I can pick the deployment and do it on our terms when we're good and ready, then at least we can feel like we have some control over our life. Shoot, you all know how little control we have over our lives in the military...
It's still not certain that this will all pan out. The trade has to be approved, and who knows what can happen. But I'm still proud of my husband for stepping to the plate.
And I'm a teensy bit proud of myself for granting that permission. Gulp.