JD officially signed into his unit two days ago. Actually, he signed into Rear Detachment. The majority of the brigade is flying out next week, headed to Iraq. Thankfully, JD won't be leaving until mid-November. I've been mentally planning for this deployment since we found out he was being reassigned. I have very nonchalantly informed all of our family and friends of his impending departure (many still surprised) and I have convinced myself that I'm fine with it. Still, now I must allow reality to set in.
It's not as if I can fuss, whine, or complain about it. What right do I have? He was deployed with the 101st A.D. OIF I, returned in Feb. 2004 and has been home with us ever since. He's been in a non-deployable training unit for the last two years and we've had some great family time. Meanwhile, others have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan two and three times over. We've been very lucky, really.
However, at the time of his last deployment, I was firmly planted in our FRG and had a great network of friends already established. Plenty of support within the FRG and out. This time around will be a little different. Having just arrived, I don't know anyone from his new unit and I'm sure they have already completed their pre-deployment briefs. For now, all I can do is hope that it is a well-run FRG and that someone will be contacting me soon. I figure that I'll give it maybe two weeks and if I haven't heard from anyone, I'll start tracking someone down myself! I definately want to be "in the loop" when information is disseminated.
Beyond FRG contacts, the next thing on my "to do" list is to find a way to meet other women. I've met two neighbors and have really hit it off with one of them; which is great because our kids want to play together everyday! She even has a two year old at home during the day, just like me. I also saw in the local paper that there is a toddler story hour at our local library. I think that MS and I will have to check that out soon. Eventually, I hope to volunteer at school at least a couple of times each month and possibly join the PTA.
I'm not worried about keeping busy, with four kids under the age of ten, that's not going to be a problem. What I am worried about is finding "me time" and "girlfriend time". Those were absolute necessities last time around and I was fortunate to have plenty of opportunities for both. Without a network of support in place that may be more difficult now.
All that said, I'm trying my darndest to remain positive and upbeat. I plan on paying off a bill or two, visiting my family over the holidays, and staying busy with SpouseBUZZ. We'll make it through this just fine. Probably even stronger for it.