This topic popped into my head just now - one that I don't think has been discussed yet on SB (and if it has, I apologize to whomever wrote about it). It pertains to the "rumors of homecoming." In other words: when your loved one is due home from deployment. This is one of the most stressful and frustrating things for me as a spouse. Rumors. UGH!!!
For those who have been through deployments, I am sure you can identify with this topic. For those going through your first deployment, I hope this post helps you cope with the anticipated homecoming.
At any given time during a deployment, you will probably hear that the deployment has been shortened or extended. The worst time frame for this, in my experience and opinion, is about 3/4 of the way through the deployment. You are on the "downhill" of the deployment, anxiety and excitement of return is high, and your emotions are at their peek of vulnerability (or close to it). ANYthing you hear about the homecoming can make you excited or rip your heart out (depending on what you hear).
And families who are at home awaiting their loved ones return are not the only culprits to rumors. MANY times while DH was deployed I had a spouse call me and say, "My DH said they are going to be home early.... or extended... or home on THIS DATE." It was really frustrating for all of us, but I learned something very valuable when DH deployed for the first time:
You will know they are home when you see their smiling face!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not before. Sorry.
Redeployment plans can change at the drop of a hat. Sometimes they are home sooner, sometimes later. Unfortunately, WE (and they) have no control of the date and time you will see them. It's hard to swallow, yes, but it's a fact that will not change.
My advice is NOT to allow yourself to become absorbed in (or spread) rumors about homecoming. It only gets your panties in a twist and causes great confusion for you and others involved - even if you hear it from your deployed loved one.
There is ONE thing that is consistent in the military - CHANGE OF PLANS! Learn to be flexible. "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome!!!" Crying every now and then helps, too. :)