Air Force Guy has never deployed as a part of a unit - he's always deployed and then attached to a unit already in place. As a result, when it comes to pre-deployment briefings and information there is a distinct lack of flow in my direction. I mean, there are some generic briefings I can attend, but nothing specific to AFG's proposed Vacation to an Exotic and Sandy Locale.
This is actually both a positive and a negative. In the positive column, I avoid a lot of drama. I have never had to worry about the rumor mill or the spouse who knows more about my husband and his activities than I do. I've never had to deal with illogically timed meetings or homecomings that get pushed back multiple hours at a time.
On the negative side, I miss a lot of information. Having Love My Tanker as one of my good friends, I'm well supplied with official information. I know there are policies and I know which ones pertain to me. It's the specifics where this gets bogged down, as I realized when I read a blog post by Unlikely Wife.
I had to point out to the rear detachment commander why a wife wouldn't want her husband's clothes washed if he dies. (Yes, you can contact the entity over in theater about all that- you do have choices as to how much they "clean" your spouse's stuff). He went on about how he didn't know why anyone would want their deceased spouse's dirty clothes. I simply said it was so they could smell them. Seriously, this man had not thought that a woman would want to smell her husband, whom she could never touch or hear again.Let me mention that right now, multiple deployments down the road and having been a military family members since AFG enlisted in the Army his senior year in high school in 1993 - I had no idea this was even an issue. Someone would wash my husband's things before returning them to me? Reading that blog post absolutely blew my mind. Because, like most of the spouses I've talked to about deployments and the "Things That May Come" list, I'm 100% behind the Don't Touch That line. And for the exact same reasons that Unlikely Wife states.
While I had planned out scenarios in my head in preparation for that knock at my door, I had never progressed to receiving my husband's things. I had no idea.
And while I'm glad the military offers briefings chock full of information (no matter how difficult the subject) on deployments, I'm also struck again by how lucky I am to have a mil-spouse community armed with the nuances and interpretations that make that information actually mean something.