Sarah once wrote a fabulous post in which she made the point that deployments are like snowflakes, no two are alike. No deployment I've experienced has remotely resembled the next one which came along and not all were combat deployments, but I still count a deployment as a deployment. Apparently that line of thinking is not shared by all.
Last week, my husband and I had to call USAA. The customer service representative wanted to update some information on file while she had us and she asked my husband the date of his most recent redeployment. My immediate thought was the 2010 redeployment, but my husband came out with the month and year he returned from Afghanistan, which left me confused and caused me to speak out. We were on speaker phone and the rep must have chuckled because I said, "You're not counting last year's deployment?" My husband shook his head no.
I think my husband wrongly believed the rep was only interested in Iraq or Afghanistan deployments and he answered accordingly. After we finished our business with USAA, I told my husband it was a good thing I had been a party to the phone call because if I ever had to go through a list of security questions with USAA in the future and they had asked me the question, I would have answered differently.
Our deployments have definitely been like snowflakes. I've had the benefit of experiencing peacetime, wartime and humanitarian deployments. The length of each deployment varied from one year to roughly three months. Each deployment has been vastly different than the other but no matter the differences, all were deployments. Ironically, while the last deployment was blissful in the sense that I didn't have to worry about my husband's safety because he was deployed to Haiti, I think it may have been the toughest one yet as my mettle was tested like never before.
As I told my husband, no deployment counts more than the other. Each deployment poses unique challenges, but each is a disruption to our lives. Each comes with a good-bye, a separation, unknowns, dirty thoughts and a reintegration period. My husband thinks I'm crazy because I told him he needed to call USAA back and change that date. This has little to do with making sure the record is absolutely correct and more to do with the fact that by gosh, I WANT credit for that deployment. I shall not be robbed!