Everyone seems to have an opinion lately about how military wives should act -- what they should say, what they should wear, and what they should put on their cars. Most of the time I ignore it because no one can tell you the right way to be a military wife and, frankly, this lifestyle is hard enough without people grading you on how you get through it.
Lately, though, I’ve been puzzling over one topic that seems to come up a lot.
"It’s not ‘Our Deployment’ it’s ‘His Deployment.’"
I’m not arguing that our children and I have packed up and gone off to desert places unknown to join my husband. I’m certainly not suggesting that we have endured the danger, the discomfort, and the uncertainty. We’ve had the comforts of home, hearth and friends while Big Daddy (as we call him) has ducked mortar fire and lost countless nights of sleep in the world’s most uncomfortable bed. But to not acknowledge the significant affect his absence has had on our household seems to somehow diminish it.
So I’ve been asking myself: if it’s not ‘Our Deployment,' then what do I call it? In military terms, deployment is the movement of armed forces and their logistical support infrastructure around the world. In my husband’s terms, it’s going to work and getting the job done. HOOAH.
Deployment – here on the homefront -- means 184 nights of missed dinners, goodnight kisses and bedtime stories. It means standing in a crowded post office trying explain to our tearful three-year-old why we can’t mail ourselves to Daddy with “super awesome” Buzz Lightyear stamps, no matter how much he begs. It means I’m laying in our cold, lonely bed at night wide awake and worrying about everything I can’t tell him and have to figure out on my own.
Stuff breaks and I fix it. Kids fight and I regulate. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries pass. Life goes on and it’s not easy without my husband -- but it’s worth it because any other life without him is intolerable. So I kiss him goodbye and become a different brand of warrior while I wait for him.
Maybe the definition of deployment is too narrow-minded or maybe I am missing some key military acronym that defines the logistical support infrastructure I sustain at home while he is away. In any event, it may not be Our Deployment but it’s definitely Our Sacrifice.
Chrystal is a published romance author, dedicated USAF wife and mother of two teenagers -- a 'tween and a toddler. She is a Florida native working full time in the midwest for a major aerospace company as an affordability specialist and project manager. She's a firm believer that everyone is responsible for their own happiness and life is what you make it, which somehow makes her perfect for military spouse life.