I am too old for this deployment, don’t you think? I am not old in the rest of my life. But the world looks at 47-year-old me and wonders why my husband is still deploying-- and why I put up with it.
I wonder this, too. So when Blue Star Families asked me to participate in the deployment project that they are running over the next five months in connection with their E-book Everyone Serves, I was interested.
They have gathered all different kinds of military families to share real life stories of the different stages of deployment and reintegration. I think we're supposed to be the old people. That's, um, better than the alternative, I guess. So we will share our stories here and link to other Blue Star families for you to enjoy.
So if you don’t already know, I’m Jacey Eckhart. My Navy husband is currently on his eighth deployment. He is with an amphibious squadron of ships (the kind that carry the Marines everywhere they need to go). The group started workups in January. They deployed in March. The ships are expected home late in the fall.
You would think that after 26 years I would be used to this by now. You would think I would be one of those senior wives who sniff and tell you, “I look forward to having him gone. I need my alone time.”
I am not one of those women. Those women make me wonder whether their husbands do not change their socks often enough. Who did they marry that they wish he would leave?
Sure, I know for a fact that having a life of your own is a requirement for military spouses, not an option. But really, folks, my husband is my favorite person in the entire world. That is why I am still waiting for him.
He is the only one who cares about what I did at work today. He is the only one who thinks our three kids are as smart and funny as I think they are. I want to hold his hand when we walk the dogs. I want to bring him cold drinks while he stains my deck. I want to press my face into his chest and feel all the troubles of the world melt away. Of course, I want him home.
First, I have to get through this deployment. I know how to do that. As the Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com, it is my job to discover all the skills that get people through all of their different deployments--even the ones that take place late, late in a military career.
By taking part in this Blue Star Families project, I hope to show how the lessons we learn every time we deploy are the things that make us a better couple, a stronger family.
No deployment is easy. No deployment lasts forever. And the way through a deployment is never how you expect it to be. Especially for me.
Follow Blue Star Families on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and build a support network so you can keep your family and personal community strong throughout the duration of the entire deployment life cycle.