For anyone in the military or who has family in the military, we all know nothing about it is easy. From constant moving, to time apart, we live in a constant state of worry and uneasiness. Our lives always seem to be so out of the norm that we tend to only get along with other military families. The military is just a world of its own. Especially when it comes to deployments.
After serving in the Marine Corps for four years, I had a good understanding of commitment and knowing that at any moment I could be sent away to war, and although unnerving it was what I signed up to do. Fortunately, I was never put in that position, and after four years I got out. We had a daughter on the way and I wanted to be there every step of the way. I also knew that in a few very short months my husband was going to be getting deployed.
So many thoughts raced through my mind. He was set to leave only three months after our daughter was born. How was I going to raise our daughter on my own? Would she remember him? What would it be like when we reunited? I knew it was going to be a lonely time, and now I had this precious bundle of joy to take care of and make sure she knew both parents loved her very much. It was difficult, that’s one thing that’s certain. I missed my husband and he missed us. It was hard watching my daughter learn and grow and not being able to share this precious time with him. When he left she was just merely lifting her head and being able to sit up straight. It is crazy how much babies learn in that first year, and he was missing half of it!
Thankfully, technology is advanced because he got to see her on FaceTime occasionally, and we could send him mail with pictures and treats for him. We were fortunate because not everyone gets to talk on deployments. But no matter what, distance is hard whether communication is there or not. I did find some ways to help though.
For one, family is a huge help! If it wasn’t for my parents and siblings I would’ve gone crazy. My husband and I live in California and my parents live in New Jersey which is definitely a trip, but it was much needed. I was fortunate enough to live with them for five months, which gave me an outlet with people to talk to and do activities with. Plus, I had help with my daughter! I was a first-time mom and super scared so the help was amazing.
I also found that staying busy helped tremendously. My daughter kept me very busy in that sense, but I mean leaving the house and doing fun things. It sucks when the person you love isn’t there to enjoy them with you, but at least you can get your mind right. Getting some fresh air definitely helps and is just overall good for your health.
And lastly, don’t let the little things tear you apart. Deployments aren’t as easy as they look on TV. They’re actually really hard! So it is okay to cry and scream and get angry, but don’t let that get the best of you. My husband and I had arguments and worries and hard times. It wasn’t all good, but I never expected it to be. Pick yourself up and be strong. I realized it is much harder for the person who is deployed because they don’t have you, your children, or family to fall back on. They just have you at heart and that’s harder than what we deal with on the homefront. So stay positive. Deployments do come to an end and the homecoming just makes it all worth it! My family is proof of this. Distance can and does work if both people are willing to put the effort into it. I hope that there is comfort found in knowing that you’re never alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. #deploymentssuck