Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's next...

Our move from Alaska to Kansas last June was for the sole purpose of my husband attending a year long school. We knew going into it that we would be moving this following June to our next duty station which for the Army is typically for a period of two to four years. The school itself is a lot different from most Army trainings in that it's essentially a year of college. In fact most service members take additional classes in conjunction with this school to earn a master's degree. The leadership repeats that "this is the best year of your life." This makes most of the spouses smirk as in reality they don't see the service member much. I've lucked out in that my hubby a) is a good student b) is a non-procrastinator and c) already has a masters, so I get lots of family time. Not everybody gets to attend the school, so it's a prestigious training to have within the Army.

A big high point for the year is receiving the potential list of duty stations for our follow on assignments. Because let's face it, finding out you could traipse around Europe, lounge around in Hawaii, or live in Okinawa for a few years is just cool. So everybody gets excited and talks about how they ranked their list (specific to each job).  Then we wait between two weeks and six months to find out.

When we received our list, the branch manager specifically included that soldiers with dwell times (time at home between deployments) over certain amounts would or be likely to deploy.  My hubby fit  into the would be deploying category. So while there were some fun sounding locations, we chose to prioritize the direct deployments rather than to roll the dice and land in a new location where hubby would deploy soon after. Well, we got our wish. Hubby leaves this summer for the middle east for twelve months.

Of course, I'm not very excited about this.

The reason that hubby has a higher dwell time than others is because in a six year time period, he did three twelve month deployments. He deployed, came home for four months, deployed, came home for two years, and deployed again. In comparison, I had neighbors who deployed one time during the same period. When it came to our next assignment, they sent us to Alaska because he had deployed so much compared to his peers. While we watched soldiers duck and dodge to get out of deployments, he never flinched from his responsibility. I sucked it up and made it through those years pretty much without complaint.

This time I feel differently.

There are a couple of reasons I feel this way:
1) Several of the people who I know fit into the same dwell time category as us are not deploying.
2) Many of the financial advantages of deployments are going away, in fact now his area will be an unaccompanied tour versus a deployment.
3) I'm going to have newborn twins.
4) I have a three year old.

I had a family member who told me congratulations on getting our first choice. Honestly, I was shocked that they would say this. This is not good news, this was us trying to have a little control over our lives.

Now that everything has shaken out, I feel like we got jacked. It makes me a little bitter. It makes me sad that hubby is going to miss the first year of the twins lives. I know it's going to break my heart to see E deal with this.

I've always been supportive of my husband's career, and I will continue to be. However, it's taken me this long to even write about it without feeling emotionally compromised by putting the words down here. It will take me a little while longer until I'm not mad at the situation.

Honestly, most of me feels like I shouldn't feel this way. I even feel a little disloyal for putting this out there because I should be more accepting of our reality. I shouldn't compare our situation. I should suck it up like a good Army spouse.  My hubby certainly isn't complaining about it. I'm just not quite there yet.



  1. This sounds so hard! Will you stay in Kansas while DH is away? And I don't think you're complaining or being disloyal. You and your husband make incredible sacrifices and you shouldn't have to like all of them. I know in the end you will handle it with the strength and grace you always do. But again, you don't have to like it!

  2. I don't understand the way it works but does deployment mean active duty? Like dangerous stuff? I can't believe you have to put up with a whole year of him being away while you have newborn twins - and for a whole year? Don't they take that into consideration? Apart from the fact that hubby will mid their first year if life who is going to help you? I'm so bummed for you and I don't think you're being disloyal or in patriotic - it plain sucks - especially if you see others who should be deploying getting out of it somehow! Have you told hubby how you feel? Is there anything that can be done to change this? So sorry this is happening. Big hugs !

  3. I think you have EVERY right to feel as you do., As a former Navy wife, I can totally relate to where you are coming from. It will not be easy, but other Army wives will rally around you and your community will help you. You got the poop end of the stick, and it will be hard for everyone, but he is doing his country a service and be proud, but do not feel you do not have a right to the feelings you're having, I know they say us wives "must be strong for him" but you just need to take care of you and your family and survive! You're a great wife and mom and your hubby and kids are lucky to have you!

  4. Wow, that sounds so tough. Hugs to you, I get a bit crazy at the end of a four day single parenting run, so I can't imagine an entire year. With newborn twins and a toddler. Soooo hard. I don't think you should feel bad for having these feelings.

    Thinking of you...

  5. My dad was deployed Navy during WW II with two little ones at home and a pregnant wife. My sisters and I have ALWAYS said that the mom at home is an equal partner in sacrifice for country. This is a tough gig. I'll be honest though. Your previous posts hinted at big issues, and I was SO worried it might be divorce. Having your husband away during the first year of the twins' lives sucks. No mistake. It's a bit heartbreaking, actually. But divorce is forever. I'm relieved to hear it is this and not that. But it still sucks. To say I thank you both for your sacrifice sounds so corny, but I am grateful to all our service families for the sacrifices they make.

  6. Oh my goodness. I guess I'm not totally clear on how you trying to exercise some control over your lives ended up in a 12 month deployment to the middle east when you are pregnant with twins, but I'll take your word for it.

    I do NOT think you are complaining in least. Far from it. I guess I also don't understand given his 3 deployments already why he was moved to the head of the class for another. My husband was in the Army 9 years before we got together, so I have the highest amount of respect for the sacrifices or military and their families make.

    Is there no way to revisit this decision? Where will you be? What kind of real, daily, hands on help will you have (you will need it, with two newborns and a toddler at home).

    Vent here all you want, you are neither disloyal or complaining and shouldn't be made to feel that honor means sucking this up. I do not see it that way.

    I thank you and your husband for his service and sacrifice.

    1. Thanks for your support. :D I appreciate it a lot. We were trying to exercise some control of his deployment by choosing the straight individual deployment to a safer location in the middle east versus being sent to a station like Fort Bliss and then deploying in a month or two with his unit. So technically we got our first choice, but we prioritized this only based on the guidance they gave us that we would deploy. I don't know if that makes

      Unfortunately, there's no change that will happen on his is what it is--right!!

      Thankfully I am going to have live in help...more on that to come.

  7. Oh my, I so relate to this. Although my drama feels pretty petty next to your upcoming deployment. So I guess I should stop feeling so sorry for myself! haha.

    Anyways, for us we thought things would go a certain way coming out of Alaska, then it turns out nothing is fair in the military, and even when the rules say one thing, "the powers that be" can and will do whatever they want. So frustrating.

    It's just making the best you can from crappy choices, then finding out other people who deserve it less, got better than you. Yep. But here I am complaining because I have to live in a state I strongly dislike, but that's all. I will definitely think of you when I am tempted to complain!

    You are going to rock this deployment. THEN go somewhere awesome *fingers crossed!*

    1. :D Thanks for the encouragement. Your drama is not petty. Sometimes stuff just sucks! I definitely get not liking where you are at!