Up until a few days ago, the subject of my post was going to be different. A few days ago we found out my husband is scheduled to deploy to Kuwait in January for 9 months. He leaves in October for 3 months of training. He might be able to come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas but we won’t know until we get closer. He is going with a different unit , he will now be drilling with that unit. Which also means that his entire drill schedule for the rest of the summer is changing, but we have no confirmed dates yet. He is also now attended a 2 week A-NCO training class in July and a 2 week AT in August.
So many things have been going through my head since I received the news. As a member of the Army National Guard, the last time my husband deployed was in 2004 before we met. As a matter of fact, we met about a month after he returned. Sure, since then, we’ve gotten through our weekend drills and annual trainings with no problem. I mean, AT is only 2 – 3 weeks right?
I work full time as a project manager with an IT company so, in a lot of cases, I have been able to schedule business trips during times of AT, which made them pass by much quicker. Sometimes I think it might be easier if he were active Army. Then we would be all Army all the time, instead of here and there with civilian responsibilities in the middle.
His drill and AT responsibilities have been a lot harder on me over the past year and a half since we had our son. Now, don’t get me wrong… I know thousands of military spouses get through deployments every day. But that doesn’t stop me from being a little overwhelmed now with a deployment looming over our heads. For one thing, we know he won’t have a job when he gets back. He is currently a contractor with the Air Force with a contract that ends in October. We live in an area that almost requires a two-income family. Second, I already know I’m going to be exhausted. My husband was gone for 6 weeks last September helping another unit mobilize and I was TIRED! Between our son, 4 cats, my 80 hour a week job, and making sure the household chores were completed I was only getting about 3 – 4 hours of sleep per night if I was lucky.
Now we’re talking about him being gone for 12 months! Being in the National Guard, we don’t live anywhere near a military community. I don’t know any of the spouses in his current unit so there is no one around who understands what will be involved here. My family is 15 hours away and my husband’s family is about an hour away on a good day. The neighborhood we live in right now is not very conducive to making and developing any type of friendship with other families.
Not only am I worried about how I’m going to take care of everything, but I’m also worried about our son. He is 18 months old and is very aware when either one of us leaves the room. When my husband was activated during a hurricane last August, my son was only 10 months old and clearly did not want him to leave. I really believe he knows that when daddy is wearing his uniform then he is not going to be home for a few days. My husband will miss his 2nd birthday and he will be almost 3 years old when the deployment ends. I really don’t know how he is going to take this deployment.
So, I’m doing what I do when faced with something new… READING! I’m reading everything I can on preparing for a deployment from official sites (USAA, Military One Source, etc) and from military spouse blogs. Because we don’t have any dates yet, most of our summer plans are now up in the air so I’m trying to plan things that can be easily rescheduled. My job is flexible enough that if I need to telecommute a couple days a week during the deployment I can.
I am trying to add as many items as I can to Amazon’s subscribe & save (which is AWESOME!!!) so that I can have them delivered right to my door. No need to go out and get them. We currently rent an apartment so our number 1 goal is to try and buy our first home before he leaves, which would make a lot of things so much easier for me. With that, I’m really hoping to be able to develop some friendships in whatever neighborhood we end up. If we’re really lucky there will be other families with children around the same age as our son.
In the end, I’ll do what every military spouse does during a deployment – get it done and get through every day a little bit stronger than the day before.