The Deployment Diary

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Day 172

As you can see by the day count, we're almost into the half-way mark of this deployment. I've kept a journal on another site off and on since shortly after he left, but I've decided to abandon it. There are several reasons for that, but the main one being every single entry was a whine-fest. That's right, I only wrote when I needed to pour the emotions of the day into something - release it and stop holding it all in. If someone who didn't know me read through it, they would think all I did was sit around and cry for my husband. While I freely admit that I am a crier even when times are happy (Hallmark commercials during Christmas reduce me to tears lol), I also cry more often when my husband is gone. Especially when he's in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq for a full year.

However, with the six months approaching, I wanted to start anew. I wanted my journal to reflect the full rounded person that I am - the changing person that has found the independent me again and has grown in leaps and bounds emotionally. The journal is a way for me to keep tabs on my every day life. It's also a way for me to record the emotions that I do not want to burden my husband with while he's in a war zone. He knows me better than anyone. I worry though, sending long emails and letters about how hard some days are emotionally would have him question my strength -even though he has said on several occasions I'm one of the strongest people he's ever known. I wanted to have a journal where when he's returned and is rested up, he could sit down and read all the entries and we could talk about the emotions I faced back home - and the emotions he faced over there. A way to get us talking about what all we both went through and a way to slowly work through it all as we get used to life returning to normal.

I'll also add here that I'm famous for my rambling. It's a gift ha! I've had editors say editing my writing is something they only had nightmares of before I came along ;). Look up verbose in the dictionary and you'll see my smiling face ;).

A Little About Us
My husband has been a soldier for 19 years. He'll hit the 20 year mark this year. We moved to our current duty station two years ago this June. The plan when coming here was to purchase a home, my husband drop his retirement paperwork last August and spend that last year on easy street as he ACAP'ed and got ready for civilian life.

In July however, word came down they would be going to Iraq. Although no stop-loss was issued at that time, the man my husband is would not allow him to drop the retirement paperwork and possibly have him leave his fellow soldiers in a combat zone without him. I knew when the word came down he wouldn't follow through with retirement, so him finally coming home one day and telling me so was not a shock.

I admire him for how much he cares and how much he gives to the Army and those he works with. He says the NCO Corps is no longer the same - those from his era are now dinosaurs and a dying breed. Having never worn the uniform myself, I cannot comment personally. However, when I talk to other spouses married to "a crusty ol' Sergeant" it seems to be the common feeling with their spouses too. So, it was no shock and did not awaken resentful feelings when he planned to stay with his folks no matter what - even if it messed up our plans for a "normal" life after all these years as an Army family.

If he comes home from the desert and says he's not ready to hang up the uniform, that's perfectly fine too. My husband had quite a few years in when we met and an established career. I promised to love him and follow him anywhere they Army would allow - and I am not one to break my promises. The truth is, the world of today scares me. I'd love to be a spouse who didn't watch the news and see "new" hot spots and worry my husband would end up over there, however this is what our life is. And as long as I can share my life with him, I'll take the fear and uncertainty. The alternative is not having him in my life and that is not something I can even fathom. He's the most wonderful husband and father - and he's my closest and dearest friend. It's his career and if he decides he just cannot hang up the uniform yet, then I'm there will bells on to encourage him to do whatever it is that he wants to do. I love him and that love trumps the fear that comes along with this lifestyle any day.

As it stands now, I think he'll wait to decide on retirement until he gets home and has the 90 days stabilization. If history repeats itself, it won't be long after that before he comes down on orders for a new duty station. If he plans on staying in, I'm sure he'll be on the phone to DA not long after getting home trying to find us a decent place to go.

I will be sad to leave here. We bought my "dream" house when we arrived here and have spent a lot of money and time making this old house become the former beauty it once was - and we still have a long way to go. We had always said we wouldn't buy a home until we were staying somewhere - and now so much has changed neither one of us is sure what tomorrow will bring. The only thing I've told him was if we do move again, the only stipulation is he has to buy me another old house to fix up ;). Working on this house has truly helped to keep me sane and my mind occupied on some of the really hard days!

About me
I'm the mother of two small children. My husband and I had planned on not having children when we married. We wanted to be selfish and have our worlds revolve around each other. After several years of marriage though, we both felt we were missing something and that something was children. We had a wonderful marriage, we were happy and content - but our home was so quiet. In late 1996 we decided it was time to start a family. We have been blessed with two children during our family making days. Due to health problems, I'm no longer able to have children - so we feel strongly that God woke us up in time to have our family before the choice to change our minds was taken away.

I also love to write. I'm not a great writer unfortunately, but if one was judged based on how much heart they put into it and how hard they try - I would be considered a great writer lol! I've had articles published in several print publications with the latest appearing earlier this year in the Army's newspaper for USARAK. A Pulitzer is not in my future lol, but sometimes we have to gauge our accomplishments based on how much we enjoy something. The best "award" I can receive is writing something that caused me to cry as I typed the words and to hear back from someone else who read it and have them say it touched them deeply also. That, to me, is better than any paycheck.

Ok, so that should give you an idea of who we are and why I'm writing this journal. At this point, I'm not quite sure what all I will include in the entries. I'd like to comment on some current news here and there as some of my favorite bloggers often do. However, I'd also like to include a lot of personal thoughts and feelings - to record the last half of this terrifying year.

Until next time...

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