This weekend marked three weeks until my hubby begins his deployment to Iraq. Of course, he doesn't get to head straight there. He will spend some time State-side going through the necessary training, then several weeks away from the US, then finally they will actually begin their mission. We've known about this deployment since last summer. He will be gone for close to a year. He will miss all but one birthday (lucky PB!), our anniversary, Christmas, Easter, summer...and during that time he'll miss a lot of other smaller milestones. It sucks. I don't want anyone to ever think that I want my husband to be deployed, that I'm looking forward to this year.
But that said, this year represents an opportunity for us all. DDS will finally have an opportunity to really do what he has trained so many years to do. He may have a chance to teach courses, he will have the chance to contribute in a way that is meaningful for him. The children will have an opportunity to have their father involved in their life in a way he wouldn't be at home. And I have the opportunity to remind myself that I am a competent and capable woman.
I volunteered to be the FRG Leader for my husband's unit earlier this year. I think I shocked a lot of people, including my husband and myself, when I said yes. But in almost 11 years of being married to a soldier, I've learned a few things. And I want to help those spouses that don't already have that knowledge. Of course, there's also the benefits to myself. I've made friends I might not have made otherwise, I've learned more than I already knew, and I've made it so that I will have information early on. It's been frustrating at times, but overall, it's already been very rewarding.
We all know that the year will seem like forever, bu we are working out ways to make it go quickly. DDS has plans to read books that the girls will be reading, so that they can discuss them over email. Teachers are sending emails to him regarding classwork for them. Videocams have been purchased, set up, etc. and emails are being established.
It sucks, but we can't let that be the main focus for this year. We will remain positive (most of the time) and we will all be stronger from this experience.