Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Little Background

I thought I'd provide a bit of background about our military story. Steve is in the Idaho Army National Guard. He also works full-time for the Guard, so I suppose it is sort of like being active duty, without having to relocate. He works very, very hard, and I couldn't be more proud of him. This upcoming deployment will be his third in the eleven years he's been in the Guard, although one of those deployments was in-state, where he was part of a back fill. That being said, he was far enough away that he couldn't live at home, but I still was able to see him at least once per week. I suppose that "deployment" was good practice for his next one, which was an 18-month deployment to Iraq. He left when Camden (our 6-year old) had just turned one, and returned when he was 2 1/2. Now, we are gearing up for deployment number three, which will be 12 months total, and begins sometime in September. For me, reality finally set in last week, and I am feverishly making lists, making plans, and thinking about all that we need to accomplish before he leaves. Of those 20-something weeks, Steve will only be here for about 10 of them, with training and what-not. Ten weeks goes by so quickly! Our main concern is how to properly prepare our children for this big change. They are very close to their dad so his absence will have a huge impact on them. We are hoping to make it to the end of the school year before broaching the subject with them (another month), but I'm thinking that may prove difficult, as word of the deployment has now been in the news, and people tend to ask us about it quite a bit.

My second concern is for Steve - - I know how hard it is going to be for him to be away from his boys. The way I look at all of this is, yes, it will be hard for me at times too, but at least I get to be with the boys. I can't imagine being in Steve's shoes (for all kinds of reasons), so I will most certainly be directing a lot of my energy to keeping him feeling as close to home as humanly possible.

Although the Army is certainly part of our every-day lives, gearing up for a deployment has me feeling a little apprehensive about "deployment" Army life. During Steve's last deployment, I didn't really become involved with FRG activities, because unfortunately there were a lot of women who seemed to possess a "victim" mentality about the whole thing, and for me, it didn't prove to be the least bit helpful for me in coping with Steve's absence. I'm going to approach this deployment with an open mind, but if I encounter the same thing this time around, I will look for support, when I need it, in other areas.

My biggest wish is that our boys will have a transition that is as smooth as it can possibly be, and that the 12 months will go by quickly for all of us.

6 comments:

  1. Following your blog via the MilSpouse Blog Hop! I look forward to reading more!
    -Heather
    http://heatherashleydz.blogspot.com

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  2. Thanks for linking up on the blop hop! I'm in the midst of deployment so I feel your pain. I love that you're going into it with an open mind. That's my philosphy as well! It's so nice to meet you, and I look forward to reading more about you!

    Wife on the Roller Coaster

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  3. I am not sure how old your boys are but sesame street has some really great material to help discuss and prepare for deployment

    http://www.sesameworkshop.org/initiatives/emotion/tlc

    Something I know works well for some friends with older kids is to start writing little notes to dad and fill a jar that they decorate for him and that way he can read one every day he is gone.

    orry to hear about the FRG, they are so hit and miss. Good luck getting ready.

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  4. Thanks, Patty...I actually just came across the Sesame Street videos this past weekend - - they are so good! It was just what I was looking for. Also, I love the jar-full-of-notes idea - thanks for sharing that. I'm going to have a very open mind about the FRG; hoping for a positive experience this time around! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. I will be reading this blog too Heather and thinking of you all! Has Griffin ever known deployment? It is hard for me to remember this very real part of your life as I don't know that I was reading your blog when he was gone...and it is hard to remember the last time he was. Thinking of you all...

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  6. Hi Jenn - - No, the last time Steve was deployed, Griff wasn't around yet! Camden had just turned one, and Steve came back when he was 2 1/2. So, Camden does not even remember that Steve was ever gone. His last deployment was June '04-Oct. '05. So, it has been a while!

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