A blessing in disguise, or well.. in camouflage…
I am lucky and proud to say that I am a partner of a military member. It is an honor to be able to support your loved one while they are out there risking their lives for ours. Although truth be told, being a partner in the military isn’t really the easiest thing to be, and that’s coming from both sides ( the soldier and their loved one ).
I choose you
When my partner and I started going out, I knew that he was enlisted, so this didn’t come as a surprise, although him being in my life was (ha ha).
But from the start I’ve constantly been asked ” why be with someone who is in danger.. or .. not here in person ?” And I would respond by saying ” well, this is his job ? Your partner has a job and you support them and they are gone for a while, and are in danger too… so why shouldn’t I do the same ?” My partner decided this lifestyle waaaay before him and I made things official, but he still decided to give love a chance.. so why would I stop him from accomplishing his goals and dreams just because we are in a relationship ? Yeah, it’s not fairy tales and unicorns all the time, but he makes it all worth it. He makes time absolute, he cares about others so much that he is out there trying to make a difference, and he loves me.. so it wasn’t hard choosing to be with him and staying by through it all.
Our first deployment emotions
Now when he told me he was going to get deployed my heart sunk.. not because I was shocked ( I mean this had to happen at one point or another and he has been gone before, just not for long), but it sunk because my first thought was that my best friend was going to leave.. and I know that it’s a bit selfish.. but I didn’t want him to leave .. plus I wanted him to stay and be where I knew he would be safe…
I was also upset that he was going to be gone for almost a year, and overseas!! There was just so many emotions going on, and it was all happening too fast.
To make matters worst, with him being so far it and in an area with horrible reception, it does make it difficult for us to communicate as much… So I do find myself constantly waiting by the phone to see if I have a miss call or a text from him…
Now on his end, I know that before getting deployed he was worried about finishing school, and getting his civilian job licences done. This is something that he has been working on for years, so he was uneasy about the sudden change in course. Another thing that he was concern about was going somewhere that he didn’t know while having to leave his family behind. Family to him is very important, so from conversations that we’ve had, leaving us wasn’t easy for him, and it still isn’t.
How we are dealing with deployment
So with the constant worries, and communication troubles, the beginning of this deployment didn’t go smooth as we had hoped for. But we we changed a few things in order to help and make this experience better for the both of us and our families, and so far it has worked ! One thing to remember though, is that whether you are the solider away or the loved one at home, support and clear communication on how you feel can really make a difference.
- Patience can be put to a test with any type of situation. Although, while on deployment, patience is tested when you haven’t heard from your partner. We now have cellphones, and can text, call, and even video chat, but we have to recall that reception isn’t always going to be good. Therefore, when there’s a moment when you don’t hear from your soldier, do not get upset or instantly worry. Try to remain calm, and remember that they may be busy working or were given orders; They will contact you when it’s possible. Something that my partner and I do is let each other know if it’s our day off, or if we work that way we know if we can talk more or not. We also always sent a ” good morning” and a ” goodnight” text to remind us that we are okay and alive ( because now a days you never know), and so that we start and end our days in a good way. We also try to send random messages with words of encouragement or lovey dovey texts, just to make the distance and time difference, not matter much. This is tough, but doable , but you both have to patient with each other so that you don’t get mad or annoyed by the situation.
- Supporting each other is a no brainier, but it’s something that I have noticed most couples going through this for the first time have had trouble with. As a couple, reminding each other how much you love and appreciate one another helps, but also telling your partner how proud you are of them and how grateful you are for their devotion to this lifestyle and each other really makes an impact. As the loved one, do not blame your soldier for leaving, understand that this is their duty. Understand that while they might seem like they are okay, you never truly know what’s happening on their end, or how they are feeling about this. It’s easy to build a tough exterior when you have to, but it isn’t easy letting your true emotions flow all the time while trying to remain strong. Now as the soldier, please be understanding to your partners emotions during deployment. You have been preparing for this from the moment you were in boot camp, they weren’t. So even though they chose to be with you and join you in this military lifestyle, it is still a big adjustment for them, so please keep that in mind. Additionally, something that my partner and I do that helps is always congratulate each other on the milestones we have accomplished within that day ( whether big or small), this helps build encouragement and it also keeps you up to date with their goals. Another important thing that I like to do for him is keeping him up-to-date with his friends and family. He can’t always talk to them, so letting him know how everyone is or trying to video chat with him while I am with his family, makes him feel like he’s still with us. It’s the little things that matter when it comes to showing support.
- Communication will then supplement support. If there is something that is bothering you, then let your partner know. Do not expect for them to know what you are feeling when they can’t see or barely speak to you. Neither of you are mind readers ( as cool as that would be haha), so being able to share how your day is going ( when possible), and your emotions (whether good or bad), this will make things clearer on both ends. Lashing out is never ideal, specially when it’s going to take months before you see each other again, so it’s best to resolve the problem by communicating before it escalates. I know that it’s hard when you aren’t face to face, but it’s better to try than to let it all go to waste.
These are the top three things that we do in order to cope deployment, but there are still other things that you can do to help with the distance and time difference.
Remember that you can always send care packages. For example, his family and I did two separate ones, one included his birthday box and the other regular things. So in his birthday box I included open when letters (which I will do a post about later on when he comes back), and there we added snacks, games, and more of his favorite things. You can also do little crafts, send each other pictures, share music that reminds you of them, write a poem, or heck… even a blog like I am doing now, anything makes a difference. This advice just doesn’t work for deployment purposes though; patience, support, and communication should always have important roles in your lives.
This experience hasn’t been easy for either one of us or our families. We are still learning as we go, and we are still counting down the days, but remaining positive and keeping hope will definitely take us far and help us push through this.
I wish everyone who has a family member or partner deployed, or in the military, strength to push through the obstacles. I want to thank all our soldiers for their service. You are all in our thoughts, our hearts, and our prayers.
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