I remember the night Brian told me he was eager for a deployment. I was about 8 weeks pregnant with our first child, so naturally, I brushed it off telling him how silly he sounded and how we needed him home with us.
A few weeks later he told me in a confession sort way that he actually volunteered for an upcoming deployment but they already had their Marines selected. Thank God I thought in my head, even though I could tell he was disappointed. Brian was still very eager about wanting to deploy, so he talked to whomever he needed to, and before I knew it he would be replacing a fellow Marine on the deployment.
I remember him getting the phone call with the news, his face lighting up with joy, and me instantly thinking “how could you volunteer for a deployment while I am pregnant?”
It almost felt like I was being abandoned at a time when I needed him the most. Those thoughts slowly subsided with the help of prayer. Accepting the fact that this was what he truly wanted to do, I knew I needed to support my husband.
Preparing for Deployment
This wasn’t the first time Brian and I would spend an extended amount of time apart. Before he was stationed at Camp Pendleton he was stationed overseas in Okinawa for two years. However, this would be the first time we would spend a significant amount of time apart as a family of three.
How does one properly prepare for a deployment? Well, I don’t think there’s any right answer to that. For us, we made a plan to involve the other in our day-to-day life as much as we could, but not expect too much. We both knew that expecting too much could lead to disappointment, so any communication between us I would be grateful for.
Goodbye for Now
Before we knew it the date of his deployment had arrived. He loaded up all his gear in the trunk of the car and I dropped him off at the armory before the sun was even up. Then we waited. Families and friends all huddled around, visiting with their loved ones about to deploy, mostly smiles on everyone’s face. Before I knew it the most dreaded time comes and they call for the Marines to line up in front of the buses. Up until this time, I had remained relatively strong but it really hit me when I heard my husband say “babe I’ve got to go” just after they called for them.
No words can really describe the feeling the rushes over your body when your spouse walks away from you after that last hug and kiss. It’s a very surreal feeling, but I remember thinking to myself that this is only temporary and before I know it my heart will be whole again.
That first day was apart was definitely a blur, I remember thinking to myself how it felt as if he was just on duty, or off on a field op. It didn’t feel completely real that he had actually really left.
Staying Sane Despite the Distance
The first few weeks of deployment were rough. Brian was adjusting to being in the Middle East and I was getting adjusted to being alone with our son. At first, I was afraid of how it would be without Brian around to help raise our son. It turns out our son was the biggest blessing in this deployment because he kept me on my toes, preoccupied every moment of the day which not only kept me busy, but he helped me keep my sanity.
Staying busy is the best advice I can give to a fellow military spouse who is going through a deployment
. Find a new hobby, get a job, get together with family or friends, do anything to keep yourself busy. I found the busier you are the faster the days will pass, and before you know it, you’ll be done with a deployment. Not only was staying busy very important but establishing a routine with your spouse helped us out significantly. Communication is key!
Once Brian and I were adjusted to our new norm, we quickly established a routine which involved when we would talk to each other or Skype (his job permitting). This gave us both something to look forward to! In between our iMessages, calls, and Skype sessions, I made sure to write cards or pack a care package when I was missing him. It helped me feel connected to him, even though he was thousands of miles away.
Deployment Comes to an End
Before I knew it, the day was here, it was officially homecoming! My sweet husband was finally on a plane back to the United States. My heart could almost burst with excitement when he told me he boarded his flight home.
I remember getting ready on homecoming day, everything actually went smoothly! Our son cooperated and let me dress him not only in overalls but also shoes and I actually remembered our welcome home sign!
I only got lost once on my way to the homecoming location and our amazing photographer
was able to meet us prior to my husband arriving at the homecoming location.
When they announced the buses would be arriving soon you could see a burst of chaos. Families moving around, friends shifting, everyone preparing for their loved ones to return. I decided to stand back from where the buses would be pulling up, that way I would be away from all the madness while holding our son and our sign.
As soon as my eyes met my husbands a sense of calmness and excitement flooded my heart all at once! It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
All those long days and nights away from him all seemed worth it, the hardest chapter in my life was finally over. His embrace was the greatest feeling, I didn’t want to let go.
Just like that, my sweet husband is finally home and our hearts are so full! Our son immediately smiled and loved his Daddy. It was like he never left our side.
Home Sweet Home
It is pure bliss having your spouse home after a deployment, you get to reconnect and grow together again. Although everything was pretty much all sunshine and rainbows, just as we had to adjust to him being gone we had to adjust to him being home.
It didn’t take too long before we got back into a groove of things! I am so thankful our son took to his Daddy the way that he did because nothing beats seeing your child with their Daddy!