December 3, 2009

The Great Debate: Deployment Style

I cannot tell you how many times this conversation has come up in my life lately. I'm not sure why it's come up so often. We don't even know what unit he is going to be assigned to after this training is over (I feel like training has gone on FOREVER), but I guess because we are quite certain a deployment is something we'll be facing in 2010. Whatever the reason... I can't tell you how many conversations I've gotten into lately about what I am going to do when he does deploy... go back home to SC vs. stay wherever we are stationed.

I have strong opinions on this and know without a shadow of a doubt that I will stay wherever it is we are. I've had to defend this decision multiple times lately though. I have no doubt that people mean well. They are afraid I will be alone. That I need to be around family. I hate this argument, but it was said so I'll put it out there... "what if something happens to Trey, don't you want to be around family".
Here are my views. Number one and most importantly, I refuse to go into this with the assumption in mind that something is going to happen to him. Now that that's out of the way.. A) I'm planning on being extremely involved in his unit's FRG. I want to be surrounded by women who are close to the situation. Women who are going through the same exact thing that I am going through. I want to be there for them and vice-versa. I want to be there so I'm in the know in everything that goes on with the boys. Yes, I am fully aware that all FRG groups aren't so great. I know that they are not all as ideal as I've just described, but all I can do is my part. Maybe I am being entirely way too naive, but I don't see anything wrong with putting myself out there and being as supportive as I can be. Even in the worst group there is, there has to be at least ONE other wife that feels the same way. B) I want Trey to feel secure. Does this make sense? I have it all sorted out in my mind but sometimes have a hard time conveying things out loud (or typed.. whatevs). I want him to know that I'm holding down the fort back "home". That I'm taking care of the house (the same one we're in before he leaves) while he is gone and to know that he's coming back to the same one. I don't want him to worry about where I'll be or how I'm handling it. I've never been through this before, but from what I understand, the more stable and simple things are, the more at ease he will be. Home for us now isn't SC as hard as that sounds. As cliche as it is, home is now where the Army sends us. This is true. Which brings me to my third point. C) Moving around, being on our own, and time apart is part of our lives. We were both fully aware of this when he signed up. Signed up being the key phrase. He wasn't forced into doing this and I wasn't being the submissive wife with no opinion mattering. He volunteered and I supported him whole-heartedly. This being said, I refuse and cannot run home every single time he leaves. I need to be able to make it on my own, and truly believe that I can. This way of life already has so much instability... I cannot add to that. Especially when we add kids into the mix.
Don't get me wrong, I plan on going back to visit my family and friends as much as possible. My family still provides a source of comfort that can't be replaced and they still mean more to me than is probably normal. When I express these strong opinions that I have, I sometimes feel like I'm hurting feelings. No one has outright made me feel like that, but I just worry about it. But really, if my my family hadn't raised me how they did, if they haven't loved me as much as they did, I probably wouldn't be able to handle the time apart this way. I wouldn't be able to stand strong on my own.

As a disclosure - these are just MY opinions. And clearly, I haven't been through a deployment yet, so I can't speak for anyone that has. As much as we prepare ourselves for these things, we really don't know exactly how hard it can be until it happens. I absolutely don't think that people that don't share my views on this are wrong, this is just the way I want to go about it. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but how do you feel about it? Please, feel free to let me know what you agree with, disagree with, or where you flat out laughed at my naive way of thinking! I love to see others opinions and different viewpoints!

21 comments:

hmb said...

I agree! I can see going home for an extended stay...but I think that you should be able to hold it down for a while. When I talk to Josh on the phone, I want him to picture me in OUR home. Also...I don't have children, so perhaps I would feel differently if I were in those shoes. But I feel with kids involved, moving yet again will cause even more feelings of insecurity for them....does that make sense? I know it must be hard for those ladies with children, though....

There are a few ladies that kind of up and do something new and totally different! Lola is a great example! Livin' it up in DC!! Go Lola! I kind of like that idea.

Going home to stay with mom and pop....not so much.

Brandi said...

I agree with you Jessica! The bond between military spouses while their loved ones are deployed can be amazing (I mean lets be serious there are some crazies out there too, but we are looking at the positives here hehe). When we were younger and our Dad deployed my Mom stayed there. She had other wives, we had our friends and as military families know you move around so much as it is, why make your kids and your LIFE move around any more then need be?

This is just from my navy brat experience and maybe if I were married to someone in the military my views would change but I honestly wouldn't see that happening. lol

Huugs
Brandi

Shannon said...

I agree with you - you have to do what works best for you and not let other ppl's opinions and theories lead you to do something you don't want! Good post!

Lindsey said...

I totally agree!

J.L.S. said...

Had our situation been different, I probably would have done the same thing. However, I had just graduated from college and he deployed less than a month later. He was living in a barracks room on post when he deployed. So, there really wasn't a home to stay at. So, I stayed with our families in Greenville... specifically at my mother's house. There were days that I longed for other military spouses who understood what I was going through. And that is exactly why I started my blog.

Every person and every situation is unique. Therefore, the way people handle deployments is going to have a lot of variety. You just have to figure out what is going to work best for you!

lola said...

People need to do what is best for them and their situation when they go through something as tough as a deployment. I'm glad you're confident about your plans!

Steph said...

I'm glad that you already have "a plan." Our situation was different. I chose to stay home because I had a job and I didn't know anyone where he was stationed besides some guys in his unit.

All I can say is I hope everyone is supportive of your decisions and I wish you the best of luck!

Just Ask Beth said...

Jessica, why are you constantly consumed by what others think..You are a grown up and married to Trey not your friends or family anyore!! In the words of Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man"!! You need to be where he is going to return and be with his company and have that support from people who are going through the same thing you are...

Julie said...

I have come to the conclusion that each person has to be where they will be most comfortable during a deployment.

Our first deployment I was going to go home for the summer but then didn't. I was very glad I didn't. I had a wonderful summer with friends and lots of playtime for my oldest boy.

When the 2nd deployment was ahead of us I was going to go home because I hated my living situation. But then we moved and it was 100xs better so I just went home for the summer. It was great to take a few months off and be at home but I was glad I didn't spend the whole deployment there.

My son will start Kindergarten next fall so going home for the whole deployment won't really be an option anymore but I don't think I would do it anyways.

I know for me staying in our home and visiting a lot would be my ideal too :)

Carrie said...

You go girl! I completely agree with everything you said up there. Were I in your shoes I'd most definitely do the same. :)

However, my circumstances are a bit different.

When I move away, it's just not a matter of a roadtrip home to visit. I'm moving across an entire ocean, and plane tickets are expensive. I can't guaruntee that I'll be staying 4000 miles away from my family if Kyle isn't around. Should he deploy, I'd probably return home, at least for a good portion of the time. :/

BSS said...

I completely agree-- I was home with my family when my husband was deployed and they made me miserable! To make matters worse, I only had one friend who was really there for me. I had one "friend" tell me that I just needed to get over him being deployed. Then her husband joined the Air Force and she said she knew what I was going through... because he was going to the shortest/ easiest basic training that the military has to offer. I'm pretty sure that there's a huge difference between that and a 14 month deployment to Iraq!

When all is said and done, you really need to do what's best for you-- I really wish I had more people that understand when E was deployed.

Allison said...

It's good that you already have a plan in place. I've made the same conclusion for many similar reasons. I think him being gone is plenty of change without planning to move myself and my kiddo someplace new while he's away. I've heard many good arguements both ways but I agree with you. It's important that you are around people who can best help you.

Expat Girl said...

Huni you have a right to your own opinions so don't feel like you have to defend them to anyone. I think that when it comes to deployments, everyone is going to feel comfortable with different situations. For me, I had always been like you and swore that I would stay strong by myself and hold down the fort haha but things change and now with the pregnancy, I would be crazy to stay by myself! I hope that you have a while before you have to face any decisions so for now, dont worry about it and take everything as it comes : )

Kate said...

I completely understand the dilemma. When the Hubby deployed last year (I was obviously still in Japan) - but decided to make the journey home for the holidays. As much as I loved being with my family - my heart was back at base. The news, the military, his co-workers, the spouse group -they were all back in Japan and I felt further from the source of my information. When I came back to Japan after the holidays I felt relieved to be back in the loop and back within military company. Spouses do rally together and the people that surround you in your new "home" do become like family. It is completely normal to want to stay on base (or post) during your Hubby's deployment - but know that it probably will be something your loved ones won't understand. But - your military family certainly will!

MG said...

I'm with you on this! I fully believe that when I married my husband and we moved off to where the Army sends us that is where we make our life. OUR home is there, not back home with my parents or the inlaws.

Also, I think you will find that being around people who are in the exact same situation is extremely comforting. People who have never experienced a deployment or are not familar with the military just don't and will never understand. The support from the military community is huge, there is nothing else like it.

Having said that, don't give the FRG to much flack! Like all things, there are good and bad FRGs. I've been in ones that I loved and some that just suck. Hopefully you will have a good expierence!

Ashleigh said...

I was wondering that same question...Im glad you answered it before I asked!

Even though I would love it if you came "home"(back to columbia) when he gets deployed, I totally understand wanting to be there with other wives going through the same thing.
Although we love you, we don't fully understand what youre going through. And they do.

Its not like youre not going to have friends!! HELLO!?!?! youre JESSICA! youre going to make friends, no matter where you are!

I dont know what FRG is, so no comment on that...

And youre right. In order to fully accept this life that yall have chosen, you cant keep running back here whenever he isnt with you. Where would the stability be in YOUR life then?

I love you. I support you. And I cant wait to see you!!!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

If that's what you want to do, then I say go for it! It sounds like you have a plan worked out. Whatever works best for you and trey will be the best in the end!

d.a.r. said...

I wanted my husband to come home to "our home" during R&R. I wanted him to know that I was safe, in our house, and not being shuffled back and forth.

And I adore my mother. But, at 25, after being on my own for so long, the thought of living with my parents made my skin crawl. I went home for visits much more frequently than I normally do, and that was plenty for me :)

I am just too independent, I think!!

But, know this--no matter what you do, everyone will want to stick their nose in and tell you that maybe you should do it another way. I got that ALL of the time during this last deployment. I should have watched the news, I should have gone home, I should have done x,y,z. Well, guess what, I did this the way I knew that I needed to in order to survive. I did just fine, thanks!

Hang in there :)

tootie said...

I think I would do the same - stay in the same place and continue on as best as possible.

Ultimately, it's your choice and you should obviously do what's best for you!

Shelze said...

I found your blog from another one, but I thought I would drop a comment. Having been through a deployment, I can tell you that your ideas are right on. While yes, it will suck to be away from your hubs, knowing that you are taking care of the house while he is away will make him feel better about leaving (If I said that correctly). Anyway, it is great that you want to keep yourself busy so that your time apart is somewhat normal (again, not sure if I said that right), but at the same time your husband does not have to worry about you being alone and sitting at home all by yourself. Sounds like you guys are making an educated decision, and you should stick to your guns.

Kayla said...

Hi! I'm living with my army boyfriend of four years, and I wholeheartedly agree! I just stumbled on your blog today and wanted you to know I think you're doing the right thing. Regardless of whether your FRG turns out ot be good or bad, if you make the effort, there will be plenty of spouses that are more than willing to open their circle to you. I happen to be a part of a drama-laden FRG, and since I'm not married I feel like an outsider (even though I've been with my boyfriend for longer than some of them have even known their spouse). And yet, I still founda great group of girls that are going to be there for each other during our upcoming deployment. You're doing the right thing by being around people who "get it." There's so much that people who aren't in this life don't understand and don't know how to support you on. Keep going with your awesome confidence! I'd love to follow your blog! Here's mine as well: www.thelongbluedress.blogspot.com