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Friday, November 26, 2010

Deployment and Communication between a Sea of Oceans...

You know communication with your spouse is very important, especially in the beginning. I remember that I would always have to just talk to my husband, hear his voice or smell his smell. Over the course of 10 years, I love him so much, it took me a while to get comfortable. The first few years of our marriage, I felt like we were just dating, we were young and just silly, the second few years were our trials and tribulations stages my husband has been dealing with PTSD on his own, and that has been stressful. However we are dealing with it, and Communication is so key in everything you do in a relationship. When you talk to someone every day you run out of things to say and then you start taking things for granted.

So as I sit here thinking back to my first deployment with my husband it was 2001, and cell phones were around but they cost so much with plans, and texting that we could only afford one, and after he deployed I didn't keep it. SO he left only for like 8 months to Kosovo. Well it wasn't so bad (as I sit here now) but during that time I was just sick with grief, as to why he wasn't calling me much. He was stationed at Fort Stewart GA and we had a house on base, but I left and moved home to NC. I wanted to finish my Bachelor's degree and it was so much easier for my mom to watch the baby when I was at school. Well my hubby could get on the computer more than he could call home, or rather wanted too. He said the lines were too long. So I went and got a job at a Home Medical Store to keep my time busy. I remember he called me twice while he was deployed to Kosovo.

The second deployment he was gone to Iraq, and let me tell you what we didn't have any verbal communication until August 2003 he left in March 2003. He would write me letters but they would come maybe every 3 weeks, so I would read and re-read them to just understand what he was going though, and maybe he would tell me something I didn't know. When he did call me it was mainly for 5 minutes, because they had to share the phone. The one time he did call me he had to hang up there was firefight that broke out and he had to engage. He wasn't able to call much or get on the computer, he was doing missions like every three days.

The third deployment back to Iraq was better, he left in Jan 2005, and came home on R&R in May. He got a laptop and we were able to yahoo IM back and forth, he didn't write me as many letters as he did in the first Iraq deployment. He did call more because he got free calling cards from the USO and other Veterans Organizations.

The fourth deployment was totally electronic no letters, postcards or cards sent home at all! I didn't like using skype or instant messenger, it is really easy misunderstand the context and meaning of some phrases. It was easier to use video chat, you can read facial expressions and body language. I think this was the worst deployment of all especially for communications. He did call home once or twice a month but the lines were a lot longer and there was no privacy.

I know each deployment I would find something to occupy my time, the first two deployments it was just my daughter and I. The third deployment I was putting my oldest into ballet and pre-school, and I had a newborn to deal with, so I wasn't as lonely. The 4th deployment, I had a two toddlers and a 7 year old, so I was not lonely at all, and I always kept myself busy with doing stuff like volunteering, school work, or doing stuff with the kids, at night I was to tired to be sad. My advice to you is to just find something you like or want to do, keep yourself busy. I think the less time we spent together it made us grow fonder of each other.

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