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Tag Archives: Deployment

A Long December… Please!

It is December and I feel like time is running away from us. This weekend we have Hubs’ departments “Christmas Party”. One of the chiefs in the department is retiring, so they are also honoring him and they were going to host it at the Chief’s Club on base. It would have cost $40 per person and the feedback numbers were too low so they are hosting it at a restaurant in one of the local casinos. It will be a change from the command events to just departmental. Such is life in the Hospital, I suppose!

This weekend we are also having a pre-deployment photo shoot. The date is sneaking up on us, friends. I feel like I won’t have enough time with him before he goes. He got a new set of orders, specific to his training. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… part of it is right here at Camp Pendleton, but they are on Lock Down, which means he will be right around the corner and we can’t have dinner or weekends together. I know he will be at training, but it would be easier if he were not right here on base! Word on the streets is they have wi-fi, so we can face time every night! Silver lining? We also have gotten word that there is a “graduation” type ceremony once they get through training that family can go to. Of course I want to be there to help welcome my Sailor to the Army!

Right now he is doing intense training on-line about customs and behaviors to avoid. Things like not giving a thumbs up because it’s offensive. Not accepting cigarettes (which he doesn’t smoke, so no worries there) but never turning down coffee or tea. Different things that can be considered insulting to the people over there.

It’s so much to take in.

We’re trying to enjoy each other right now and the time we have left together. We are booked with exciting things throughout the month to celebrate our first Christmas together as husband and wife! We are planning a pre-deployment get-a-way for a few days, a day trip up to Big Bear, and a night at the ballet to see The Nutcracker (which neither of us have seen live!) so each time I look at my planner, it is increasingly filling up!

For now, I’m off to decorate some more and get excited for our final month together!

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Emotional Terrorism

***If your spouse is

or will soon be

deployed::

This post may not be for you.***

***I am a Navy wife and the opinions in this post are solely those coming from my mind at this very moment. They are ideas planted in my head from movies created in Hollywood. They are fears and reflections of the way I view the army as I assume most civilians do. It is not meant to offend anyone, and I apologize in advance if my ignorance does just that.***

Hubs' Mini Medals... I guess we'll be adding some more bling to it soon!

I woke up this morning and headed to my appointment with Dr. J (my life coach… not the basketball Legend). The emotional terrorism began.

Adele came on the radio with “Someone Like You” and I could not get through the first line without losing it. I finally let myself sob openly. I allowed myself to be weak and leak all over the car. I approached Border Patrol that had traffic stopped on the freeway, sure they would stop the sobbing fool driving. they did not.

I pulled myself together long enough to get through my stay in the waiting room. Then I allowed myself to empty half a box of tissues as I openly wept. I’m talking the ugly cry, y’all. I told Dr. J I wanted to be strong for my husband and let him know he was not leaving a basket case behind. I told him I was scared but Army Wives aren’t scared, they are strong and I had to be too. He told me to open up and maybe write about it in my super secret journal… which translates into my super public blog.

I am scared. My husband has never been through the training soldiers have been through. My husband has never had to worry about shooting someone in their face. My husband has never had to worry about being covered from head to toe in sand. Since he has never had to worry, I have never had to worry. I am a Navy Wife. I worry about the sea, and pirates, and how he has to watch the same movies over and over again on repeat on the AFN TV. I am not an Army wife and I do not know how you all do it!

This is my main fear:: As a Navy Wife, I recognize that there are dangers during deployment, but let’s be honest with ourselves girls- there really isn’t. I have talked myself into a corner where my biggest fears during my husbands last two deployments was if he would have enough money to buy awesome souvenirs in Port. As a new [don’t really]wannabe Army wife my biggest fear is that soldiers come home in caskets. Soldiers fight hard and are brave! Soldiers are real heroes. Not to downplay the Navy (remember, I’m one of you!) but we are about to enter a whole new ballgame and I have zero unit support.

I am not one in a group of women going through deployment together. I won’t get the ombudsmen e-mails and weekly reminders that we are all awesome and holding down the home front so beautifully. I will not be coddled they way I was for our last two deployments. I will be all alone and so will my husband. He doesn’t know the people he is going to be with. They have not gotten to know the man who may become one of their battle buddies. He doesn’t know how to dig a fox hole!

I did some shopping to clear my head and prepared to make the most of the remaining time we have together. God has a plan for us, and I must remember that. I then openly wept all the way home. The radio did nothing to help as I wept through “Made In America” (Toby Keith), “God Gave Me You” (Blake Shelton), “I Got You” (Thompson Squared), and a few others. I wept and let my emotions out in the privacy of my own car… and now here in my Super Secret Journal… now if I can muster up the confidence to talk about how I feel with my husband so we can work on being scared together… or so he can reassure me he is secretly Rambo!

The Plans He Has For Us :: Etsy Love and More!

It was ironic that just before leaving for our trip back east, I purchased this print from a shop on etsy [Naptime Diaries]:

Image from shop: click on it to be taken to listing!

Jeremiah 29:11 has always spoken to me. From my life in an abused home knowing He had a plan for me to my life as a Navy wife knowing He had a plan for us! I could not resist the purchase of this piece to be placed somewhere in the home where I would see it everyday. With all that we face, it is so easy to let go of the fact that someone greater than ourselves has a greater plan for us!

It has never meant so much as it does today after learning the news that yes, friends, Hubs will be deploying… with the United States Army. Put a Navy wife on a Marine Base and deploy her husband with the Army. So we went from Hooyah, to Oorah, to Hooah just like that.

We have tried to remain light-hearted about it, joking about stateroom’s in the desert and the differences between sand and sea, but when it boils down to it, I could not hold in the tears as Hubs told me this afternoon. They already gave him his paperwork… a battle record or something. We don’t know how long, but we are thinking it will be a year.

What I do know is at least we can begin to process the facts we have. We can make the most of the holidays! We should be able to celebrate our “official” anniversary! We will fill our days with little things to make them better and time together just being there with one another.

I’ll be sure to hang the beautiful print somewhere I will be reminded daily not to whine, and to look to Him for strength! Buckle up, it’s going to be quite a ride.

HOOAH!

Not The Best Birthday Gift…

I write this to you all tonight, asking for your prayers, dear friends.

As we sat down for my birthday dinner (um, delicious Cheesesteak sandwiches!) Hubs’ phone dinged letting him now he had a voicemail. It was his boss. We went and got my phone which has much better reception than his. My first thought was that we’d be heading over to NOB and getting him on a MAC flight back home, two days into our trip. I was wrong.

As Hubs began telling his boss about his credentials and qualifications I thought nothing of it and walked into the house. I told Nan it was nothing- they just wanted to know when he met certain quals. NBD, right?

It was a mere moments later that Hubs was inside saying they wanted to deploy him IA (Individual Augmentee). He didn’t know where, he didn’t know when, he didn’t know for how long. That is the downside to working in the hospital: there is always a civilian who can step up and fill your shoes should a position need filled elsewhere in the world.

Happy Birthday.

We sat on the east coast waiting for the phone call we were hoping for: that his Boss was able to get his name out of the running. It was, after all, for a qualification he does not use on a daily basis or in his job, ever! Just something he did years ago when he was hoping for an internship.

Our time passed away in Norfolk and I anxiously waited on pins and needles just waiting for that call: the one telling us to get Hubs to the airport. The call never came.

Last night at the Navy Ball, we were standing during the cocktail hour talking with Hubs’ boss and his wife. Casual conversation. The XO and his wife came over and joined us in casual conversation. Nothing heavy, nothing work related. The CO joined in the conversation and the rest is kind of a blur. He pretty much said “How ’bout them apples, shipmate? So sorry!” I’m sorry, what? My heart sank.

The CO just as quickly left to make his rounds and we were left with Hubs’ boss. We asked for the all important deets, but all he knew was A-Stan. We don’t know when, or for how long. All I could say was a light-hearted “I hear it’s nice this time of year… Dessert Camo will definitely accentuate your features.”

As a military spouse I signed up to serve my country by supporting my husband in all of his career endeavors. A husband who was pretty much never going to deploy and would most likely always work in hospitals. A husband who signed up to serve his country in such a capacity. I recognize when one signs up to serve their country, they go where their country needs them. Right now, our country could use him in a very scary capacity for us. The limbo is what I hate. Hubs is not set to deploy as of right now, but his name is on a list… a list his superior officers could not prevent him from being on. Waiting to hear if he will deploy is one of the worst experiences in our relationship and my time as a military spouse.

Please pray for us, for answers (whatever the decision may be) and should the decision be to deploy, for strength for us both!

Courage | Duty | Honor | Valor | Sacrifice

Last night and today I was able to add the first two items in my Wounded Warriors series in The Young Retiree, STAMPED! I am so proud of this line, and the 20% that will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. It is my goal to make a donation to them every month – so please spread the word to your military friends that the line is up, and will be growing!

"Courage to Serve"

This courage to serve not card is made on high quality cardstock from Stampin’Up in “Not Quite Navy” blue. The quote down the right side is stamped in “Riding hood Red” from Winston Churchill:

 “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

It is perfect for any military milestone but I call to mind occasions such as enlistment/re-enlistment, commissioning, promotion, deployment, or those who have completed their career and are ready to retire.

I also have one for those brave men and women who stay behind while their service member serves and protects our country:

For those who serve, by staying behind

 This one is great to send to a friend who is struggling with the deployment of a loved one.

I am in love with this set and have been brainstorming several designs.

Please help me spread the word of this amazing cause! Also: free shipping to APO/FPO addresses for those who are serving and stationed overseas on any order in my shop 😀

*Side note: I had my first sale yesterday 😀 A week after the concept for this shop came together, someone purchased something that I made! I am still super giddy about it and so blessed that people find my talents worthy of purchase!

Special Days In Life | Lunch With Hubs

Posted on

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Seal via NHCP Facebook Page

Today I went to the Hospital over on Camp Pendleton to have a special lunch with the hubs. The First Class Petty Officer Association was selling pancit and lumpia as a fundraiser. Some of the kids were from Hubs’ department, so it was nice to not only help, but support some of his own.

While there, I got a great tour of the department and was introduced to everyone while I waited for him to get back from a snack run. Everyone seemed so friendly, but we’re definitely not on a ship anymore! You can just kind of tell there isn’t the camaraderie in the civilian world that there was on the shipboard side. I guess when you’re not having hails and farewells every quarter and wardroom gatherings there simply isn’t the opportunity to build the relationships.

I was introduced to some folks on the military side. I was introduced to good old “Lady Boards”. (Remember he bought the female shoulder boards and didn’t realize it until the morning of his promotion. The closest shop that sells MSC shoulder boards is down at Miramar- quite the haul in morning traffic!) He’s a Cowgirls fan- no wonder he bought the female boards. I also was able to meet Hubs’ boss! He was a really nice guy who knew how to talk football smack on the college level. He checked in only a week or two before Hubs, so he’ll be here for the same length of time, which is always nice.

Along our tour one of the most breathtaking things was a back corridor: The Hall of Heroes. The hallways would be travelled if one was heading to the Executive Conference Room or one of the staff parking lots. Along the walls there were pictures and citations of those in the medical community who received the Medal of Honor. (Where Hubs’ great grandfather is pictured!)

One of the things was a glass enclosed bulletin board where the hospital badge of those deployed either IA or on various missions were hung. Hubs’ was outside checking a voicemail and I have to admit I got a little choked up by the sentiment. How important it is in this kind of environment to remember those who have separated from their command to assist the greater community of their military brethren. There were about 50 badges hanging in the case, give or take a few. Next week one of the Petty Officers from Hubs’ department will deploy and his badge will be placed in the case.

It was one of those moments in life that take your breath away and make you so greatful for the sacrifices of those so often overlooked beause they work in a hospital and not out in the heat. Another concept I have the Navy to thank for giving me… I will never forget the day I first saw it, and will say a prayer for all those everytime I see NHCP.