Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It seems like an appropriate day to write about something I've been dreading talking about.
For about a month now, my husband has been dealing with the possibility of a deployment. My husband's squadron was tasked to send someone to Iraq to work with an Army unit on the ground searching out Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
My husband is the only one in his squadron in the career field they need. But the squadron doesn't want to let him go. They were ready to promote him to a second-in-command position and since he is the only one who does his job in the squadron, they will have to cut back on "production"without him around.
They passed off the first orders that came down by saying that he had too much rank to fill the position. The powers that be accepted that explanation, but sent another tasking down for someone with more rank.
So, damn, he's tagged again.
Still it seemed like no one in the squadron really believed that he'd have to go. "But we need you here!" was what he heard over and over again. They did everything they could to keep him here. To no avail.
We just found out on Wednesday afternoon that he will be deploying to Iraq.
And he leaves on Saturday.
Now there is some good news, sort of. We thought he'd be leaving for Army training for a couple of months, coming home for a little bit, and then leaving for Iraq. But it turns out that he'll go to this first class for just a week. Then he'll be home until June 14 when he'll leave for more training. But he'll be leaving straight from training to Iraq in August.
He'll be gone until early March.
The back-and-forth of the last month has been hard on me. I always say how much I hate not knowing. I said aloud on Wednesday morning that I'd wish they'd just send him already. And some fate must have heard me. Be careful what you wish for.
There are a lot of positives here. We'll make some extra money (unless Congress mucks that up). I have months and months to concentrate on some personal goals. And he'll be doing important work, helping to keep our soldiers, as well as local children and Iraqi civilians safe from IEDs. I can't help but think of my friends' husbands who are presently serving in Iraq or headed there soon.
But it kind of sucks for his career. Now he won't get that job promotion. And I'm not used to him being in true danger. Oh sure, flying his plane into combat areas is never completely safe, but I trust his crew and his technology to keep him safe. I know nothing about the Army way of life.
The hardest part so far has been telling the people in our lives. I honestly haven't wanted to. My husband absolutely dreads telling his mother. More than he even dreaded telling me and the kids. And my daughter, well, she's doing okay, but you never know when she'll detonate.
Today I have my military wife friends on my mind. They are the ones who can understand the vast and complex emotions of dealing with a deployment. Today is an excellent day to appreciate military spouses.
For now, I'm keeping my sense of humor. June is still a way away. Patrick's news has been good. He's still in the hospital but things are looking better and there is an end in sight (maybe this weekend).
And tonight my husband and I are going on a date to a Crawfish Boil with a bunch of friends.
Once he's gone, I'll start making plans. For now, I'm living one moment at a time.