Thursday, February 28, 2013

a frank conversation about deployments

Michael has to go on trainings a lot for his job and usually he is only gone for a few days at a time.  A few days is perfect because I get time to do homework, be alone (which is a necessary thing for me), and miss him without feeling lonely.  Last year he had to leave for a month which was hard but we got through it.
At the end of next month he has to leave again for a training deployment.  Just to clarify, the word deployment sounds scary but it technically means any amount of time that the person is away from his duty station.  Our duty station is Camp Pendleton in San Diego.  He is going on a training deployment to Yuma, Arizona for six weeks.  Six Weeks!  Any military spouse that reads this will probably think, "pshhhh, 6 weeks is nothing."  Which is true, in the grand scheme of things 6 weeks isn't that long.  But no matter how long that person is gone for you worry about their safety, worry if they are happy, and worry if you can ask for help.
That is the biggest worry, that is the worry that the military community doesn't really talk about; asking for help.  We live around so many men and women that have been through months and years of training and conditioning to be strong, independent, and fearless.  And because spouses are surrounded by these ideals it starts to get really hard to ask for help.  I don't mean help in changing the oil or fixing the broken faucet, I can pay someone to do those things.  But help in friendship, help in not feeling so secluded and lonely.  I have made some really great friends out here, people I could call at any time and they would drop everything to help me.  Some of those people have moved to other countries, other neighborhoods and some are still close by and I am grateful for all of them, but what happens when the mental rolodex is used up and no one is left to call?  How do you ask someone to come over and sit with you on the couch, no conversation necessary, just be with you?
This is why deployments are hard.  This is why life in general is hard.  Any amount of time away from the people you love seems like eternity when you are living it.  Something needs to change. Everyone, military or not, needs to learn how to ask for help.  Learn that being alone is ok, and that asking to not be alone is ok too!  His next training will be my training, I am going to learn how to ask for help.


  1. Hey, you give me a call any time. Day or night when you start to feel lonely or get overwhelmed. I can't be there to sit on the couch and chill but, I will talk with you all night if necessary to help you feel a little bit better.

  2. I am here for you too. There is never an inconvenient time for you to call me. Also, if you need a friendly face, I will be happy to come out there and just sit with you. Don't be afraid to ask me to do that for you. Chris and I would drop everything in our lives to help you out and be there for you.