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View Full Version : Twelve More Months W/out DH - Sigh.


TottenKing
10-31-2005, 10:01 PM
I guess this is the sort of board (the United We Stand board) to find someone who can empathize with my feelings. My husband has been gone with OIF for almost three months and it seems like forever. :sad1:

Today he says he thinks they'll return home in or about September of next year. He does get to come home for two weeks in May and we'll be at WDW with the whole family (in-laws and all). :lovestruc I have to say, too, that fourteen or fifteen months is not the longest deployment...some people stay for longer. That being said, I can't imagine making it that long. It seems literally impossible.

Are any other military spouses having an especially tough time dealing with the deployment? We have four children and I have a full-time job. On top of the logistical problems involved with having a deployed spouse and a big family, I just miss my friend/partner incredibly. I do have friends who are sympathetic, but I just don't think they understand.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? (Guess I still have my sense of humor.)

lyeag
10-31-2005, 10:36 PM
Right here for you. Dh has been on a few long deployments. I finished up teaching during his first year long deployment and we have 3 kids and had no family around. I know it is hard. No time for yourself and the lonliness is overwhelming at times.

How old are your kids? No matter what the age I am sure they keep you busy. Pm me anytime, we all need someone to talk to who knows what it is like. Hang in there, we are all here for you.

Alice28
10-31-2005, 10:47 PM
I know, I know!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wave2:

My DH has been gone 14 months now; has about 2+ to go. It's so hard! We have 3 kids, and our 3rd was born while he was gone. That was tough. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and soon enough I was turning another page on the calendar, and then another, and another....I swear to you, I think about last Halloween, how I was pregnant, trick or treating with the boys, and I think, "Wow....this year HAS gone by fast!" I thought it would seem like a freaking eternity, but it's gone by quickly. DH is sorely missed, but you can get through it. I am also here to PM any time.

Keep your sense of humor- realize you are not alone, realize that you will get through this, be strong for your kids and your husband. My biggest concern was making sure my kids got through this deployment emotionally healthy, so I kept my own emotions in tact in front of the kids. I know someone at my church whose DH is overseas and she is just a basketcase all the time from what she tells me....her kids are now in counseling. :guilty: Get out and do stuff- try not to let small things bother you....downsize on priorities- meaning, only do what you HAVE to do....my calendar remains very clear most of the time because I only have so much to give, you know? This is just NOT the year for me to be volunteering to help out in classrooms, etc. I have enough on my plate, and I don't feel guilty about it either!

bubbleprincessmom
10-31-2005, 11:23 PM
Another one here....we should do lunch as I know your over by where my sister lives. DH has been gone since May of 04!!!! *three months of predeployment training in Texas/wisconsin and in the box since Sept of 04. Because of his MOS (civil affairs) and his rank he was "asked" to stay, and those of you in the military know that when your "asked" it's more of a you will ...to stay for a second rotation. He is now due home in July or August 06!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're hoping he will get to come back for leave in March but of course nothing is certain. The kids are having a rough time they really need their dad but he is an American hero so that counts for something. It's hard but you just get up and make it through each day. I do have a question for you other wifes though...do you still sleep on "your" side of the bed? I just can't bring myself to sleep on "his" side or even in the middle...just doesn't feel right so I have this huge bed and I'm still up against the edge like he's right there. lol

lovemygoofy
11-01-2005, 06:52 AM
My dh is on his second year long tour of Iraq. We've been together 4 years total and married 3 of them. He has done Afghan, Iraq ('03-'04), home in Feb '04 then in another state for training 3 months with me home, home for a few months, then back to training in another state for 3 months, and home then back to Iraq.

We were trying to add up how many days he actually has spent in our house and out of the past 3.5 years probably 420 days total maybe.

I miss my dh alot and this deployment thing doesn't get any easier. I tell the wives in my FRG that if it starts getting any easier to just send your dh away to war, then you need some marital counseling.

Hey bubble, I sleep in the middle sometimes but for the most part I still slep on my side just like if he was behind me cuddling and to help me really think he is I have a big big pillow that I spray his cologne on and I stuff it against my back. It's like having him there almost with the smell and the warmth against my back.

I know that we all can get through this. We are some tough women who have the love, support and courage to take this on. I know that it sucks and it's hard and so much juggling but we are strong strong women. Keep your chin up.

momof3disneyholics
11-01-2005, 08:32 AM
I know about those long deployments. The only way that we could get away from the deployments was to get out of the military. It was a little scary because you do become dependent on the military after a while, but it was worth it in the long run to be able to have my husband there to raise our kids.

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
11-01-2005, 09:01 AM
I understand. DH was a reservist who was mobilized for 15 months, but was only away 12 months total. They almost kept him when he was down to 2 weeks left, and he did not tell me this until he was home. They did "ask" him if he wanted to go back when he returned (he is a Lt Col. in logistics area), and he told them NO. He had a promotion in his civilian job awaiting him. Several other officers did volunteer at different times.

I did not think I could make it an entire year. It seemed overwhelming. I took one day at a time and did not plan out much further than that. We were lucky in daily webcam/email/phonecalls, but I know most are not. This helped us a lot. We have 2 kids so they did help the time fly, but made some things more difficult. I did learn to tell people "no" and not feel guilty either. We were happy when another month was over with. The holidays were the worse, hard on DH too. We focused on his leave date at first, and that seemed to help break down the time. Then after leave we looked toward the redeployment.

Bubbleprincessmom-I seem to think there is a maximum 24 month limit, counting leave earned and stateside mobilization training on any reservist/guard deployment. I may be wrong but this is what I understood. DH had a couple weeks leave he earned that were added to the end so his active date was several weeks after he got home. I would think your DH could not be gone past April with all the leave he has earned. Maybe someone knows for sure.

I actually slept on DH's side with his pillow I never washed, made me feel better. We could never eat at the dining room table the entire year though.

Don't focus on the return date, look forward to R & R and getting packages together. They knew me by name at the post office. I sent Christmas decorations in Nov. (mini tree etc), and some gifts shortly after that. It kept me busy. Good luck, there are many out here that do understand. DH has 18 months until he retires from reserves, and I am still nervous they could get him again.

Longsx3
11-01-2005, 12:12 PM
TottenKing

I can definitely sympathize. DH will be gone 3 weeks tomorrow, as of now he should retunr in late April/May but I keep waiting for him to say he is going to be extended. The Air Force has recently begun making some deployments 12 months to keep the continuaty in the job and I think his job is one where 12months makes sense....after he leaves hopefully. I think one thing that will save us is that we should PCS next summer.

So far we are surviving, but I do miss DH terribly but we just go on. In some ways it is is easier for me because we only have one child and being overseas I don't have to deal with too much family drama. So DD and I just do are normal daily routine and that seems to help.

TottenKing
11-01-2005, 04:21 PM
Wow, everyone. :wave2: How very sweet of you all to take the time to tell me your stories. I've been sick all day with what feels like a flu bug (what about that shot I paid for :sick: ??) and just got to read all these at once. It moves me to tears to hear frome people who understand.

Lyeag, my kids are 16, 7, 3, and 1. (The oldest is my sister - I am her guardian.) I may PM you sometime! :flower:

Alice28, I have always said the only way I think things could be harder is if I had a newborn while my husband was gone. :hug: I really don't know how you do it. (I've always said I would have lots more kids if it weren't for six months of intense sleep deprivation with each one.) I think I have managed to keep it together in front of the kids and for the kids. Also, I did one of the things you talked about...let go of my volunteer and political activities. When room moms call me to bring something, I tell them right now, "put me down for something I can buy already made."

Bubbleprincessmom, this mom loves to do lunch! :sunny: PM me when you're in town! I can't believe your DH has been gone so long.

Lovemygoofy, I always see you writing to make people feel better. You seem like a very sweet person. :grouphug:

Momof3disneyholics, I agree with you about the deployment. My husband will probably have five more years contractual obligation to the Army when he gets home. Because of that, he's going to accept the direct commission to a 2nd Lt. he's been offered even though it will mean another four months away from home shortly after he returns (though within weekend driving distance). We're almost certain he'll get deployed again so might as well. (Also, being a 2nd Lt. would give him a chance of missing a deployment because they have to leave someone behind to be in charge.) He hopes to be able to complete the firefighter :firefight training he started before the surprise deployment. (Yes...I know...my husband has two really sexy costumes...though some call them "uniforms.") :blush:

BibbidiBobbidiBOO, we are lucky to have daily phone calls, too. My husband has about twenty guys in his tent and they share a free phone. He says only about ten of them seem to care to use it much, though. :o

Longsx3, you said your DH is in the Air Force. Did you get to live in San Antonio at all? I grew up there and love that city! The possibility of extensions is scary. :faint: My husband used to say he wasn't going to tell me he was coming home until he was stateside at his demobilization site. He knows how much I get my hopes up about things and some servicemembers are given such short notice about extensions. I think he was too excited to find out it might be only twelve more months and couldn't keep it to himself.

Again, thank you all so much. You are very kind and sweet women and it means a lot to me that you took the time to share. (BTW, I did check to see that you were all women. It's got to be hard for men with deployed wives, too, because they seem to be often overlooked.)

:flower3: :flower3: :flower3: :flower3: :flower3: :flower3: :flower3:

KT27
11-04-2005, 05:05 PM
My fiance has been deployed to S. Korea for the last 8 mos. He is due home in Feb & our wedding is at Disney in May. We got engaged the day before he left. I'm sad he is gone but where he is deployed to is much safer than at war in Iraq. My heart goes out to all the military wives & military brides to be. :grouphug:

TottenKing
11-05-2005, 08:58 AM
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Katie! I'm glad your fiance's deployment is drawing to a close.

:bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom: :bride: :groom:

KT27
11-05-2005, 09:36 AM
Thank-you! I'm so excited....I get to see him for Thanksgiving, I am meeting him in Alaska. I will have about 5 days with him yayyy!

Jynohn
11-09-2005, 12:15 PM
My DH is currently at his demobilization site. He just returned stateside a few days ago after a 15 month deployment, I still haven't seen him yet. I know it's not much consolation, but he was scheduled to be gone for 18 months so the deployment was actuallly 3 months shorter than we expected. Hopefully it will work out that way for you too.

I think the hardest part of the deployment was the first few weeks after he left, and the last few weeks when I knew he was on his way home and I was so close to seeing him, yet it still felt years away. Looking back, the middle part of it is mostly a blur. I think it's just a matter of striking a balance between staying busy so the time goes by faster, without overextending yourself, as others have mentioned.

I was also lucky in having almost daily phone contact with my husband. It really helped me get through the days knowing I would be able to at least hear his voice in a day or two and know he was all right.

I'm sorry I don't have more advice to offer, just a sympathetic ear, so feel free to PM anytime. I'll be keeping you and your DH in my thoughts.

Jynohn

Jynohn
11-09-2005, 12:20 PM
I also forgot to mention there's a great discussion forum on the military.com site. I only found it a few weeks ago, and really wished I had seen it early in the deployment. There's a board dedicated strictly to military wives dealing with deployment issues. There's a little bit of negativity going on there with some of the women, but I learned to just skim past those threads and only read what was helpful to me...

TottenKing
11-13-2005, 03:06 PM
I can't imagine what it would be like for my DH to be at his demobilization site, Jynohn. You must be beside yourself!! :goodvibes When will you get to see him?

Thanks for the info on the military.com site and for your kind words.

BTW, nice pic. What a beautiful little girl and that DH is a hottie! ;)

PA DISNEYLOVER
11-13-2005, 09:53 PM
Hi everyone. Count me in. My husband has been gone since sept and we only have rumors of them being home in May.
I just take it day by day and give my self same goals like once I get to Christmas I will start thinking of Valentines day and so on. My main concern is our 3 children. I did quit my part time job to stay home with them and I am glad that I did because my easy going child that lets everything roll off his back fell apart after his dad left.
The wives in his unit are wonderful and we stay in touch everyday thru e-mail. He is a reservist so we are spread out all over NJ, PA, NY and DE.

WishingOnAStar
11-14-2005, 08:07 AM
Don't know why I decided to read this thread - I NEVER even come to this board- BUT-

now, I'm in tears.

Thank you to ALL of you, your families, and wonderful husbands who all do so much to serve our country. What a sacrifice you all make! Word can not express the gratitude my family and I feel. :flower3: :worship: :worship: :flower3:

TottenKing
11-15-2005, 09:39 PM
:grouphug:

I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say thank you for your sweet words. They mean so much.

TottenKing
11-21-2005, 09:20 PM
My DH is currently at his demobilization site. He just returned stateside a few days ago after a 15 month deployment, I still haven't seen him yet. I know it's not much consolation, but he was scheduled to be gone for 18 months so the deployment was actuallly 3 months shorter than we expected. Hopefully it will work out that way for you too.

I think the hardest part of the deployment was the first few weeks after he left, and the last few weeks when I knew he was on his way home and I was so close to seeing him, yet it still felt years away. Looking back, the middle part of it is mostly a blur. I think it's just a matter of striking a balance between staying busy so the time goes by faster, without overextending yourself, as others have mentioned.

I was also lucky in having almost daily phone contact with my husband. It really helped me get through the days knowing I would be able to at least hear his voice in a day or two and know he was all right.

I'm sorry I don't have more advice to offer, just a sympathetic ear, so feel free to PM anytime. I'll be keeping you and your DH in my thoughts.

Jynohn

Jynohn, If you're still subscribed to this thread, has your husband come home from his demobilization site yet? :hourglass

Jynohn
11-22-2005, 08:30 AM
Jynohn, If you're still subscribed to this thread, has your husband come home from his demobilization site yet? :hourglass

Yes, he came home last Saturday :teeth:

The welcome home ceremony was great. We were supposed to wait until they had speeches from the captain, governor, etc. before we greeted our soldiers, but the captain made the mistake of releasing them from formation to go into the auditorium and after that there was no stopping the families from swarming the guys! :) So much for the speeches!

It's been wonderful having him home, and no re-adjustment issues so far. I keep waiting for them to happen since we had so many briefs about PTSD and reunion difficulties, but so far so good. The only problem so far is that I don't want to let him out of my sight! I still can't get it in my head that he is home for good and not just on R&R, and I want to spend every waking moment with him...

Keep your chin up, especially during the holidays, which I know will be really difficult. I am so thankful my husband is home in time for Thanksgiving, but can't stop thinking of the families who are not so lucky :(
I found it helped to break up the deployment into increments. Just count down until his R&R in May and it feels a little more manageable. I'll be keeping you and your husband in my thoughts!

Jynohn

TottenKing
11-26-2005, 09:44 PM
Yes, he came home last Saturday :teeth:

The welcome home ceremony was great. We were supposed to wait until they had speeches from the captain, governor, etc. before we greeted our soldiers, but the captain made the mistake of releasing them from formation to go into the auditorium and after that there was no stopping the families from swarming the guys! :) So much for the speeches!

It's been wonderful having him home, and no re-adjustment issues so far. I keep waiting for them to happen since we had so many briefs about PTSD and reunion difficulties, but so far so good. The only problem so far is that I don't want to let him out of my sight! I still can't get it in my head that he is home for good and not just on R&R, and I want to spend every waking moment with him...

Keep your chin up, especially during the holidays, which I know will be really difficult. I am so thankful my husband is home in time for Thanksgiving, but can't stop thinking of the families who are not so lucky :(
I found it helped to break up the deployment into increments. Just count down until his R&R in May and it feels a little more manageable. I'll be keeping you and your husband in my thoughts!

Jynohn


Awesome. I'm so happy for you! :goodvibes

I'm hoping that the fast pace of the holiday season actually helps an entire month go by fast. After that, at least we'll be in the right year! Thank you for the nice thoughts. :flower3:

Blueeyes101817
11-27-2005, 01:19 AM
Awesome. I'm so happy for you! :goodvibes

I'm hoping that the fast pace of the holiday season actually helps an entire month go by fast. After that, at least we'll be in the right year! Thank you for the nice thoughts. :flower3:

Its not the same, but a very close family friend of ours (is more like a brother to me) was in Iraq for 8 months. We did the same as Jynohn said..we broke it down into little "milestones" We also have a family vacation in january, which he is coming with us--It was nice to have that to look forward to. We sent him care packages at least once a month and we would send something to do with the cruise in every one. Emailing helped alot as well..
He came home on Nov 17 and it was an amazing experience for my family to be at the airport when he got home as well. I also agree with Jynohn that the beginning and the end were the hardest part...even right up to the part where we KNEW the plane had landed and they were going through customs..he was so close, but we still had to wait!
I hope the time goes quickly for you, and i know the holiday season usually does..now you have the May R&R to look forward to!

TottenKing
11-27-2005, 09:33 PM
I hope the time goes quickly for you, and i know the holiday season usually does..now you have the May R&R to look forward to!

Hey...thanks so much. It means a lot. :hug:

Angelgirl13202
11-29-2005, 01:39 PM
I am not a military wife but I wanted to tell you all that I apreciate all you do for our country. your family members are in my Prayers.

lookingforward
11-29-2005, 05:48 PM
My heart and prayers are with all of you, and please know that we all thank you and your families for the sacrifices that you make. I was (am) a USMC wife (once a marine always a marine!) while my husband served the last 12 of his 26 year career. He served in Vietnam and Desert Storm, and although he was never gone for a year, we had our share of seperations. It never gets easy but you learn to cope the best that you can.

Please email or message me if you need any encouragement or just want to vent. Lean on your friends and the other spouses because they really can help. I hope time goes quickly until you are together again.

Here is a poem that I still proudly display in my kitchen

Recipe of a Military Wife

combine:
1 1/2 C. Patience
1 lb. courage
2/4 C. tolerance
dash of adventure

To above ingredients, add 2 lbs. elbow grease. Set alone for one year. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Sprinkle ever so lightly with money. Knead dough until payday. Season with international spices. Bake 20 years or until done.
Serve with Pride!

Dopey's twin Dippy
11-29-2005, 10:02 PM
i just happened to pop in this site to. im sending prayers also to all of you. i just wanted to say my daughter who is 25 has been married 1 month, and her husband just left for kuwait (spell??) then she said he would be in iraq by xmas. she is also pregnant, we are so thrilled and excited, our first grandchild. but its so hard cause hes over there. but between our family, and his family ( he is 1 of 8 kids, so immed. family for him is 30!!!)yep. so we wil l all be keeping good care of her, shes had a few problems already, just starting to be able to really eat and feel good enough to go out.i know its not the same as having husband around, but we hope all will go well with the pregnancy and of COURSE all ok with him over in iraq. i wish they would all come home. i hope you guys dont mind my little note. thanks

TottenKing
11-30-2005, 06:20 PM
Thanks, Dippy, Lookingforward, and Angel. :grouphug:


Dippy, congratulations on the grandchild!!! :sunny:

TottenKing
12-25-2005, 10:06 PM
Hi, all. I want to send out a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, etc. to all the families who, like mine, are celebrating but missing a loved one called away to military duty.

How is everyone holding up? With all our kids (four), things were so busy I'm really just now starting to really feel the absence. For me, the holiday has just underscored the things I miss the most...which are small.

My husband seemd to have a nice Christmas in Kuwait. He comes from a very large family with lots of aunts and uncles and his parents have a lot of friends who have known him all his life. He got a lot of presents and candy and managed to save the presents to open today. They had turkey and prime rib for dinner which is perfect for a big-time carnivore like him.

And I have to tell you the cutest thing...one of my kids' Christmas presents was a trip to Build-A-Bear workshop yesterday. Since my 18-month-old didn't really understand BABW, we picked her out. We got her this really velvet-y bear and dressed it in desert camo, a beret, and dog tags. We named it "Daddy." :)