March 09, 2008

DEPLOYMENT JUNKIE

My husband has been home from Iraq for three years. Three years. It's embarrassing to type that. I've had him to myself for three years. Not by choice, of course, but what can you say? "I promise he volunteered to go and traded orders with a guy for a case of beer, but it fell through. I swear we haven't been ducking it; he even changed branches so he'd be able to go back." But it still sounds incredible that he's been home so long.

I wrote today at SpouseBUZZ that I can't remember my husband's homecoming day. I was camped out in my archives, trying desperately to remember what I was doing before he got home, but I have no idea. I do know what I was feeling though, since I carried on Tim's tradition and gave a peek at the end to CaliValleyGirl.

Reading that hurts a little though, because I miss that feeling.

I love having my husband home. I need to have my husband home if we're ever going to successfully have a baby. But three years on, I miss the deployment feelings. I miss the sense of connectedness, of purpose, of conviction. It probably sounds strange, but I miss the feeling of sacrifice, of knowing that I've given up being with someone I love for the good of our country. Honestly, for me, the deployment feeling hurts, but it's a good hurt, a deep and satisfying pain. And I haven't felt it in three years. I feel ashamed that I've lived too ordinary of a life for three years.

I'm ready to do it again. I knew it was coming, and I was ready for it, waiting for it, starting to yearn for it. My husband finished his language class and was waiting for his assignment. He was worried that he might get sent to Iraq even though he'd studied Farsi and wanted to go to Afghanistan.

So we never imagined the assignment he got: Rear D.

For civilian readers, the Rear Detachment is the one guy the unit leaves behind to man the phones and take care of the homefront. He's the liason between the deployed unit and the families. He works his butt off back at home to take care of unit affairs.

My husband is being left behind while his unit deploys.

One would think that this would be welcomed news for the Rear D family. If my husband had only been home 12 months since his deployment, I might enjoy this assignment a little too. But three years later, I can't believe this is what we'll be doing. I can't believe my husband doesn't get to do what he's longed to do since the day he came home -- go back and help some more -- and I can't believe I don't get to satisfy my unnatural craving for deployment feelings.

We're just so stunned that this is the hand we've been dealt.

Some guys have already spent enough time in Iraq to last them a lifetime. When it's all said and done, my husband will have been home for more than four years before he finally gets his chance to go again and do what he loves.

Despite our best efforts, we're watching history pass us by.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:39 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 551 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Oh man, that is lame. You can get a desk job anywhere--people are soldiers so they can SOLDIER. And yet, somebody has to do it... I was considering looking into a training position, but it would be a 3-year gig--and I'd miss our next trip downrange. I'd considered that aspect, which is the only real downside to me, but it was my wife who actually brought it up, to my surprise. She knows how badly I want to go back. Right now, it's hard watching a good chunk of my platoon jump ship to another BDE so they can go back again THIS year. It's not something civilians tend to understand.... Sig

Posted by: Sig at March 09, 2008 01:36 PM (7uphd)

2 Oh man! I understand your feelings. Although I am dreading Gunner leaving, I am so proud of what he does, and nothing beats a good homecoming. Move to Hood, they deploy fast and furious.

Posted by: Army Blogger Wife at March 09, 2008 02:07 PM (Y3JJK)

3 Wow, he has to be so frustrated. I know my husband would be. He is already itching to go to Afghanistan and he isn't even back from Iraq yet ... Still, I hope this simply means you now have more time to reach that goal of parenthood. Maybe it's for a reason. *hugs*

Posted by: Stephanie at March 10, 2008 06:12 PM (kzbE/)

4 'Despite out best efforts, we're watching history pass us by.' My version of this? 'To utilize the time to show our best efforts, we've been chosen to make history by making babies that have a Mama and a Daddy... And given a fantastic chunk of time to do said baby-making....' You are being led down a road. Let the opportunities rise to you without you ignoring that effort, too.... Your choices are being presented to you, and what you do with them will determine where you head.... What road... I am smiling because, yes, he doesn't ever want to be in the rear with the gear. BUT, that gear could be YOU and a great opportunity to figure out what you need to do to reach your goal(s).... Lightening Crashes by Live.... I don't know if you know this song, but it's emotionally moving and it makes me hopeful.... I think this rear gear is a great thing. Because, ultimately, what's a year? A lot but a little.... Times like this, I totally believe in God. Trust that this is where you need to be.... I'm very excited!!!!! :>

Posted by: Allison at March 10, 2008 08:32 PM (xElwl)

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