Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

He’s Deployed… Again…

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been busy.  When hubby is home, I tend to want to do more with him.  With him leaving, I need to have an emotional and creative outlet.  So here I am again, facing our third deployment.

And wow, have things changed from our other deployments.  During the first, I had one toddler.  The second I had two toddlers and a kindergartener.  Now, I have 3 in school (5th, 2nd, 1st) and a preschooler!!  While I don’t think any deployment is easy (being separated from your loved one never is), with each stage of our lives, it gets more challenging.

Drop off was this morning.  My husband has yet to deploy with a unit.  That means that our deployments consist of us driving him to the airport and saying good-bye there.  No rallies or grand send-offs with our Army family – just us.  My oldest K (11 1/2), she started crying first.  She remembers the last time and what it’s like to miss him.  She’s also old enough that she understands world events and even goes to school with children whose parents didn’t return from deployments.  She has sadness and fear in her eyes.

R (8 1/2) is my only son.  He has been insisting for months that Daddy can’t go to war because he’ll get killed.  How to do calm his nerves, but in the same breath have to understand that there is a chance that his father could get killed?  We kept telling him that while it is dangerous, Daddy was going to do his best to stay safe and that we just keep praying to God that he does remain safe.

Then the last two A (almost 7) and T (almost 4) are sad to see Daddy go, but just don’t have the grasp of exactly what is going on.  This is also the first time that T has ever seen her father leave for more than a weekend. She didn’t want to let him go at the airport.  I haven’t seen her hug him that long and hard since she broke her arm!!

I’ve also changed.  I’m older and a bit more cynical.  I put on a brave face and try to keep my tears to myself.  My faith has gotten me through this twice and I know it will do it again.  It will take me a few weeks to get used to sleeping alone; without his arms around me as a drift off to sleep.  And then, before long, we will get into a routine that doesn’t include him.  But in the end, we look forward to having him back to learn our new routine!!


It’s so hard to be away from home!

People often ask me if I like being an Army wife.  And overall, I do… but sometimes it can be so hard to be away from home.

I have a close-knit family.  I talk to my sister almost daily.  She lives in Nevada and there is an eight-hour time change between us.  But every morning on her way to work, she calls me.  Sometimes we get 5 minutes or, if I’m lucky and she’s stuck in traffic, I get 30 minutes.  It is the best time of my day.  Even my kids know that when the phone rings at that time of day, it’s my time with my sister.

But if the events that happened 10 years ago were just a bit different, I may not have my sister to talk too.  She was driving to work when a shift worker was on his way home t-boned her vehicle.  He was drunk and unharmed.  My sister, on the other hand, had broken every rib on her left side, a broken pelvic bone and a ruptured spleen.  Once in surgery, they realized that she had bleeding in her chest.  When they went to repair it, the aorta tore away from her heart.  As the doctor told us, “she flat lined for 93 seconds and we stitched like hell”.  Thankfully, she survived.  She has scars physically and we all have mental scars from that day.  This is when the lifestyle that my husband and I choose is hard.

At the time, I was a newlywed getting ready to celebrate my first Christmas with my husband.  We were living in Alaska.  It took me 24 hours to get to the hospital.  After my sister was in good and stable condition, one of the nurses told me that their biggest fear is that we would not get there in time.  I can’t imagine my sister dying, let alone, dying without family with her. 

Why am I sharing this story… well, twice in the last few months, I’ve been here in England and my family (biological and Army) could have used my help.  Help with meals, child care, hugs… but from here all I can do is pray.  Dont’ get me wrong — I pray A LOT.  I’m a Christian and believe in the power of prayer.  But sometimes when all you can do is pray, you feel helpless.

This is when your Army family can be such a wonderful help and why I always urge spouses to get involved in as many aspects of the Army as you can.  Our coffee group has a meals committee that makes meals for families that have a new baby, just moved, emergency sickness, etc.  Also, because we have all become friends, we are there to watch children for each other when there is an emergency.  (Like the 1:00am phone call from my friend in labor!)  Get involved so that you have a support system in place.  I say prayers of thanksgiving for the Army family that I’ve become a part of.  They may not be able to replace my sister, mom or dad, but they make a really great substitute!

Who Thought Moving Overseas Could be Such a Hassle!!!!

Sorry for my absence — we are still in the middle of our move, as you will see, and I will try to continue to post as I can! — Household 6 Hooah


For those of you traveling overseas, it is rather easy to do.  All you need is a passport and a way to get there.  For us, it is a different story.

Of course, we need our passports.  But what I found out after getting tourist passports is that as a military family that will be living in the UK for an extended amount of time, we need military passports.  Since I am a novice at this overseas moving, I didn’t know there was more then one type of passport.  I will take ownership on part of this and say part of it is my fault.  And that is because I didn’t do more research into exactly what I needed.  On the other hand, part of the blame is on the forces that be (the Army) for not giving us a detailed check list into what we need to move overseas.  Most of my civilian friends and family are saying, “Why don’t they tell you what they need.  Isn’t there a list they could give you?  and So many of you go overseas, it should be easy for the military to get this done.”  And yes, you would think that it would be easy, but one thing that is forgotten is that the military sends families to many different locations overseas.  With each country that we are sent, different rules apply.  One thing that I’ve found out is that since we are moving to the United Kingdom, we need visas.  This is not so for every country.  Rules change for each place that you go.  All that being said, I think that the Army needs to have a detailed check-list for each place they send families.  It would make life a lot easier and less stressful for us in the middle of a move that is already stressful.

Now we are applying for visas.  I had no idea the amount of information that they would ask for.  One thing I didn’t have from my husband was a copy of his passport.  Why would I need his passport information for my visa application?  Well, since he is the working party and I’m just along for the ride, his information needs to be included.  Now when if was finally told that I needed a visa (and that was through a soldier friend that is in England with his family) I wasn’t told that we would need to be finger printed.  Now I talked to many different folks and it wasn’t until I called a lovely lady at a Naval Base in Connecticut, that we would need to be fingerprinted before our applications were sent in.  At the end of the application, it let me know that I would need fingerprinting and so would my seven year old daughter.  So the two of us have our appointments for that later this week.  Luckily, my four year old and my 2 year old don’t need this part done.  Once the fingerprinting is done, we get to send the applications to the UK consulate in NY.  We wait 4-6 weeks and then, with approval, we will be joining my husband in England. 

While all of this is going on, we are staying with my parents.  Now I love my parents dearly, but they are not use to have three kids around and I am not use to living at home any more!  It is just more added stress into our lives.  Stress that is not needed.  We also found out, on our drive to my parents, that I am pregnant with #4!!!  More stress – although a happy kind.  My oldest had to switch schools (which wasn’t planned originally) and is not happy.  More stress — and I think one of the hardest because any parent hates to see their kids unhappy.  And our family is separated again.  My husband just returned from Iraq in October and left for his next duty station in January.  I hate being apart when we don’t have to be.

I know this will all end soon, but in the mean time it’s just hard.  My message to the Army (actually all of the military) — how about putting a list together for each of the countries you allow families to live.  It would save the families a lot of aggravation and stress.  And as you Army folk like to say — when the family is happy the soldier is happy!  Let’s work on making this an easier transition for all of us.  Contact me — I’ll help!