Posts Tagged ‘military communities’

We Keep Moving Forward

Today is the day that my husband is heading overseas. He’s been gone for almost two weeks, but we’ve been able to talk to him on a daily basis. With his departure, we don’t know when we will here from him again. Most likely, it will be by the end of the week.

He’s had a long dwell time, so we knew deployment was in the near future. It’s been almost 5 years since he returned from his last deployment. While it’s been wonderful to have him here, the kids and I get comfortable with him here… and that makes the separation harder.

K has been near tears most of the day. She’s almost 11 and she understands more than I wish she did. She’s cuddled up with one of her favorite stuffed animals. I’m not sure what is worse… know that my husband has left or watching how hard it is for my children.

So tonight, she and I will watch “Meet the Robinsons” and, in the word of Walt Disney, “we keep moving forward”.


Happy Father’s Day… From Afar

On Father’s Day morning, kids around the world (Yes, it’s Father’s Day today in other countries too) are waking their father’s up with gifts, cards and giggles!  Unfortunately, for many children with deployed military fathers, they are not able to wake their daddies this morning.

We were lucky that this morning we could call Daddy to say, “Happy Father’s Day”.  But this week, leading up to today has been a bit emotional.  A brought home her Father’s Day gift from school and was very upset that she couldn’t give it to Daddy.  I had to tell her that we could mail it to him.  And R came home with lollipops for Daddy.  He said he’d save them until he got home.

We learn how to celebrate many things from afar while we are a family of a deployed soldier.  Some families save everything and celebrate when they return.  Other’s, like us, mail packages for each celebration.  And we usually send enough that the celebration can include everyone.  With all we do, it still doesn’t make it easy for us at home.  We still miss them, pray for them and look forward to the day that they return!!!

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!!

Deployments and Being Lonely

Lately I’ve been reading military spouse blogs about how lonely they are without their husbands.  Now don’t get me wrong — I do get lonely without my husband, but it’s not a constant feeling.  And I don’t dwell on it.  I get out and keep myself from being lonely.  Everyone has the right to their feelings, but to say in general statements that all Army Wives are lonely is a big mistake.

To start, let’s look at the word lonely as “Webster” sees it.

Lonely — \ˈlōn-lē\

  1. being without company, cut off from others
  2. not frequented by human beings
  3. sad from being alone
  4. producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

During a deployment, I am never without company — I have children that are there and I make sure to surround myself with friends that do understand what I am going through.  One of the pluses of living in a military community is having those types of people around.  That covers the human beings part and not being alone.  I, personally, never understand those people who “move home” when there husbands are deployed.  I think that this causes more problems for the one left behind. 
Living in a community that has a military installation makes life easier.  All the resources you need are there.  Support groups, commissary, childcare, clinics, etc.  I don’t feel that enough people take advantage of the opportunities that are given on the military bases.  FRG’s (if run correctly), AFTB, and Family Support Centers can help everyone — and it turn, getting involved can give you an opportunity to give back by volunteering at those some places.  You can pass your knowledge onto other spouses that may be currently going through something that you were able to deal with earlier in your life. 
Besides all the benefits living near a military installation, I don’t move because that is my home.  I don’t want to up-root my family any more than I have too.  We’ve been married for almost 10 years and we’ve lived in 6 different places.  I hate moving on a good day, so why move anymore then I have too! 
Do I miss my husband?  Yes.  It is not easy to have him half way around the world, but I can not stop living because we are apart.  I lived on my own before I was married and I can do so now.  It just means that I need to be my own person. 
There is a time that I do get lonely — is late at night, when I should be asleep, but the bed is cold without him.

Well, I’m Getting Less Conflicted

A few days ago I wrote about my mixed feelings about building a mosque at Ground Zero.  (You can read that here.)  And now that I’ve heard a bit more news about the man responsible for the building of the mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, I am getting less conflicted.  His beliefs are warped in my opinion.  Going as far as to say that Osama Bin Laden was made in the USA and that US policies caused the 9/11 attacks.  And now it seems as if President Obama is sponsoring a trip to the Middle East being led by this man. 

I tried to find out more information about this man in mainstream news networks, but the only network that has anything about him is FOX News.  (See the video here.)    ABC and CNN have the same article about the middle east trip that is planned but not substance of exactly who this man is.  I really think that before anyone allows this mosque to be built.  The people who are building this Muslim center need to be looked into. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in freedom of religion, but I think that anyone that is building a center (religious or otherwise) needs to have the true intent shown.  Just like I wouldn’t want the Westboro Baptist Church building a religious center near me or my family.  (That link will lead you to Wikipedia, because I don’t want to add any traffic their rubbish of a website.)  When people use the guise of religion, they need to remember that hate is not/should not be part of their faith.

Ground Zero Mosque — I’m Conflicted

Here’s the basics about me — Christian, American, Mom, Army Wife, New Yorker….  And I am conflicted about the building of a mosque at Ground Zero. 

For some people this is very black and white.  But as an American, I believe in freedom of religion.  Something that others do not have in other countries.  Even in Iraq, Christians have a hard time worshiping the way they choose.  My husband served with an Iraqi soldier that was Catholic.  He kept his family in a far away location and told my husband that because their church had been burnt down, they had to worship when and where they could.  Being Catholic myself, I sent this soldier a set of rosary beads that I made for him and my husband, with my blessing, gave him the patron saint medals that I asked hubby to carry with him while deployed.  My heart ached for this man and his family.  They were not as fortunate as Americans.

The Quakers and the Puritans came to America in order to  escape religious persecution.  I won’t tell you that all was rosy for them once they got here, but it was easier than if they had stayed in England.  But they had a choice. 

As a New Yorker and an Army wife, the September 11 attacks changed my life in many ways.  I had been married for less than a year and was expecting our first child.  We never thought that he would be deployed during war-time.  War didn’t seem like something to consider.  And the attack was in my backyard.  I have friends that watch the towers come down from where they lived and worked.  I was angry for a long, long time!  I still get angry, but my anger changed over time.  First it was the loss of life and destruction, but now, the time my husband leaves his family, leaves me. 

So how can these people who decided to build this mosque think that it was a good thing.  I know that it was not them that did it and we should not blame the religion.  Any type of radical religion is dangerous and, as I see it, corrupt.  But unfortunately, this religion is where these radical terrorists came from. 

While on one hand, I believe in freedom of religion, I also think that the organizers are being insensitive.

Any thoughts?  Let me know.

Is being liberal a bad thing?!

I celebrated my friend’s 40th birthday yesterday.  He, his wife and I have all been friends since college and it has been a long time since we’ve seen each other.  In the morning, I looked up what happened on this day in history.  I do this often and it is something fun to see who he shared his birthday with (We thought it was cool that his birthday was shared with Thomas Magnum!) and other historical events.  I also decided to do this again this morning.

On my search today, August 5, there was a significant birth and death, but I’m sure that few people even know these ladies.  It was the birth of Mary Ritter Beard and the death of Millicent Garrett Fawcett.  Both ladies were part of the women’s suffrage.  Ms. Beard in both the United States and Great Britain, and Ms. Fawcett in Great Britain.  I read about what these ladies did.  And as I read, I realized that these ladies were extremely liberal for the time that they lived.  They did things that were not the “norm” of that time and wanted massive change!

For the most part, people think that because I am married to a soldier that I am very conservative.  But if you get to know me, you will realize that I am one that is not easily labeled.  It has been often said that I am too liberal to be a republican, but to conservative to be a democrat.  I’m rather stuck in the middle. 

So the next time that someone scoffs at a liberal idea, remind them that some liberal ideas are not all bad.  If they were, women may still not have the right to vote or own property!!!