My husband re-joined the Army in late 2005 after being out for about 8 years. During that time he met me, we got married and had our first little boy. So when he joined he did not have to repeat basic and got to pick where he wanted to be stationed. He picked Europe and he was on his way to Germany within a few days of enlisting. The recruiter had told us that it would take my son and I about a month to join him. We needed Command Sponsorship to live over there with him. Even though I knew it would take longer than a month I had no idea how long and stressful it would really take for us to join him. We ended up not seeing him again for 4.5 months. It would have been longer but instead of waiting for Military passports in the US we bought tourist ones, bought our own ticket and headed over as soon as our Command Sponsorship had been completed.
It was quite the ordeal and just the start of many Military disappointments that we have had to deal with. As I look back I can see that what happened to us then was just the way the Army works. Simple tasks take too long. You might just need one paper signed but it sits on a desk for three weeks for no reason. Some people deploy a lot more than others. Other people can move up in rank a lot quicker than others. Some people get amazing housing and you might get stuck with something less than good.
How does one handle all this? It isn’t easy. It isn’t so easy to sit back and be okay with everything. I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “Really? This again?” I want to know why something simple gets so messed up. I want to know why they can’t tell me exactly when my husband is going to deploy. I want to know why certain things happen the way they do. But with the Military you don’t always have answers and sometimes you just have to “embrace the suck.”
When I get so frustrated with everything I turn to my journal. I let it all out. I cry, I pray and try to talk myself out of my frustration. I try to think about the times when things went right. When things worked out the way they should. When everything went smoothly. I depend on my Military spouse friends, many who have been through similar disappointments. We can get through the struggles together. We can help each other deal with even the most irritating frustrations the Military life might throw at us.
As my own family starts to get ready for another deployment I am already trying to prepare myself for disappointments along the way. I know from experience deployments are filled with them.
How do you deal with Military Disappointments?
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