When I hear the word deployment I think about loneliness, saying goodbye, war and missing the person I love. When it comes time to get ready for a deployment, I want to find ways to make it more tolerable. One way to do that is to look at all the benefits of a deployment. It is hard to think about the benefits when you have a down deployment day, but here are a few of them to keep in mind.
1) Extra Pay- Extra money is always nice and is one of the biggest benefits to a deployment. Along with the extra pay, any income made while deployed is tax free. This also includes any bonuses they may get while there. We made sure my husband re-enlisted in Iraq so we would not have to pay taxes on that income. It is best to be smart with your extra pay. Pay down debt and save rather than buying extra toys. This can be hard because when you are sad and lonely, shopping might be one way to deal with it. I have learned the hard way it is best to not assume your extra money means you can buy more stuff.
2) Learn more about yourself- When you never have time alone it can be hard to reflect on your life and how you are doing. When my husband is away I always have more time to reflect on my life. I have more time to really get to know myself and grow as a person. And since I have to do everything by myself, I always become a little bit more independent while he is away. It is nice to be able to have some time to grow as a person and learn more about how to be a better one.
3) Rekindle your relationship– I know for us we have been able to use the time apart as a way to rekindle our relationship. We have been married 10.5 years and I have found that the time apart has helped us remember what is important about our relationship. It reminds us about why we fell in love with each other in the first place. I think a lot of times deployments can pull people apart but they can also make some couples closer which has been the case with us.
4) Extra time to work on those hobbies- A lot of spouses take the time during a deployment to work on hobbies or projects that they just can’t seem to work on when their husband is home. I like to make a list of my goals and projects I would like to complete while he is away. It is always easier for me to lose weight when my husband is deployed so that is always on my list. I also try to organize my house as much as I can. This seems easier to do when there is only one adult at home.
What have you benefited from during a deployment?