Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Deployment Question #14--Packing

Things get tense around here when Gunner starts packing his stuff.  After this many deployments we know what is coming.

Can you tell a change in dynamics once those bags come out and start getting filled?

Do you help him, or just sit back and watch?  

Gunner always gets stressed when he is packing, searching for his missing items, and even though we have about 20,000 pounds of TA50, there are always at least 2 dozen items he HAS to go out and buy.  

Sometimes I wonder about some of the requirements on the list.  

Right before Gunner leaves, I tuck a letter into his bag so that he has something to read before the mail kicks in.  It usually contains pictures of the kids, drawings from the kids, and a letter from me.  

The first time he asked what I was sneaking in there, now he just smiles.  I think he would miss it if I didn't do it.

What little things do you do before they leave?


Amy said...

My husband waited til the night before he was to leave to start packing! That drove me crazy.

Every time he goes away I hide random post-it notes in his bags and it puts a smile on his face every time he finds one.

Brandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandi said...

We are new to this so I don't have a deployment to speak of, but when our Army chapter started, this is what we did:

Private Ryan and I exchanged letters, and he also wrote one for each of the girls. I suspect they will be writing their own to send with him someday, if he is able to stay in the Army in spite of his recent injury.

If he stays in, this will become tradition. I also put together a "leaving" package before he left for his training that had a notebook for his random thoughts and anything he needed to remember (I forgot the pen), photo prints of the girls and I for when he doesn't have his cell phone, and any extra things I thought he might enjoy. This will be tradition also, if he doesn't get discharged.

Mary Madeline said...

My husband likes to wait til the last minute as well. I stay clear, he does better if I'm not standing over him. I also put a note in his bag!! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't actively get in there and help him pack. I do however make sure that everything is clean and dry and in baskets or stacked up for him to see and grab. I make sure he has a large area that he can spread everything out in (usually the bedroom, sometimes the garage or the kitchen). I take baggies and set them on the table wherever he is so he can grab them easily, answer his questions of where is this or that? because sometimes I do know better than he does where such and such item is.

I also try to make sure to remind him not to read all of his books before he goes so that he can pack a couple to read while in transit or once he gets there before mail kicks in, pack him snacks that he likes that I may or may not usually buy.

I am not much of a writer but this time I think I am going to put together a little photo book for him to take with him so he has pics of us to look at. Love my camera and how quick Walgreens is and how good the pictures turn out!

I too am amazed at some of the stuff they are required to pack and take with them. Hubby even commented that he lived on less for 15 months in Iraq than he was having to pack this time for NTC.

Jeannette said...

When he left for his first duty station without me I just watched. I don't know what I'll do when this deployment comes up.

dutchgirl (Ellen) said...

I definitely steer clear! I tend to get too overemotional if I stand around thinking about it.

I do the notes too! Although mine aren't as big, just little slips of paper in his pockets, etc. What's funny is that he's found some of them after the deployment was over, even. I guess I hid them a little too well, lol.

Abbey said...

With Ryan, it usually starts about 2 weeks in advance. That is when he brings out all of the bags and just sits them there, in the living room, for us to stare at for the next 10 days. He generally does nothing with them, maybe spraypaints them with his stencil, but that's about it.

Then, about 5 days before he leaves, he starts to pack and starts to make a list of everything thing that he is missing. It is usually a long list, but I think he secretly just wants the "new" of something of he wants to upgrade to the latest, greatest model so he just tells me he needs it. How am I really going to argue that? I can't because I don't really know what they take/need/want. That is really the part of him packing to leave that I hate the most - I know that it is going to cost us money for him to leave. Every.Single.Time.

Then, say, 2 nights before, he finishes up packing and I will generally slip a note or trinket into his luggage when he isn't looking.

Melissa Andersen said...

I'm in the midst of deployment #1 and my situation is a bit different. I am in law school in our home state and he deployed from Ft. Bliss. SO, I got to have him for about 15 days, but didn't actually see him pack and leave.

He was home for mid-leave and re-packed in front of me. I sat on the bed and we just talked. I gave him a couple of things to take with, but mostly just kept ourselves as normal as possible.

I'm really not sure how I will handle #2, when we'll likely be in the same place. I'll probably turn to those of you who have done it before to guide me! :)

BTW - if you want an invite to my blog - email me at: melcandersen@gmail.com

Jessica said...

Hubby usually starts the packing process a week ahead, but it always seems that we are at the last minute trying to get things together.

I usually stay close by...try to help in any I can. Mostly I just want to be with him.

Love the idea of putting pics in the bag...I will definetly do that this time.

Anonymous said...

Well My hubby waits til the last min as well! Only there has been something major going on in everday life prior to each deployment! So I cant blame him! LOL

However Im like briar rose I make sure everything is clean and seperated. After 13 years I know how he packs! LOL It is all seperated and I am usually dealing with whatever everyday drama is going on! Deployment 1 dd was in the hospital got her out hours before his send off, Deployment 2 we had literally just moved into our new house! Then this past set of AIT training ds had just (1 week prior) been relased from the hospital following his cancwer treatments!

So I am usually running around like a mad woman!!

We do cards! I am always buying them and hiding them! That way I always have them on hand!! Usually spray purfume on them! He loves it! I will put on covered in purfume in his sleeping bag! He LOVES it!!!!

xobabygurlxo said...

Well my boyfriend started packing like 3 weeks ahead of time for this deployment and I sat in the room with him and had the check list and everything so that we made sure he had everything before he left, then he went to work the next day and had a new list haha so we did that one too. If your in on the action and helping them pack I have noticed ((Maybe just me))- but it really makes reality sink in that they are leaving us to deploy.

The one list that he had to pack, had paper so he could write to everyone while he was deployed- Funny thing is he goes "I don't need it, I don't write at all while I'm gone" ((This makes his 2nd deployment by the way.)) - But anyways then 3 weeks after he was over there he sent me a letter, I was like thought you didn't write? He goes well I decided I wanted to haha.

He's a prankster too, so I could see him saying "This date I get R&R" and then him really come home sooner and surprise me without me knowing he's home. Sorry random, thought I'd share haha.

Joannafesto said...

I hate it, hate it, hate when he starts packing. You can feel the energy shift in the house. So I prepare by going into denial. It works for me.

Mrs. Bierschenk said...

When he was just going to the field I pretty much just watched the bags get pack, then I would wrap a small gift, usually some sort of snack in brown paper (the AAFES paper bags works really well :), I'm recycling like they tell me to.) On the inside I would write a letter. He always liked that and said he would eat it or look at it towards the end for encouragement or a pick me up.

The next was ranger school, obviously they aren't allowed to have anything so I just waited until he gave me a list, and made sure I had picked up everything he was going to need. I was on stand-by during packing to make sure he could get anything he forgot while still packing and not having to stop.

Wiley said...

I got to help DM pack before his last deployment and I was glad I did. He was too, at least that's what he said...
I only managed to hide a short letter and a little reminder of Oz in his bag before he left. Kept thinking I should have tried harder, but I huess I'm not so creative.