Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Deployment Question

I got an email from a reader not too long ago:

A month into my first deployment (better half is deployed, I'm home),
I found your blog.  Do you have any other army-wife deployment blogs/
online resources you recommend?   We plan to get married when he gets
back, and I know other deployments will be in my future... but I won't
be in my home town next time.  Not used to the erratic communication
schedule and am finding it a bit difficult.  Holidays don't help

Any other resources you can pass on would be great-- I'm not living on
the base he was deployed from and since we aren't married, I haven't
found many official Army resources I can take advantage of.  So,
online info/ blogs/ whatever would be great.

Love your blog-- can't imagine going through so many year-long
deployments, though.  Wow.


My advice?  Stay busy.  Set goals.  Don't get caught up in the drama.  Surround yourself with non-toxic people.  Make plans for when they come back.  Save money.  Write letters.  Take pictures.  Live your life, he doesn't want you to put it on hold!  He will change, work hard to make yourself better and your future family better.  Survive and Thrive!

Anyone else have advice or want to put their blogs in the comments so she can read about other people going through this same thing?


hmb said...

Live your life is a great tip! Too often women put things on hold because they want to experience it with their spouse. That's a novel idea...but one that the Army won't allow! So stay active!!

Amie said...

I agree ABW, first and foremost, wives cannot and should not put their lives on hold. That's when depression can really set in.

Also, network, make other friends in military community. Even if they aren't currently experiencing a deployment, that doesn't mean they don't know what you're going through.

Renee said...

Know that you will grieve and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. It's okay..just keep going. Never be ashamed to reach out to the milspouse community.

Amie said...

Oh, another thing. It's okay to get down and cry because you miss them. Don't let these bad days consume your life. When hubs is deployed I would only allow myself one day a week to kind of mope around.

Emmie said...

I like what hmb said: stay busy and don't put life in hold. I'm currently going through a deployment with my boyfriend, and my blog is at

I'm also a big fan of Her War, Her Voice. It's an online blog/support group for those attached to people in the military. They're at

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Well, she certainly came to the right girl for advice. . . And not necessarily because you all have been through so many but because you have a great outlook on how to deal with deployments.

I have three kids that all miss Daddy when he's gone. We kept insanely busy. I basically ran myself ragged but the kids had a blast.
Towards the end of this last deployment I started doing CrossFit. And I discovered - not too late, thankfully - that taking care of myself was the most important thing I could do. I hired babysitters and I went and shot lots of photos and I occasionally went grocery shopping alone. And I did CrossFit a few times a week. The other thing I did was a weekly girl's night at my house. Those times really helped to get me through.

Stay busy, take good care of yourself, and have fun.

Christine said...

It's definitely hard, especially when you don't yet have the "wife" learn that the military doesn't have support groups for if your boyfriend is deployed (or even fiance). If they do, someone point me in the right direction! haha. Anyway, we're about to go through our second non-married deployment and my plan is just like these other women said, stay busy busy busy. And don't forget to reach out to friends. The first time around I kind of closed myself off from others and that was the worst thing I could have done.

I wrote a post on my blog about it recently, check it out here...

jmbrooks89 said...

You're right! It's difficult being a military fiance, you're so close to being married, but because you are not actually married, it seems like you get put off into a different catagory. I already consider myself married to my fiance, he is deployed right now ( 6 months down!!). We do plan on getting married when he gets back, so it will be easier then. I just feel like i'm not as important sometimes. As for my advice, stay busy, make friends, and continue living your life for sure! Good luck!

dutchgirl (Ellen) said...

I love how you deal with deployments, ABW, stellar advice. Cultivating friendships, civilian and military is high on my list...something that took me a long time to learn. We are going thru deployment at the moment and I'll throw a link up here to my newest project www. and I still write on my main blog from time to time.

Jena & Zac said...

Agree with all of the above! We're almost through our first "big" deployment. Staying busy and getting a good support system (fellow deployed wives are the best!) to keep you in line!

It's so easy to fall into a funk - and it's OK for random days here and there - it's normal! But don't get into the habit of feeling sorry for won't change/help a thing! Millions have done it before and after us and survive! You can too!

Just Another MilSpouse said...

This is all such great advice, I think the only thing I could add kind of falls into goals. Count milestones, rather than days. 356 days is too overwhelming. Instead countdown to holidays, birthdays, if you are attempting to lose weight reward yourself at every 10lbs or so. If you are trying to read more set multiple milestones with rewards. Set EASY milestones for the beginning months though because you have to allow yourself time to get back into the routine of deployment; this means allowing yourself to have the occasional "off" day.

Erin said...

Remember that you will change too, not just him and that it takes some time, communication and effort to bridge that gap, but love will see you through. So, keep busy, allow the changes to happen, and know that you two can make it through anything if you can survive a deployment.
Some days just suck. Some days are tougher than others, but just take your day step by step. First get out of bed, then worry about showering, etc. Those days are hard, but a good day will be just around the corner. :)

Also, there are a number of good books out there about surviving deployments, I have read a number of good ones, and one about how to deal when your man comes home. They really helped me. I will try to look up the ones I have upstairs so you can read them too.

And the miliwife blogging community really helped me survive mine. I suggest you keep finding good blogs to check out...

My husband came home a year ago, but I do still blog about military life some. If you want to check out my blog you are welcome too- Deployment Woes. I have a lot of archived deployment posts (2008-early 2010) Feel free to check them out and email me with questions. :)

Stacey said...

I'm also looking for deployment blogs and resources, so thanks for the suggestions. My husband just left on Friday and already the house seems so empty.

Anonymous said...

I am rally new to the miitary life. Well, haven't even started yet really. My husband goes to basic in April.. and I am beside myself. I found your blog, and like to read it whe I start to think about him being gone. It's nice to know that life can be relatively normal when they're gone. So thanks :D