Preparing for ANOTHER deployment.

Oh deployment … you come too often and too soon. You are the shadow hanging over us on every sunny day, and you are the scary monster under our bed. And here you are again …

It’s that time of year — time to start preparing ourselves for another long separation. My husband and I have been separated 9ish months of the 20 that we’ve been married. That’s military life for ya! I have a friend who has been married for 10 years to a Navy aviator, and she has never spent her wedding anniversary with her husband. He’s either been deployed or on a det that is far enough away that she couldn’t visit. Deployments here always covers both of our birthdays, so it will be very exciting to spend a birthday together sometime in the next few years.

This will be our 2nd deployment together, and the 4th one I’ve endured as a military significant other.

Anyway, I am getting some craft and writing projects lined-up for our time apart. Prior to the actual deployment, my husband will go away for 2-3wks and we will not have any communication at all for that period of time. I consider that time apart to be much worse then the deployment itself, so, in my mind, his official deployment date is the day that he leaves for the no-communication-location. Every pilot and WSO in every jet squadron here must go to the no-communication-location, but they usually only stay for 2-3 nights. My husband must stay for the whole time because he is in charge of this det. Three friends’ husbands will stay the whole time with him, too, so we can commiserate together.

My list of deployment projects is slowly expanding, so I’ll be busy until he comes home in the early wintertime!

So far, I have my usual pre-deployment det letter-writing project. I’ll write at least one long letter a day, and put all the letters together in a small binder for my husband, which I will give to him when he leaves for deployment-actual. In the binder, I also put receipts for stuff I did while he was away, I decorate the pages with silly stickers, and I add anything else that I think might be of interest to him.

I’m making him another little deployment picture book, though this one will be different from last year’s book. I like sending him off with happy pictures to look at, and it’s a nice little keepsake for us in the long run.

I plan to create wall art from scraps of Japanese fabric that I purchased at the antique festival. I’m going to craft the fabric into flowers, and attach them to 3 9″ wreath frames. I’m going to attach the wreaths with some nice ribbon, and hang them vertically on the wall. It should look really nice!

I hope to make this amazing American Flag canvas creation using crayons.

I want to make an over-the-bar “chalkboard” sign with a Dr Who dalek saying “inebriate inebriate inebriate”.

I also plan to make a deployment wreath for my front door. I still need to research a little more and purchase supplies for this project.

I will make a few big envelopes full of construction paper hearts to send to my husband.

Last, I’m going to make my wine cork last name initial for either our front door or inside our home. I’ve ben collecting wine corks for 2yrs, and I finally have enough … and then some.

I’m getting myself mentally prepared, but I don’t feel like I need to get as “ready” as I did last year. This time last year, we were still living in the unair-conditioned Navy Lodge and we did not yet have a move-in date for our house. I hardly knew anyone, and I felt EXTREMELY lonely. We didn’t even have a spouses’ club. This year, we have our house, we have air conditioning, I have friends, and I have a LOT to keep busy with here. I have plans for this deployment and I am in a great routine that will be kicked up a notch when my husband leaves. Everything will be okay, including me.

Does anyone else have favorite projects to do during deployment? Do you sent your husband anything fun while he’s gone? How do you mentally prepare yourself for deployment?

6 comments

  1. I have never experienced a deployment, but it will be coming up fast in the near future, we have a little over a year until he is assigned to his sub. To say I am nervous is a complete understatement. I didn’t think about making crafts/projects for myself to do, I have been slowly writing down ideas so I can get myself ready for it. I will definitely be using these ideas! Thank you.

    1. The best thing to do during a deployment is to keep yourself occupied and happy 🙂 Distract your mind, write to him often, and put care packages together for him. A few of the blogs I follow are written by sub wives. You can find them on the left side bar of this page. A good friend writes one called “Gwendolyn Rose” on WordPress, too. Her husband is a submarine officer. You should connect with her. I’ll send her a message to look for your comment here. There are a lot of days in a year — take advantage of all of them to tell him that you love him and build your relationship! Strong relationships bridge the gap of space and time 🙂 Try not to be nervous. Easier said then done, but you have a whole year. He probably won’t deploy as soon as he checks in (or, maybe he will – the Navy loves to do that lol), but you still have a very long time before he leaves 🙂

    2. Hi- I’m the sub-officer-wife that CorgiMum mentioned. (I’ve been bad about blogging lately…no recent updates but I’m still there! lol) My husband was assigned to his first sub last May and this last year has definitely been a new experience for both of us!
      With the sub community, there is plenty of support with the FRG (family readiness) groups and other spouse groups. I recommend get involved with the FRG and you will meet lots of new friends. Everyone will be going through the same thing at the same time, ours organized fun events to keep spirits up and to get hermits (like myself) out and about! 😉 The sub community is also very close knit group. Officer and enlisted wives can all be friends very easily (I’ve heard things against this with the surface fleet), and of course no one wears their husband’s rank. Our CO’s wife is the nicest and most helpful and awesome person there is!
      Also, the Ombudsman is one person you want to make sure you meet and know her information!

      As for being nervous, that’s normal. But the key is to try and carry on just like normal. At first it can be hard but once you get in the groove, time will pass quickly.
      You’ll get to email him everyday, though there is not always the guarantee that he will get them THAT day. And the guys can email you back when they are not “on alert” (silent). In those emails, tell him about your day or something cool you saw or read. It helps them to feel like they are still at home or connected with you. I have also heard the suggestion to pick some books or tv shows on dvd that you can both watch on your own time while away and talk about them in email, that way you guys still have something you can connect with while being so far apart.
      Make goals and have a Patrol Bucket List (submarine deployments are referred to as “patrols”). I repainted & redecorated my bedroom and bathroom and when hubby came home he was totally surprised. 🙂

      You have a year until he is assigned to his sub (according to your comment above), don’t worry about the deployments for now! Enjoy your time with him. Ignore that deployment elephant until time gets closer! 😉 You’ll have time to get prepared later on!
      Feel free to ask me any other questions! You can contact me through my blog or the facebook page (Gwendolyn Rose Corgi) that is linked on my blog if you’d rather they not be public comments.

      1. Also, space is very limited on the subs so you can send our a “half-way” care package or some other small care packages, usually in gallon sized baggies, and have them open them on special occasions like birthdays or holidays. I made a ton of cards and wrote little notes and used tons of stickers and had “open when…” on the front so my husband had things to brighten his day. I know a lot of wives that do those. they don’t take up too much room and are fun.

  2. Oh lordy! And you had those giant bugs in your bed! I remember reading about all your buggy encounters!! Wow! Can’t believe it’s time for another deployment!

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