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?