I’ve been doing really well in the 10 or so days since my husband deployed. However, I finally cried — because I finally heard his voice on the phone!
There’s nothing like that first phone call of deployment. It’s always such a relief to hear his voice. His voice is so comforting to me, and hearing it was like receiving a long, warm hug. I live for phone calls. He’s the only one who calls our house telephone line, and each time it rings I pause in momentary, overjoyed disbelief that I’ll get to talk to him (SQUEEEE!!).
We were able to talk for 10 minutes, which is a very long deployment phone call (at least, for us that’s a long phone call!). We were able to talk about a bunch of topics. During deployment phone calls, we very rarely have long, developed conversations. We tend to switch topics quickly, as to cover as much ground as possible in our limited time. It’s so precious to be able to talk back-and-forth. Email is wonderful, but it limits instantaneous back-and-forth conversation. Telephone calls are beautiful.
If you were to read one of our email chains, you would see that every email covers different topics. If we want a response about a specific topic, we have to highlight that topic within our email. There have been times when he and I sent each other one or two sentence emails as to highlight our question and elicit a response. It’s like that.
Email communication during deployments is pretty humorous and weird. The closer we get to his return or to a port call, the shorter and more sporadic our emails become — why spend all that time typing when we know that we’re going to SEE each other VERY SOON?!?
We rarely talk on the phone when he’s deployed, so it’s special when we do talk. He tries to call once per week, but that doesn’t work out every week. Sometimes we go a few weeks without talking (such as when I visit the States) and sometimes he’s able to call me two or three times in a week.
Not everyone has easy access to telephones during deployment. If you’re facing a deployment, communication expectations is a great topic to discuss before your significant other leaves. Service members who are deployed in a war zone tend to have less access to amenities, including telephones. Also, buying phone cards can become crazy expensive if they’re calling the States often. On the other hand, some friends’ husbands have more regular access to phones then they do non-Secret computers. Have the conversation before your special person leaves AND reassess the situation after they’ve been there for a week or two. Every deployment may be different, too, even though they’re deploying the same location over and over again. Perhaps phones or computers were added since they were there last … or perhaps some or all have been removed. You just never know with the United States military (can I get an Amen?!).
Three cheers for deployment phone calls!!