Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Advice

First and foremost:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY HANDSOME HUSBAND! I hate that we can't celebrate together, but we'll celebrate both our birthdays and our anniversary together when you get home.


Skyping with my handsome crew chief

Now that my husband and I have survived over a month of our first deployment, I feel I can give some advice for surviving deployments.

Talk about your expectations beforehand.
For some couples, it's easier to talk only a few times
For some couples (like us), it helps us get through the days to hear from each other as often as possible...usually everyday.
No matter the situation, talk beforehand about what you each expect so neither of you are let down. Will asked me before he left if I wanted to hear from him everyday or if I wanted to schedule weekly calls. I asked him to call as often as possible, even if it's just to say "I love you, goodnight." And most times, that's what we're limited to. That's okay because he knows I'm not upset when he does that. I also asked for old fashioned love letters when he gets a chance and he's working on that.

Ask fellow spouses and Google tips for care packages.
For instance, the USPS site states pork and pork byproducts are banned from most countries in the middle east. I can't remember where I found it, but I remember a spouse recommended to baggie cookies in portions and then baggie them all in a gallon size bag since sand/dirt gets everywhere and it will prevent spoiling the whole batch.
I try to send things that are useful, not wasteful. Be sure your packages match your husband's personalities and tastes.

 When in doubt, send food.
When he first got there, Will didn't want anything but letters. A week later he was begging for food. Same with Seester. All she asks for is food. They both have access to the necessities at the Exchange and have access to chow halls...but they both want their favorite snacks and cookies to tide them over between meals.

Leave date does not = homecoming date

They have stops and layovers and the date they're supposed to leave doesn't mean there's a flight for them to leave on. Will is scheduled for a 6 month deployment, but I'm counting on 7 months just to be realistic. I think it took them about a week between leaving here and getting to their deployment location.

 Skype, Email, and Social Media will be your best friends.
If there's a blackout, I'm able to leave messages for my husband to see when the internet is brought back and vice versa. Sometimes I'm missing him extra and he's on the line or sleeping so I'll send him a quick message saying I love and miss him. We send each other pictures of our days and important things that we know we'll forget to mention during our talks. And Skype...my best friend. I get to see my husband's face and that always puts a smile on my face. I'm so grateful for it, I Tweeted them...and they Tweeted me back!


Tweeting with Skype
We're still early in our deployment, and I'm sure we still have a lot to learn about deployments. We're no strangers to being separated for long periods of time, but (like I've said before) this is different. I'm constantly worried about him and pray often for him to get more sleep and to come home safely. As always, I welcome any further advice and ideas on getting through the next 5-6 months. And I'm so grateful for all your support!


8 comments:

  1. I think talking about your expectations ahead of time is hugely important! Because keeping in touch most likely means something different to each one in the couple, you don't want one person to be feeling disappointed the whole time!

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  2. Hooray for one month down! :)

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  3. ~I love that Skype not only tweeted you back but genuinely cared! :)
    ~Great, practical advice.
    I can't believe it's already been a month...then again i'm sure it feels like an eternity for you! <3
    ::hugs::
    You're doing such a great job though, so proud of both of you!
    & happy birthday to the hubs!

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  4. Happy birthday to your hubs! Gosh, somehow every time my husband has been deployed, it spanned over his birthday. Poor guy.

    Yay for one month down!!

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  5. Happy Birthday to your husband!! :)

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  6. Happy Birthday to your husband.

    I am so grateful to Skype.

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  7. Such great advice and all so true! Skype really is the best and I too can't believe the tweeted you back! lol. how awesome!

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  8. Blown away by this post - So true. I wish I had been this rational my first deployment.

    I especially love the point about leae dates not equaling homecoming dates... it took me a long time to realize that with the military everything take longer hahaha. I've made myself so upset over trying to control things and trying to have specific dates. I do the same thing as you now, I just assume everything will be as long as possible and then when it is shortened a little bit its always nice :)

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