I knew it was going to happen. We both did. We were told as much when HRC (human resources for the Army) requested my husband submit his next assignment “choices.” (I say “choices” because that very use of the term is a bit of a joke in the Army. They send you where they need you. But, I digress.) I had decided I wasn’t going to think about it–not until it was certain.
Then came the call. Richard had just visited the unit he’s joining in September. He told me about the guy from college he knew in the unit, what the unit was doing. And then paused. He also told me where I’d be going in the unit, Richard told me. Two slots were open. Iraq in March; Afghanistan in May. Pick your poison.
Despite knowing this was coming, I had found myself deliberately praying he wouldn’t have to go. But hope is a stubborn one. Now, I am pulling the deployment books out and trying to wrap my head around this whole idea. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem real since we haven’t transferred to the new unit and are knee deep in current training with this unit. He has no orders. So, that darned hope is still sitting way down there. But, I know.
Being a military brat, my experience doesn’t extend quite this far. My father was Active Duty during a time of peace (except Desert Storm, where he was told after volunteering he was needed at home). The longest my father was absent was two months. I was five. I don’t remember it.
Twelve months is a long time. It’s not “we’ll get by till he gets home.” This will be living life while he’s deployed. Big difference.
So, here we enter into an adventure I don’t really care to join, but I must. It’s an adventure I have no idea how to fight or what to expect. I fear the unknown. Only God knows what is in our future; only He knows what life has in store. I have a million questions about various aspects. What to do? What’s going to happen? What does this entail? Slowly, they will be answered.
This will be a long journey. And it will be hard. Hard for Richard, for me, for Elizabeth. And hard for our family. But, we will prevail. There is no other option. We will stand. And we will fight. While life will be hard, I will stand strong behind my husband. I will hold down the home front. I will be vigilant for my soldier. Victory, for me, will come when my soldier returns home. And we will attain victory.
Meanwhile, Charlie Mike.