So, Kid B and my daughter in law are about to embark down the long, sad, agonizingly annoying road of another deployment. Bless their souls, they are both about 21 and on their second one already. The D date is approaching fast and I hate seeing her go through all the pre-deployment build up... she is an Army brat herself, so deployments aren't new to her, its just that I can't help but think at the end of the day watching your husband leave for parts unknown, rife with danger, is something you never get used to. Wether you are 21 or 31 or 41. Wether you've been married a year or 20. Wether it is your first or last. My guess is that it always feels the same:
Gut wrenching. Fearful. Worried. Anxious. Uncertain.
Trepidation. Sadness. Exasperation. Anger.
Lonely. Oh Lord the loneliness...
Mentally and physically bracing yourself for whatever it is that will come your way in the ensuing year. Trying to be strong, trying to do it all yourself. Just trying to make it through.
And she is doing it with three small girls. I don't know how she does it, but she is a good girl and I know she will be fine. But I'll tell you what, watching her prepare, reading her Facebook updates brings back all those feelings, all the memories of those days leading up to the deployment. It puts me back in that gymnasium, choking back tears, trying to stay strong... not knowing how the following year would be, not knowing if we would come out of it for the better, ... not knowing if he would even come home. Ugh, I'm giving myself heartburn just thinking about it. I want to reach out to her, tell her it will all be okay, but of course none of us know that. I wish there was something I (we) could do other than simply offering to be there for her and the girls. But that is how these things go.
Swiss talked to Kid B yesterday, probably one of the last times until things get settled in theater, and even he didn't know what to say. From one soldier to another, it was only I love you and stay safe, send us your address once you get it. Because really, what else is there to say? It is an experience we have all been through, but it seems that no matter how many times you do it, we know there isn't anything we can do or say to make it any better. It is just something that has to be done, and all you can do is be there when it starts and gut it out until it is over.
I (we) pray that Kid B's deployment is depressingly boring and terribly uneventful even though I know that isn't what he wants. I pray for his safety, for his unit's cohesion, for strength of leadership, for keeping his nose out of places he doesn't need to be. I pray that he comes home safe and healthy, to a family that is anxiously awaiting his arrival. I pray that nothing falls apart, that everyone gets through this year with flying colors, and I pray that this year, for them, flies by.
Stay safe and come home soon Kid B.