Military Brides

NWR~ Getting Closer?(deployment)

My FI's deployment is creeping up really fast. I know that people say to keep busy and all that. I was just wondering if anyone had anyother advice, or tips. Kind tell me what expect. This is also his first.TIA.
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Re: NWR~ Getting Closer?(deployment)

  • melbelle24melbelle24
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Well I'm about halfway through my FI's first deployment. I know it sounds cliche, but staying busy really does help. The times that I find myself with nothing to do is when I start getting sad or grumpy. I've also found that planning and putting together care packages to send him is a fun thing to do, and it makes me feel better about him being so far away. It's nice to feel like you're doing something good/useful for him, even when you can't be there.

    I don't really know what to tell you about what to expect. My FI has been on a boat for most of this deployment, so I don't know what it's like when they're over in Iraq or Afghanistan... but I do know that I've actually been surprised by how much I've managed to hear from him. Sometimes I hear from him every day (or a couple emails a day), and sometimes I can go 3-5 days without hearing from him at all. I know there's plenty of other ladies on this board that have more experience than I do, but I hope this helps at least a little. Enjoy your time with him before he leaves, and good luck!
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  • edited December 2011
    No one can tell you generically what to expect. It all depends on where he is stationed, what his job is, the conditions he's living in, how often they are running missions, and a million other factors. I think the best thing is to be patient right now and when he first leaves. Give him a few weeks to get settled, and then he will be able to tell you more about how often he will be able to contact you and whether it will be by phone, email, etc. Don't worry if you don't hear from him for longer periods of time, it's frustrating, but completely normal.

    As far as how you can handle things while at home....Most people say to take a day or two and be sad that he is gone, and then move on. This is good advice, it varies from person to person, but don't let yourself mope around for more than a couple days. Have a plan for what you are going to do when he first leaves. Plan something with friends or family for the next weekend if being around people helps you.

    After you get over the immediate "shock", start with the "keeping busy" part. Take exercise classes or art classes. Plan small trips with your friends. Pick up extra hours at work or work harder at school. Take up some volunteer projects. Plan your wedding. Find things that you enjoy doing that you don't usually have time for when your fiance is around. The PP's suggestion about making care packages is great. I usually send out one a month, or more often for his birthday or holidays. I also send out a bigger package every other month or so for the guys in his unit. I know that not all of them get packages very often, so I found out ahead of time specific things the guys like and make sure to include stuff for everyone. All the guys in my fiance's unit are snobs about their coffee, so I make sure they are properly caffeinated. Write lots of letters and emails. He may not get the information in "real time", but it will make you feel better to be able to share things with him and he will always enjoy hearing from you, though try to keep it upbeat.

    Don't start counting down until he comes home. It is annoying for everyone around you, and it will depress you a ton. I got excited when we had gotten through the first month of this deployment until I realized that there were 11 more to go. Find other things to look forward to in the mean time.

    I'm sorry if this information is jumbled...I'm just trying to think of my own experience and advice people have given me. Enjoy the rest of your time with him before he leaves. I hope everything goes well for you. It's hard, but time goes by a lot faster than you think it will :)

  • Beachy730Beachy730
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    I'm going through my first deployment now with H and I have to be honest when I say it isn't nearly as hard as I expected.  I could easily come back in another month and be sobbing about how much I miss him, but as of right now it truly hasn't been horrible.  We have been able to email back and forth everyday which is great, with the exception of a few days where he gets really busy, or if the ship shuts down email. 

    Are you in independent person who is willing to go out and do things on your own?  Do you have many friends where you are?  We only PCS'd here a little less than 2 months before H left, so I don't know a ton of people yet.  Whats helped me a lot is the wives group.  The unfortunate thing about not being married while he is deployed is that you can't get on the base alone, and probably can't get the information from the group if you have one.  But I've been able to stay up to date through that and meet a lot of women. 

    Are you working or in school?  Anything you can do to establish a routine makes the days go by quicker.  I think a big thing is just telling yourself that you are strong enough person to get through it.  Also, know that its even harder on your FI to leave you behind then it is for you to watch him leave.  And you can always come on these boards for help.  Believe it or not I've made some great friends off of here, and am on this site all the time. 
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    This part is usually the worst part. The build-up to deployment and the first week or so of the deployment are (IMO) the worst part. Other than that, ditto pps. Being in college always really helped me, with helping time go by (I always said, "Okay, he'll be home this long after my semester is over, he'll be back however long after these things are due", some girls count pay periods. I count by assignments.  I hope to use similar job related assignments/goals in the same way now that I've graduated. 

    Ditto the pps. Stay busy, do not allow yourself to wallow for more than a few days. Do you still live at home? Do you have a friend or family member you can ask to be your check early on? To call and make sure you're not laying in bed all day, etc.? I wouldn't need that now, but the first time, no shame at all.
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • Beachy730Beachy730
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: NWR~ Getting Closer?(deployment):
    This part is usually the worst part. The build-up to deployment and the first week or so of the deployment are (IMO) the worst part. Other than that, ditto pps. Being in college always really helped me, with helping time go by (I always said, "Okay, he'll be home this long after my semester is over, he'll be back however long after these things are due", some girls count pay periods. I count by assignments.  I hope to use similar job related assignments/goals in the same way now that I've graduated.  Ditto the pps. Stay busy, do not allow yourself to wallow for more than a few days. Do you still live at home? Do you have a friend or family member you can ask to be your check early on? To call and make sure you're not laying in bed all day, etc.? I wouldn't need that now, but the first time, no shame at all.
    Posted by WishIcouldbeinthe'stan
    This is so true.  The whole week leading up to him leaving I would get really sad when thinking about it.  The day before I would randomly start crying when I thought about saying goodbye to him.  I sobbed at the airport, and told myself to pull it together because I had an hour drive home.  He left on a Friday, and I gave myself through Sunday to eat crappy comfort food and drink all I want, and feel sorry for myself.  Honestly by Saturday afternoon I was fine. 
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  • michelle227michelle227
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    When FI was deployed, I was on the FRG e-mail list that got sent out.   I felt like the information that it provided was, as it should, geared towards the families and children on the base (this didn't apply to me because I was living out of state).  That being said, I would recommend staying connected through these because I was able to get very up to date e-mails regarding redeployment from the woman who was the contact point for FI's Company.

    Depending of where he is stationed, I think you'll be very surprised at how often you can hear from him.  If we weren't able to talk on Skype on a daily basis, there'd be a few days in between when he was busy on missions.  But e-mails and Skype conversations were on a very regular basis!
  • edited December 2011
    Depending of where he is stationed, I think you'll be very surprised at how often you can hear from him.  If we weren't able to talk on Skype on a daily basis, there'd be a few days in between when he was busy on missions.  But e-mails and Skype conversations were on a very regular basis!
    Posted by michelle227[/QUOTE]

    OP--If you do get to talk to your fiance this often, great! But, I'd caution you not to expect this or get your hopes up before he is actually there. It would be hard on you to expect to hear from him daily and then be worried and disappointed if you don't. I had a friend whose fiance was able to contact her multiple times a day during his deployment. My fiance is only able to get in contact with me once a week at the most, once in a while I'll get a short email between conversations. His last deployment before this one it was a quick, fuzzy phone call once every other week or once a month. There are so many factors that determine this. I hope you get to talk to him often, it will make the time much smoother, but I just don't want you to have super high expectations and get disappionted or upset later.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the build-up being the worst.  My FI and I are notorious for fighting over little things right before he leaves, like that'll somehow make it easier.  Fortunately, I'm in school full-time so I have a built in distraction and I can't exactly slack off once he's gone.  Usually, I don't get sad right away and everytime he leaves is different. 
    As far as being able to talk, I always make sure to send an email before I go to bed even if I haven't heard from him that day.  Sometimes the email system is down, but on his boat it doesn't usually last more than a few days.  Definitely get on the mailing list or try to make friends with a couple of the other wives/gfs.  It helps to get updates from somebody else's perspective and you have someone you can talk to who really knows what you are going through.  A few of us from my FI's boat get together once a week for wine night which gets us out of the house and around other people.
    My best piece of advice is not to get mad at him for something stupid while he's gone.  I try not to vent to my FI because he has enough going on that I don't want to distract him with problems he can't fix.  I made that mistake once and it only made things worse. 
    Just remember that at the end of all of it he is coming home to you.  There is nothing I like more than watching his boat pull in and running up to him to give him a big hug the minute he steps on the pier.  That feeling, when I see him for the first time in months, makes it all worth it.
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  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    I haven't gone through deployment, so take what I say with that grain of salt.  However, when BF was gone for training, I gave myself a goal and it really helped me feel like I was accomplishing something while he was gone rather than just treading water with my life on hold.

    I joined Weight Watchers online, and joined a gym.  He wasn't there to go home to after work, so I went and worked out.  That meant I wasn't sitting on the couch being sad he wasn't next to me.  Every time I missed him, I worked out or made myself something healthy to eat and tracked my points online.  When I woke up on a Sunday morning, he wasn't there asking me to make him bacon and pancakes, so I had fruit and yogurt instead.  I was able to eat things I'd never make him because he hates them (like vegetarian food - I eat meat, but don't need it in every meal but he won't eat dinner without meat in it).  I lost 15lbs and looked fantastic - plus the endorphins from working out really helped my mood!  By the time he got back, I surprised him by how fit I was.  It was probably the best thing I could have done for myself during that time!

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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you ladies for all of the great advice. It helps to hear it from people that have went through it. I think that it might be a little easier because we don't live together, so I am not use to seeing him all the time. Now talking is a different story. We talk a lot, and video chat. I know that the time that we talk will be cut down. That really don't worry me all that much. As long as I hear something every 2 weeks to a month, to know that he is okay, then I will be fine. It is going to be a struggle, but I am independent, and I have a son and a lot of family that I am surrounded by. I have told them if I start getting depressed and feeling sorry for myself, then to tell me to suck it up and go on.

    I don't really have any military friends. So when I talk about it, they don't understand. They are always like, why would you go through this. Because DUH, I love him, and I knew he was in the Marines before hand. I knew what I was getting into. I wouldn't trade him for anything. I might look into having someone that I can talk to.

    The keeping busy part, I will definitely be able to do. I know that I will have the wedding, work, taking care of my son, and lots of other things. Calindi, thanks. I think that I will do that. I have been losing weight for the wedding. I think that this would be perfect.

    I definitely will not vent to him. I don't even allow him to hear me cry about it. The only time that I cried about it, was when he was talking to me about this seminar that they had. It was to get the families prepared for the deployment. He talked to be about his will, and things. Yea, I lost it. It is hard to hear the person that you love more than life itself, talk to you about what will happen if they die. Not my favorite subject. I know that he will miss me just as much as I miss him. It is going to be 10 times worse for him, because I am surrounded by family and friends that care about me, and I am in the safety of my own home. I will be strong for him, no matter what I am feeling.

    Thank you again ladies. :)  



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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2011
    When I was younger, I was generally a more emotional person, and the will and SGLI talk bothered me too. Look at it this way, everyone in the world who has anything to give away should have a will. *I* should have a will. The military simply requires everyone to be responsible instead of lazy like the rest of us. 

    I don't look at SGLI as a big emotional thing anymore. It's simply a requirement, and his will is another good requirement that would take pressure of me in terms of distribution of SGLI if something were to happen to him. Even casualty notification is a good requirement, a simple just in case. Nothing to get too emotional over. 

    I know it's not easy to say, just don't be emotional! Of course you can be, just don't let yourself fall apart. It'll get easier, and he'll be home. I remember when Iraq first began, Marines were being deployed for 9 months, which is not their norm. I bet your FI will be gone on a regular length Marine deployment, look at that bright side!

    As for communication, I've seen it both ways. SO's little sister, who's H is Army was able to talk to her every single day. I know some Marines who called home or Skyped every single day. It really depends on his job more than anything else. When SO deploys again, I will not hear from him every day. And that's okay. Not expecting it to be an every day thing will save your sanity.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you. :)
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  • edited December 2011
    I would say just be strong. Get a good support system (friends, family, etc.) and spend time with them when you can. Smile! That is my best advice. 

    signed, 
    **thankful for your FI's service**
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  • edited December 2011

    My fiance left on monday for 9 months (they get a 3week vacation in between but nobody knows when exactly). Everybody told me to keep busy and I'm telling you, honestly you have to, especially at the begining. I spoke to him via messenger an hour ago and it looked in good spirits. Told me to keep myself busy with the wedding planning and other stuff so my mind doesn't start wondering too much.
    I wish you all the best truegirl

  • AlishaStowersAlishaStowers
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Well Speaking as an Active Duty member myself, I have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan. If your FI is going to Iraq...you have nothing to worry about. No PTSD or anything like that. It's the green zone now and he won't see alot of action. He will actually probably email you 24-7 because he will be bored. If he is in Afghanistan...well I suggest you take up a hobby so that you aren't sitting around watching the news all day. Maybe dance or something that will keep you away from the couch as much as possible. Those are the tough deployments. All in all stay strong in Christ...He will provide if you ask. Once you get this first one out of the way the rest will be cake! GL and I hope you find something you really like to do while he's gone...I just loaded myself with college classes...but now I'm the one deploying right after my wedding and my FI will be missing me! ;-)
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: NWR~ Getting Closer?(deployment):
    Well Speaking as an Active Duty member myself, I have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan. If your FI is going to Iraq...you have nothing to worry about. No PTSD or anything like that. It's the green zone now and he won't see alot of action. He will actually probably email you 24-7 because he will be bored. If he is in Afghanistan...well I suggest you take up a hobby so that you aren't sitting around watching the news all day. Maybe dance or something that will keep you away from the couch as much as possible. Those are the tough deployments. All in all stay strong in Christ...He will provide if you ask. Once you get this first one out of the way the rest will be cake! GL and I hope you find something you really like to do while he's gone...I just loaded myself with college classes...but now I'm the one deploying right after my wedding and my FI will be missing me! ;-)
    Posted by AlishaStowers

    There are something like 132 Marines left in Iraq. I doubt he is going there. 

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  • edited December 2011
    He will be going to Afghanistan. Thank you ladies for the great advice. I will def have things to keep me busy.
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  • samanthacarysamanthacary
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    I agree with everyone. Keeping busy makes a world of difference. My fiance deployed to Iraq in May. Although it's only a "6 month" tour, you don't realize how long that actually is! Luckily children and working can occupy A LOT of your time.
    Email each other as often as you can. One thing that's helped me is sleeping in his t-shirt at night. Sounds corny I know, but I spray one spray of his cologne on it and I sleep easy at night. The first few weeks being apart are the hardest, but it will get easier, I promise. Time will fly by and before you know it you will be in the same boat as me! He will be home in 3 weeks!!  Good Luck to you and your family, best wishes!
  • edited December 2011
    MY FI left is September and will be gone until September of next year. It is hard having them gone, but being busy does help. I feel like actually my FI spends more time being bored and talking to me and want to talk when I don't have the time!! This morning we talked before I left for work on Skype(which is amazining if you don't already have this look into it!) he could have talked another hour, but I had to get going. As PP's stated I think it just depends on how often they are out on missions and how much down time they have. Make sure that you have a good support system, because on down days it is nice to have someone there to listen.
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