Deployment is… a whole mess of emotions that I don’t even have a word for. It was like going through puberty, it was like I was dating a ghost, the beginning, middle and end all had totally different vibes to them.
For two years I have had more people than I can count ask me, “How do you do it?”
And I have never had an answer. I didn’t really know how, I just did.
But after two years of getting asked this question and then asking myself, “Yeah… how the hell do I do this?” on my car rides back home I have finally come up with the answer.
So, here it goes. The three things that you need to have in order to be a military girlfriend:
To Whom It May Concern,
“And everyone I talk to out here says to just end it now because these relationships never work.”
My heart, filled with anger and sadness, sank to the bottom of my gut after reading what my boyfriend had just texted me.
You told him that I wouldn’t be able to handle the 4,000 miles between us. I won’t be able to handle his busy schedule you said. It is a guarantee that I will cheat you said. Because I chose to not move in with him the relationship will surely fail you said.
I realize, that to the military, I am nothing. Not his family. Not his wife. I am just a girlfriend. I do not matter to the United States military.
Of this, I am fully aware.
But shame on you for assuming what kind of woman I am. Shame on you for filling my boyfriend’s head with worry and his heart with sadness.
And while I am filled with hurt, I also have gratitude towards you. Thank you for putting a fire in my heart and a determination in my soul to make this distance work.
Watch me handle deployments with grace and love. Watch me have the patience and understanding to deal with our differing work schedules. I hope you get to witness the care packages he will get along with the constant flow of emails, letters and funny cards. I had the strength to stay back home so I could enhance my career and finish my schooling so that I wouldn’t have to rely on the military for money. So, watch me not cheat on him or use him for his military paycheck because I took the time to establish myself.
And, unfortunately, while what you keep driving into his head has an impact what I have to say to him has a greater one. Little do you know how strong my boy is and how much love he has for me.
You bringing our relationship down gave me the opportunity to relive with him all the beautiful memories that we have had, the ones that have made us laugh until we cried. And with those memories came the pictures: the happiest pictures of us on our anniversary, that one that I made a stupid face by the river, pictures from every single graduation he has had. All to remind him that even when we were thousands of miles apart we were never truly far from each other.
So, I thank you. For you made us stronger and you sparked a passion in me to be the best “girl back home” that I can be.
A dedicated and strong military girlfriend
You’ve just spent this amazing few weeks with your SO filled with lots of love, companionship, laughter, fun-filled plans and parties. Then no sooner do they get back that you find yourself back at the airport waving goodbye with tear-soaked eyes and a snot-filled tissue in your non-waving hand. Then there is the drive home from the airport that you don’t really remember too much because of all the thinking you have done during that time. Then before you know it, you are standing in the front door of your house and you have no clue what to do.
….I have a phone full of these kinds of messages. The only time Taylor has a chance to talk is late at night but I have to go to sleep early because I wake up early to go to work. I text Taylor for maybe 30 minutes in the morning and then I get the message that he is leaving for work.
Now, don’t get me wrong, he is very sweet in telling me to have a good day and reminding me that I’m loved everyday. I like that about him but I absolutely hate getting these messages because I know what it means: another 12 hours of not talking.
…Which really sucks. He’s my best friend and all this stuff in my life is happening and I’m sure he has a lot on his mind and I can’t tell him any of it because he is always gone. This frustrates me, infuriates me at times even. But over the past few months, I have learned a thing or two about dealing with this…
Christmas was great and everything but what I really wanted was for it to be December 28th, particularly at 7am when Taylor’s plane would land. Like a kid on Christmas, I couldn’t sleep the night before and I got up at 5 am to go pick up my boy.
One of my biggest missions in creating this blog was to bash the notion that long distance relationships or military relationships are bad or too hard. They aren’t. Plain and simple. Matter of fact, I recommend trying one at least once in life to see what that is like (though if you are already married I do not recommended…).
And here is why: