I was stuck on “stuck” for a few days and my husband gave me inspiration for this post. He reminded me of when we were both on active duty and being stuck in New Mexico while he was in Ohio. I guess he missed me. When we served we were both on active duty for the whole six years I was in. When I left the military, my husband continued to serve. I learned all about the challenges of being a military spouse. Life is hard on military families, especially when both husband and wife are serving.
Day 5 – Stuck
When I returned “home” from my deployment to Afghanistan, I didn’t really have a home. At least not where the military sent me back to my duty station in New Mexico. You see, while I was in Afghanistan my husband was selected for school and moved himself and all of our stuff from New Mexico to Ohio a few months before I returned home. Because I had my next assignment already set to follow him to Ohio it made sense for him to move everything with him and put our house up to rent. But as with most things with mil to mil life, the challenge of timing doesn’t always line. I lived in limbo for about two months before I was able to move on to be with him.
When I came back from Afghanistan and everything was different. Not just because my husband had moved and I was living in my friend’s spare bedroom. No, everything about who I was after deploying to war was different. Even the small things, a new stop sign. An added traffic light or store. There was so much change in the small town I left behind a year before. Change that with time people likely didn’t notice, but for me. All this change hit me at once. Because the place I came back to wasn’t the same.
The squadron I had once felt comfortable in was full of so many new faces and so many people missing as the next journey of military life led them to a new adventure. People who had arrived in the past 12 months looked at me as the new arrival instead of the person coming back home.
Both on Active Duty Reality
For two months I was stuck in New Mexico while my husband was in Ohio. We should have been happily reunited at the airport on my return home from a war zone. But instead, the months apart continued. When the final tally was complete it was over 13 months apart before we were back together again. It was a hard year, but being separated was something we had gotten used to. It was something we had done before. There was Skype and letters to keep us connected. And when we were finally reunited it was different than before. A new place to decorate and explore. We both had changed in our year apart, but somehow we grew closer than we were before.
Off to Ohio
And when I finally had the opportunity to start my life in Ohio I moved into a new house that had been organized by my husband. Things were often not where I would have put them. And I think at some point he gave up guessing what I would do because a spare room was full of boxes that he had determined not worth unpacking. Where to hang the pictures, so many kitchen gadgets he found useless went, and other objects he wouldn’t have owned had I not been part of his life. But as I reorganized our life and began to find our rhythm after being separated for so long. Life began to resemble what it was before.
Separation from deployment
Looking back at who we were before and after my deployment is so different. Somehow we both changed, but instead of moving in different directions, we grew closer than before. We had gone through something hard and we came out the other end not only stronger but different. I can’t even explain why. I just know something changed and I don’t even know why. It is like we knew we needed to make the most of the time together so instead of standing still we started doing more things together and it is a change that we still instill.
Make the most of the time you have with your loved one. You never know what will happen next. I think that has been our motto for the last four years and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
See all my 31 Days…Military Life