The 'D' word. For most of us in the military, we know there is a very good chance of hearing the inevitable 'D' word. For my husband and I, we knew before he went to boot camp. He signed for infantry and had friends already in, who gave him an idea of when to expect to be activated. And they were right. He hadn't even been in the Marine Corps a full year when his unit deployed. We've handled it well, after all, we knew what we were getting into.
He had gotten laid off from his job and there wasn't much out there for him. He had told me before he got laid off, while out of town, that he was thinking about talking to the recruiter when he got home. I think at first I may have been intrigued. I don't really remember how I reacted. Maybe I didn't realize it would actually happen. After that. God's destiny, had taken its course. We must have had an argument because the whole decision of him joining comes down to one statement. One statement that may be the death of me. I slightly remember saying it but I don't remember the argument. I told him he had to join for us. For me to stay with him. When I think back, I think he totally took it a different way then I meant it, but we don't talk about it much so I never ask him what actually was said that day. Granted, I probably did say he had to show me by doing this. What else was he going to do with his life? He was laid off with no job and no schooling. No money saved up. Nothing. What was I going to do? I couldn't support us. I didn't have any schooling at the time. We had decided not to re-lease on the house we were in and moved back to our parents'. There was another problem that was resolved that I won't make public, but he still needed to show me that things had changed and he was going to figure his life out.
After the first visit to the recruiter's office everything started to roll. And I realized I hated the Marine Corps. I didn't care what he needed to do to get ready for boot camp. I fought him on it. I had become a hypocrite and went back on my word. The next year was even worse. Things had started to strain our relationship and we were being pulled all different ways. It was honestly the worst year of my life. I regret everything. I wish I could erase it from my memory. The feeling I had that year creeps up on me now and then, reminding me. I can't get it out of my head. I hold things against him and he holds things against me. Nothing horribly bad happened but it was a year full of experiences I wish never happened. It's changed everything. All I can think about now, is wanting to go back to 2004 and how it used to be and starting over from there. Obviously things are okay, we're married and still love each other. But I can't stop holding on to what transpired that horrible year before he left for boot camp.
Boot camp scared the death out of me. Worse than deployment, Don't believe me if you want, but I'm telling you the truth. I was so nervous after that year, that when he went to boot camp he'd graduate and not want to be with me. After 6 years, he'd end up leaving me. They always say boot camp changes most guys for the good, so at first I was excited. There were things I didn't like about him and I thought they'd get straighted out but then I realized what if he changed for the worse? What if he thought he could do better or wanted to have his fun and freedom. What if he didn't want to get married. Boot camp was really hard, I cried every night and every day. I felt so lost without him. He wrote me the most loving letters ever, saying things I never expected him to say and I still couldn't help but think it wasn't true. I thought when he saw me on graduation day, he'd decide right then that it was over. Those three months, the feeling I had comes in second to the feeling I had the year before boot camp.
After boot camp, I think it was harder for him to readjust in the ten day leave than it was for me. Either way it was an amazing time. We got married in an 'unofficial' ceremony that ended up being perfect and beautiful. We decided to plan a formal wedding for after deployment, which has yet to be planned. (It's hard to plan things around the MC agenda). He left after his leave for SOI and two months later we were reunited again. Quickly we found a place to live and I came down to stay, I think around the end of November we were finally approved leave to come back home and move everything. It was an adventure. Everything was done so fast though, we didn't get to relax much. After that, he started to settle into his unit and find out what it's like to be a boot in the fleet. And being a 25 year old boot, at that. It was rough for him, he was treated like any other boot PFC just because of his rank even though he wasn't immature or stupid like most of the 18, 19 year old's he was surrounded by. But that's just how MC Infantry is, right?
Things didn't slow down once we got used to living in NC. My mother came to visit, for maybe a while too long. My car had a huge break down that sent me spiraling into financial hell. I needed to find a job since I was starting to run out of money. Pat had a few field ops. Maybe a week at the longest. Then Fort Pickett/AP Hill training came. I believe Pickett was about three weeks. I spent most of that time in Ohio, sick. I had driven home with mom and then we drove back when Pat was about to come home. Mom didn't stay that time, although I knew she would have loved to. After Pickett was California for Enhanced Mojave Viper training. They had gotten word while in Pickett that their deployment was moved up. EMV was longer than 30 days and at the time we weren't sure if he would get pre-deployment leave when he got home. They ended up coming home and we were on pre-dep leave within a week. It was short, too short. I feel like we didn't get to spend any time together by ourselves. I envy couples that get full pre-dep leave. My word of advise, don't waste it and cherish it.
'D-Day' came for us and it was one of the roughest days I have ever experienced. When he had left for Pickett and EMV, I was the one to 'leave'. I dropped him off and he had to watch the car leave. This time I had to watch the buses leave. It felt like they were driving 2 mph away. It was ripping my my heart out the further and further they went. I remember standing there saying over and over, 'please don't go, please don't go'. I left crying my eyes out with Norm in my arms. Luckily, I had a really good friend with me who followed me until she got to her street. I wasn't sure I'd make it home without wrecking. I couldn't stop crying and thinking it was the end of the world. I wondered when I would hear from him next.
So far some days seem to drag but the weeks have been going by pretty fast. I think we've been pretty lucky. With technology on our side, we get to talk on Facebook chat somewhat regularly. I'm not sure the reasoning but I don't get phone calls. One of the Sgt's wife gets many. More than I would have ever expected. But I only got one since he had left, only because he was at another patrol base. It's okay though, there's something that keeps the fire going when you have to wait to hear his voice. We don't use Skype either. I wouldn't mind, but I know Pat doesn't know how and I'm not sure if the computer he uses has a cam. I really want him to write me snail mail, like the letters he wrote me while in boot camp. I sent him paper and envelopes but he says he'll email me. I haven't gotten an email yet. I know we have actual conversations but I feel like he doesn't say what's on his mind or we end up talking about other things. I think it would be good for him to actually just write me, whether its email or snail mail. It would give him a chance to organize his thoughts and maybe say something he wouldn't in a chat. I was surprised, we've been talking a lot but he's jeopardizing valuable sleep time to talk to me. He can chose what to do in the hours between 'shifts' or what ever you want to call their work hours. Its not many hours by any means but enough to some-what relax or get on the internet, from what I understand. Sometimes communications are shut down though, for what ever reasons, like recently. Other times things break, they lose power or they are in the process of moving.
I try to think about Pat's day and what it's like, of course I don't have much to go on. He won't and can't say much of anything. Its hard for me to accept. I want to know everything. It's a story for me, an adventure. I'm proud and curious, maybe jealous in a way?. By the time he gets home, I'm afraid he'll forget every little detail. It's just like boot camp, I wanted to know everything, I was dying to hear all the stories and when he got home of course, that's not what he wanted to talk about. I wanted to experience it through him. Maybe there are suppressed emotions I have and that's why I want to know so bad. That's another story though, on a whole different level.
So now here we are, surviving through deployment number one. I find time going pretty fast. Work helps a lot, even though I would rather not be working. I think it helps that I'm slightly an introvert. And I like my alone time. I would give anything to spend every waking minute with Pat, but I am okay to be by myself when he's not around. I have an amazing group of friends here and they keep me busy. I honestly don't know if I could survive without them. They make me laugh and listen when I need to talk. They make this deployment even easier.
Lucky for Pat and I, we keep the communication open. I've been given some explanations from him that put a lot of things in perspective. I will expand on this in future posts. Let's just say I feel better and understand more, now. I love him with all I have and he knows.
This life may be hard and tough at times, but it is perfect for us ♥ I appreciate everything he is doing everyday for me. And I will wait faithfully for him to return home to me. I love you PSC