For me, when we met my husband was on IRR status and not having to do any military things. A year after we married, we discussed it and he joined the Army National Guard. When we discussed it did I know how hard everything would be? No. Now since he is NG instead of active duty things are different for us. When he's home he has his civilian job that he goes to everyday, but he also has his guard duties that are normally one weekend a month and two weeks a year for annual training. We've been married for five years now. Most of the times that he has been gone have been split up with months between having to be gone.
We found out July of last year that he would be deploying at the end of the year. After that, he was gone quite a bit for training as guard doesn't do the amount of active duty throughout the year. He left the end of October last year and will finally be coming home soon. Has this year been difficult? Yes. Have we had fights? Yes. But honestly the hardest part is seeing my two little boys wanting daddy home so bad. Has this deployment had a negative impact on their relationship with their father? No. They miss him. They want him home, and even though they are both young, they do remember who daddy is and can't wait for him to be home just like me.
To be completely honest, this deployment has made me stronger as a person, as a mother, and as a wife. I didn't marry my husband thinking "Oh, well he won't be home much so maybe we shouldn't get married" I married him because I love him. Plain and simple. He is the man that I plan on spending the rest of my life with. Yes, there have been numerous stressors this year and it does suck having to do certain things on my own. It sucks that he missed some of the kids firsts. It sucked that he missed our youngests first birthday. It sucks that he missed trick or treating, Thanksgiving and Christmans, but we made it work.
As soon as we found out he was deploying we downloaded skype on our computers so we could video chat. There have been times where it's been a few days to a month or two that we weren't able to talk, but we made it work. Did I worry myself sick those times that I didn't hear from him? Of course I did because, big surprise here, I LOVE HIM!
That is the entire reason I do all of this. I love him. He is providing for our family and doing what he can to keep our family safe and everyone else that resides in the U.S.A. I can't tell you how many times I have had people tell me that they wouldn't be able to do what I do, but you know I felt the same way before I had to do it. When my husband is home, he is the most amazing father and husband I know. Do I complain about him? Sure, there are things he does that annoy the shit out of me, but that doesn't mean I don't love him. He does is best to be a great father and husband when he isn't home as well.
Marrying someone in the military isn't about the money or worrying about how much they will be gone. Everyone that I know that is married to, engaged to, or dating someone in the military put up with everything because they love them.
All other military s/o's feel free to share your story too. I'd love to hear them and maybe some people will actually learn something.
Patiently waiting the return of my soldier while loving my two little boys.
Proud Army National Guard Wife.