I learned a lot during this deployment. It changed me. Let me share: 1. I learned that I am stronger than I think. No military wife is ever ready for deployment. From what I hear from other wives none of us really feel that we are strong enough to go through a deployment. But at the end when we look back,
Day One—The Best Ship in the Navy I wanted to thank you personally because, though we are logging long hours, we are having a good turn at the wheel and we are building our team one cat shot and trap after another. Looking deeper within the skin of the ship, the CIC, Galley, Engine Rooms, Admin Spaces and more are all turning out what keeps us moving and keeps us safe.
I’ve made a list of things people hate to hear when their spouse is deployed. Perhaps you could add to this list, but these are the statements about which I’ve heard complaints: “I’m sorry.” “I know how you feel. I was a single mom.”
Have you ever pushed the “Send” button on an email or text. . . .and then wished you could “take it back”? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. . . .and if you’ve experienced this feeling of regret, or maybe even panic, you know that email & texting are great tools but have their limitations. Without tone of voice, without context, without a smile or a frown, without really knowing how the other person is going to “receive” your message—it’s hard to rely on technology to communicate everything you want to your spouse.
It’s unusual for a wife to speak at her husband’s military retirement ceremony. More “normal” is for him to give her a gift—maybe a bouquet of roses—and then speak about her sacrifices as a military wife. Then she usually receives a commendation—pictures are made with her—and much applause is given to her, as it should. So when I heard about this poem, recently included in the printed retirement program of a dear friend,
She was a strong woman. Perhaps that came from being the oldest of seven—no doubt a rowdy bunch. Perhaps it came from growing up during The Great Depression and having to work hard at home. Perhaps it came from having two pretty strict parents who expected a lot from their kids. She was strong even in the days when it wasn’t the “norm” to be a strong woman.
When I see it—in actions, words, or formal presentation, it’s always a favorite combination . . . power with tenderness . . . When I first read Eric Blehm’s book on the life of Navy SEAL Adam Brown, "Fearless", I was struck by this description: “Known for his compassion, Adam was always the first to do something like break open a light stick for a baby to play with or give a candy bar to a terrified child. But he wasn’t the only one. In a group of men whose business is killing, the fury they release upon the enemy is rivaled only by the humanity they display for innocents caught in the crossfire.”
When we were writing the first draft of the HomeBuilders Bible study, Making Your Marriage Deployment Ready, we did what was suggested and got a copy of the Command magazine published by Officer’s Christian Fellowship in order to track down an article by Anne Borcherding entitled "Share My Calling." The article begins with Anne telling the reader about a conversation she had with her husband, Rob, when he explained: "‘This isn’t just a job for me. This is my calling, and I need you to share my calling.’ As he described his commitment to the Army, my husband’s voice was filled with emotion. It grabbed my attention. Rob and I were attending an intensive marriage retreat before the first of three deployments to Iraq. God opened my eyes that day to an essential element of both Rob’s service in the military and our marriage.”
A friend in North Carolina introduced me to “standing for your marriage” as a concept and movement. I had always known there were those who refused to give up on their dying or dead marriage—but I had never heard it called “standing”. Since then I have paid close attention to articles, books, websites, testimonies, and seminars about standing. I know in the military community the stresses on a marriage can cause either the husband or wife—sometimes both—to say, “Enough! I’m done!”
During the debate over the pros and cons of marriage vs. living together I would often read that one party would say, “Why get married? It’s just a piece of paper. We already FEEL married.” In the military, that twisted logic just doesn’t hold up. A military marriage begins with one piece of paper—the marriage certificate. If you are not married “on paper," your relationship doesn’t count. Shortly after the official marital documentation follows the military ID card, another important piece of paper. Without that important document, there are no privileges that come with being a military dependent.