May 8, 2011

The Top 15 Things I Learned from my First Army Deployment

As y'all know Seth is serving in the Army, and we are a military family.  While stationed at Schofield Barracks, Seth deployed for a year to Iraq with the 3-4 Cav in the fall of 2008. Even though we hated being apart and there were plenty of really horrible days that year, we were both proud to serve our country in this way. I learned a lot about the army, the strength of our marriage, and also about myself that year:

1. Every day is hard, but after you get through the first 30 days, things become just a little easier.

2. Never underestimate the good a good cry will do for you.

3. Find small milestones to count down to instead of marking off 365 days. You will be amazed how many months have gone by after you get past a few of your smaller count downs.

4. The wives of the men fighting next to your husband really do become family; invest in those friendships.

5. Never watch a Romance or War movie while he is away. Period.

6. People will mostly mean well when they try to ask you about the deployment, but its going to make you sad or mad either way. Take their comments with grace and humility (they don't know what they are talking about); enduring these moments will shape you into a strong military spouse just as much as enduring the absence of your soldier.

7. A phone call from down range is more important than anything - including a Sunday sermon. Receiving one will make your week; missing one will break your heart.

8. Making coffee in the morning for one instead of two will make me feel like crying every single day until he returns.

9.  Its completely fine to let the 70lb. dog sleep in the bed for a year at least his pillow won't be cold when you roll over in the middle of the night.

10. Lean on your faith, lean on your family, lean on your friends that is what they are there for.

11. Red wine is your friend. So are chocolate chip cookies.

12. Be thankful for modern technology like cell phones, internet, and Skype even if they don't work in Iraq half the time. Half the time is better than nothing.

13. Find the lost art of hand writing love letters back and forth; it will make his day to receive one.

14. Get into an exercise routine - you will feel better after a workout, and your will look great for your soldier's return.

15. The high you feel from seeing his face and feeling his arms around you after 13 long months makes up for all the ups & downs your emotions have gone through in the past year.

After 13 months apart...

Any other military wives out there want to share a lesson learned or some good advice?


  1. I think you nailed it on the head with chocolate chip cookies :)

  2. Thought of one more y'all:

    16. Laugh daily!

  3. Yep it's the little things like #8 that always get me. What a sweet post!

  4. Liz ~ That is so true. Seems like handling the big stuff isn't so bad, and then a little day-to-day activity will get me thinking and all of a sudden the day is hard to get through. Know we are praying and thinking of our 3-4 Cav family daily throughout y'all's deployment. I miss all you ladies.