I've been putting this post off for months, and trying to decide how to go about it. So, here goes:
Harrison will be leaving next month for a deployment to Afghanistan for nine months.
It turns out that sentence is difficult to both say, and type. No wonder I've been avoiding telling people. There have been rumors about this deployment since we moved here nearly a year ago, but it was made official about 6 months ago. I kept telling myself, "It's so far away, don't think about it now..." but now that he will be leaving in a matter of weeks, I'm doing my best to be realistic about it.
The Bad (and probably the most obvious)
Nine months is a long time apart. A very, very long time.
Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be right now, and Harrison is in the Infantry branch of the Army, meaning it is he and his guys who will be on the ground, doing the majority of the fighting and missions in his area. I try not to dwell on that part.
I worry about my boys being away from their dad for so long. Even if Skype is available, it's obviously not the same as Harrison being here to play and interact with them.
I worry about myself as a single parent. I feel exhausted just thinking about it.
My family is two hours away, and Harrison's brother and his wife are 15 minutes away. I am thankful for these blessings everyday.
I have so much to keep me busy while Harrison is gone - the boys, church responsibilities, teaching within Jack's co-op preschool group, and being the Family Readiness Group Leader for Harrison's company (which is looking after the well-being of the 120+ Soldiers' families).
I have a support system here of friends whose husbands will also be deployed - we'll be in this together.
My church community is awesome. There are so many members who I know will look out for my little family.
His deployment is only 9 months. I say that because some of these men have had deployments that have lasted as long as 18 months.
Harrison has trained for this for a long time. He is honored to serve, and I am honored to be married to him. This is his profession. When many people hear he is deploying, their response is "I'm sorry..." He definitely is not sorry to be going. Of course, he doesn't want to leave his family, but he has prepared for this, and is looking forward to fighting for our country. I'm so proud of him and what he does. He is so passionate about defending our freedoms, and protecting our blessed nation. We are honored to join the cause in which so many soldiers and families have sacrificed. Realizing that Harrison is not the first who has had to leave his home and serve, we are grateful for those who have gone before to keep this nation safe and free.
So, it's time to put my big girl pants on. I can do hard things. And as Harrison's awesome Battalion Commander said to some of us wives recently, "You are not victims. You are some of the greatest people in the world. Your husband is leaving and you're going to stay home and kick ... [butt] while he's gone."
I have good days and bad days as we prepare for the months ahead, but for now we're taking advantage of the time we have together.
Dude Ranch 2017, family pictures
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