Monday, December 13, 2010

Military Poetry: Make It Yours


Few things move me like military poetry. For a military wife, those kind words seem to really tug at the heart strings. The authors seem to know what it really feels like to miss your sailor/soldier/marine/airman...ok, this is getting ridiculous. For obvious reasons, these poets can't include everyone's specific affinity with the military. So, I've found this poem for you, and I'd like you to make it your own and re-post it wherever you want...

Far Away

Oh my loved one, so far away
How I needed you at home today.
_____'s been crying for two weeks straight,
_______ at (insert age) went on his/her first date.

The ______ needs fixing, but money is tight,
Come next payday, it will be alright.
Angry words from the past have all been erased,
If only I could hold you, and feel your embrace.

Some days are better, but the nights seem so long,
In the corner of my mind, so many things can go wrong.
I must stand by my (insert spouses title), day after day,
And my prayers will be answered, and all is okay.

How I long for our love, to be together at last,
I'll wait for you patiently, for these dark days to pass.
When we meet again, our love will have grown,
With each deployment, we add strength that's unknown.

Oh my loved one, so far away,
How I long for you here today.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Since the holidays are coming up, I thought I'd take this time to talk about OPSEC, or 'operations security'. Basically, this concept teaches us one key fact: You never know who is listening. Yes, to some this may sound a bit paranoid, but let me be the first to tell you, they mean business. This is no laughing matter ladies. Ill-wishers all over the globe are just itching for you to post your sailor's deployment schedule on facebook, or to blog about your sailor's return home on such and such day. Be wary of posting comments like: "I can't believe my sailor is leaving for a 7 month deployment tomorrow morning!" This tells anyone with a bad mojo for the US Navy that there is a ship or submarine leaving tomorrow for a long deployment, and that ladies, is prime attack knowledge. Not good.

The main things you want to steer away from are:
  • Posting any dates!
  • Posting any locations, unless they have already left that specific location
  • Posting any ship names corresponding with dates or locations
Now, there are still ways to post your feelings on the internet without giving away vital military info. Here are some examples of comments that are A-OK with the US navy...

  • "I'm so excited to be seeing my sailor soon!" This lets everyone know that you haven't got much time left until you get to see your sailor, without giving away any specifics like dates, locations or even if you are flying out to see him somewhere without his ship coming home.
  • "My sailor is gone and I'm missing him like crazy!" This says that your sailor is away, maybe on deployment, maybe just on duty, and that you miss him, which I'm sure you do! This way, no one knows when he left for sure, or for how long he'll be gone.
We want what's best for our loved ones, and keeping their deployment info on the down low is just another way we can do our part to keep them safe and out of harm's way!

Before He Leaves: Tip #3

If you are one of the lucky girls that get to be in your sailor's station before he leaves for a big deployment (4+ months), the information highway will be just few steps away. A few months before your sailor's deployment, there will be a pre-deployment brief near the base. This meeting is mostly for the spouses and family members being left to hold down the fort. Although, your sailor is required to attend, because the more you find out together, the better you will be able to plan. They will talk to you about OPSEC, preparations for his leaving, power of attorney, ways to cope whilst your loved ones are away and much more. One of the most vital things I learned about was monthly meetings that take place at a pre-designated location, to be decided by your local ombudsmen group. These meetings are for spouses and family members, and have daycare ready and on site to watch the kiddo's while you're being filled in on some much needed deployment updates. They'll let you in on possible docking dates, ship news, alerts, and even when your sailor is set to return home. Plus, it's just one more venue to meet other Navy wives who are going through just what you are! The more friends and support you have, the more the time will fly by, and you want to make this time as easy on yourself as you can!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moving: Tip #1


When your sailor gets stationed somewhere new, your whole world can feel like an anxiety ridden time bomb. Should you move with him? Will your relationship make it if you try to handle long distance love? These are questions every military S.O. has asked herself when presented with this situation. The truth? There is no wrong answer here. Don't feel like you have to do anything. Whether you're married, engaged, or just committed to your man, this is a life altering decision that only you can make. Many women have left everything behind to follow their sailor from port to port. There are also tons of stories about women who made their long distance relationship soar. Ask yourself, what will make you happiest? I know you want to be with your sailor all the time, but keep in mind, he may be gone 6-9 months out of the year. You may also be thinking, 'hey, this is a great opportunity for me to see new places and faces!'

There are a few things to consider before you make your decision...

If you decide you want to go with him to his next station:
  • If you're not married, he will most likely be assigned to live on the ship, and thus will not be receiving housing allowance. Their paychecks are not meant to sustain an apartment and living expenses without housing allowance. Even if you work too, depending on the city he goes to, it might not be feasible. (Places like San Diego and Hawaii are extremely expensive towns to live in, whereas Norfolk and Georgia are more affordable.)
  • If you do move, he will likely be gone a lot. He will have duty on the ship/sub, meaning he will not come home some nights. Even if you're in town with him, be prepared for a lot of lonely days and nights.
  • He may not be stationed there for as long as you think. It doesn't happen too often, but ships change ports, job skills are needed elsewhere and sometimes even disciplinary actions come into play. You might find yourself moving, with only weeks notice, across the country.
If you decide to stay home and wait...
  • Military relationships are hard. Long distance military relationships are harder. Both of your lives will change. He'll start hanging out with new Navy buddies he meets at the new duty station. Some of them will be girls. When he's not on the ship, he'll want to get as far away from it as possible so he'll go out...a lot. You will both experience new social lives, but for the first time, without each other. Sometimes remembering to call and stay up to date with each others' lives will be difficult.
  • When he is in port, plane tickets to go see him and visit for a week or too are expensive, and the visit will never be long enough.
  • Be prepared for change. Everyone grows throughout their lives from the experiences they have and the influences around them. After being apart for a while, you both will start to grow into new people. Whether or not you grow into two people that can still love each other and function as a couple is up to fate.
There are always good points to both sides of the story as well. Don't be discouraged. If you decide to move with him, as I have done for the past 2 years, you will discover doors opening for you everywhere. You'll meet new people, experience new foods and places, and have fun exploring with your sailor when he's in port. Also, it's my opinion that I shouldn't miss one single second of time with him if I can. If he's not underway, I'm going to be attached to his hip! On the other hand, if you decide to wait for him at home, closer to your family and friends, which I am doing now for 3 months, there are upsides to that too. We are saving money, for one. Also, instead of being in a town that is unfamiliar to me while he's gone, I am surrounded by hometown comforts and people that care about me.

Whatever you decide to do, know that 'Love has no distance'. Deployments may separate you, but it should never divide you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pls Excuse My Absence...

Here's a great reward for your patience...

Things You Never Say To A Military S.O.

1. “Aren’t you afraid that he’ll be killed?”
This one ranks in at #1 on the “DUH” list. Of course we’re afraid. We’re terrified. The thought always lingers at the back of our minds —but thanks, genius, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next, you can go ask someone with cancer if they’re scared of dying.

2. “I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.”
This is intended to be a compliment. But it ends up just being annoying. Here’s why: it’s not like all of us military wives and gf's have been dreaming since childhood of the day we’d get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We’re not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.

3. “At least he’s not in Iraq.”
This is the #1 most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there!

4. “Do you think he’ll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?”
Don’t you watch the news? No! They don’t get to come home for any of these things. Please don’t ask again.

5. “What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”
Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there’s a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with & without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don’t get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep you busy.

6. “How much longer does he have until he can get out?”
This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren’t counting down the days until they “can” get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq bc there is work that needs to be done.

7. “This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.”
Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you’ve gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets “easy” and the bullets and bombs don’t skip over our guys just because they’ve been there before. The worry never goes away.

8. “My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you’re going through.”
This one is similar to #2. Do not equate your husband’s three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty Ford Taurus with a Mercedes convertible.

9. “Wow, you must miss him!”
This one also gets another big “duh”. Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and yeah, they’re now divorced.

10. “Well, he signed up for it, so it’s his own fault whatever happens over there."
Yes, you ignorant tool, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn’t sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that “You’re welcome.” He'd tell you himself, but he’s still fighting for your freedom.

11. “Don’t you miss sex! I couldn’t do it!”
Hmmm, no, I don’t miss sex. I’m a robot. Seriously.
Military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn’t withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

12. “Well in my opinion…..”
(This is where you interrupt them mid-sentence):
Stop right there. Yo, I didn’t ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Dillards, not in a restaurant when I’m out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving them an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, especially while we’re trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.

And last but not least….

13. “OH, that’s horrible…I’m so sorry!”
He’s doing his job and he’s tough. Don’t be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our Marines and Sailors fight the wars abroad so those wars STAY abroad.

I found this on a discussion board and made a few ammendments & additions of my own to it. I wish I could print this out and when people ask me what my Sailor does, reach into my purse and hand them this - "I'm sorry, Military Policy dictates that you read this before speaking to all Military S.O.'s. Have a Nice Day!"

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