During the past few weeks, I knew my husband would be on the move – but I couldn’t talk about it.
Because of OPSEC – Operational Security - being aware of what you are sharing because it could give away more information than you intended – this is usually related to military or combat operations.
This was incredibly frustrating for me.
I wanted to tell my Mom.
I wanted to tell HIS Mom.
I wanted to tell OUR CHILDREN.
And I wanted to tell all. of. YOU.
As a Blogger, integrity and authenticity are very important to me.
Through my blog, I have chosen to write about my life in a positive way with humor and photographs describing life as a Military Family. I’ll be the first to admit – my life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows – but I make an cognitive decision each day to attempt to interact with our online community in a mostly positive way.
Mostly. (Unless it’s shark week.)
Because I am a Military Spouse – my online integrity ALSO involves OPSEC.
I CAN’T share his mission.
I CAN’T write about troop movements.
I CAN’T write about these things because it puts them in danger.
So when Seth sent home a footlocker with the last of his gear, I wanted to write about it. But I didn’t.
I wanted to write about how he had all of his bags packed and would start “moving” any day now.
How weird it was to have our could be ‘last phone call’ to Afghanistan.
That he had left his base.
That I dreamed of roadside bombs.
That he had caught the first flight.
That I didn’t know where he was.
But I knew he was on his way home.
How excited I was to get a note from him on facebook. It was 5 days after that last phone call.
How freaked out I was when I googled the air base he was at and saw satellite pictures of it.
Then it was time to make beds at the Barracks for single soldiers who would be flying with my husband.
How WEIRD it was that everyone was SO EXCITED for me – and I didn’t feel any of it.
WHY was this? WHAT is wrong with me?
Every other deployment, there is a season of last minute cleaning before Seth comes home.
It’s like I’m nine months pregnant again and I have to dust the ceiling and shampoo the carpets.
This didn’t seem to kick in for me until the moment I knew Seth was at the very last stop in his journey.
Then I shampooed the dining room carpet…
and the couches… even the side against the wall…
and I might have dusted the ceilings too…
The only problem was – a group of soldiers were stuck at this last stop for 2 weeks in December.
A very dear friend of mine was just. so. over. it. by the time she finally got the call about her husband.
I just couldn’t figure her out – WHY wasn’t she EXCITED? He’ll be home ANY DAY NOW!
But now I get it.
It just didn’t seem real until I got the official phone call the day of the Homecoming Ceremony.
“For sure? Seth is on THIS flight?” “Yes yes! You knew he was! Why are you asking?” “Um I dont know…”
I think it was because I couldn’t really tell anyone above a whisper.
“Psssst! I’m going to be wearing a DRESS this weekend!”
“REAALLY?!?!? THAT’S AWESOME!!!!”
“Just keep your fingers crossed for no delays!”
This deployment, a large part of my support network has been my online community. Whether it is the wonderful Military Spouses I’ve met in the past 7 years of Military Life or through Social Media – these women “get me”. They’ve been there. And they understand sometimes all I need them to do is listen to me rant and rave for an hour on the phone about how mad I am about something ridiculously minuscule because I’m STRESSED – and I’m MAD – and it’s much easier to focus that negative energy on anything but the realities of deployment with small children.
I also feel so grateful for the amazing people I’ve met online who are not part of the military. Bridget from Bake at 350 who spent a few hours with me one day walking through her Royal Icing recipe and has since become an amazing friend. Cheryl at TidyMom. Darcy at My3Boybarians. Susan and Janice at 5 Minutes for Mom. Each of these ladies and many others who share their support, feedback, and heartfelt comments on posts I’ve written about this deployment.
Living in Germany, I don’t have much daily interaction with non-military folks.
So when someone comments on my blog that they ‘had no idea’ it surprises me.
I had no idea, you had no idea, that this is what life is really like for military families.
And so – I am encouraged to write and share through this blog.
Thank you all for being part of my support network during this deployment.
Thank you for understanding that the days I posted a single picture with humor were probably the most challenging.
I look forward to sharing this next chapter of Reintegration in the coming days, weeks, and months.
In what way has your online community enhanced your life?
How do you handle topics you “can’t” write about or share online?