I dropped Timmy off yesterday morning to ship out to the desert. Before I get into exactly how I feel about him leaving, I thought I would answer the multitude of questions I've been asked that basically boil down to "why are you letting him deploy?"
1) Good timing. We are at a great point in our marriage, I feel comfortable enough to be alone in our new country, and he won't miss anything crucial while he's gone. Originally Timmy was supposed to leave in August, which meant gone for Christmas. We would much rather him be here for that, so why not go now?
2) No children. I get that there will still be deployments after we have kids, but I guess I'm kind of hoping that if we get enough out of the way now, there won't be as much of a need for him to miss birthdays or holidays later on.
3) If he doesn't go, someone else will. Timmy actually replaced someone who couldn't deploy due to legitimate medical reasons. If he hadnt volunteered then perhaps someone about to have a baby, or who has I'll family members, or whose marriage is on the rocks would have had to go instead. It definitely isn't easy for us, but probably tons less stressful than for others.
4) We've been lucky. Most families I know, the military member is home for a year and gone for six months. Timmy has been home for 2.5 years, waaaay longer than is normal. We don't want to push our luck. :/
5) It's our decision. Much easier to deal with something you choose to do rather than having to adapt to someone telling you that you have to. Make sense?
Despite the fact that we made this decision together, and we are both perfectly okay with our choice, it doesn't necessarily make it easy. I'm getting ready to spend six months away from my husband, my best friend, my other half. Of course I'm not happy that he'll be away, and am already looking forward to the day he gets home, but it would have happened whether we like it or not. At least we got to make the decision of when.
Hopefully I've helped shine a light on our decision making process and the incredulous reactions will stop. Others' responses actually puts me in the same mindset of this blog post in which I share my feelings on men/women who do everything possible to get out of deployments and PCSing. I still feel the same way, and wish I could knock some sense into the women who say "I would never let my husband do that." You married into the military. You don't get a choice in the "letting." Why not get over yourself and deal with it? Harsh? Possibly. Realistic? Yes.
I'm going to go home now, sit with my dogs, and get back to life. My husband isn't here, but I don't get to mope and cry forever; I had my day, time to get on with it. In six months, I'll get to write a post announcing his return home and how happy I am. Can't wait!