The Best Deployment Advice I Can Give | Anchors Aweigh

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The Best Deployment Advice I Can Give

Deployment is coming to an end for us (hallelujah!), so I've spent the past couple of weeks reflecting on these past few months with Parker away. I've thought about all of the advice I was given before he left, what really helped and what ended up not resonating as much. I asked so many friends who had done deployment before me for advice. I wanted to be prepared, and I wanted to do everything I could on my end to set both Parker and myself up for a successful deployment.

The most common piece of advice you will get is this: stay busy.

That's good advice, yall, but it's kind of a given. Obviously the busier you stay, the more distracted you are, and the faster time flies. It's science or something like that. While I do think anyone going through deployment should try to stay as busy as they can, it's not an end-all-be-all solution to conquering deployment. Inevitably, no matter how busy you stay, you will still have more lonely evenings on the couch with nothing to do than you care to count. 

If I could offer up one single piece of advice to anyone going through a deployment in the future, it's this: stay positive

Military life (really life in general) is what you make it, and deployment is no different. Circumstances aren't ideal and life is not always going to look how you envisioned it. You have a choice. You can either accept the curveballs and see the beauty in them, or you can let them make you completely and utterly miserable. Yall, don't choose the latter. 

I am the first to tell you that deployment sucks. I mean, really, let's call a spade a spade. Nobody gets married just to send their spouse into harm's way for 6-10 months at a time. It's unnatural, it's hard, and it sucks. But any situation, no matter how hard it is, has a silver lining if you are willing to see it. 

When deployment gets hard, and it will, focus on the positives. Focus on the positive that you have a spouse you love so much that makes saying goodbye so hard. Focus on the positive that deployment is just a season- it's not forever. Focus on the positive that he will come home, and it will be more magical than your wedding day (so I'm told, anyway!). Comparison is the thief of joy, so don't compare yourself to friends who don't have to deal with deployment. Good for them. Instead, focus on how strong you are for dealing with it. It takes a strong person to get through deployment, and you should be really proud of yourself. 

Each day is one day closer. That homecoming date, no matter how far off it seems, will get here. Deployment is just a season, but don't let it be a bitter one. As ready as I am for this chapter to be over for us, I don't regret it happening. The past 6 months have given me opportunities and gifts I wouldn't have had otherwise, and I choose to focus on that rather than the empty seat at the dinner table. That seat will soon be filled. So to anyone about to embark upon a similar journey: chin up, friend. Stay positive, live life to the fullest, and he will be home before you know it.

I told Parker about this post, and he agreed on the positivity thing, but he also had one of his own. The best deployment advice he has for fellow servicemen going on deployment and leaving a spouse behind: get your wife a dog

Amen, hubs. 



10 comments :

Erica @ Whimsical September said...

Love this post, girl. We've been through three of them and I not only agree with you, but I totally agree with Parker! :) :) I'm so glad you have a supportive family that you spent the last few months with, especially during your pregnancy. If you have any woes toward the end of pregnancy with Parker gone, please feel free to reach out. I've been there twice (we aren't very good about planning these things haha!). Sending hugs this holiday season! I admire your attitude.

Bailey @ Becoming Bailey said...

I love this post! Staying busy during Andy's TDY was so helpful and it will especially be helpful since he has an extra-long TDY coming up soon. And the pet thing is so true too-- the bed feels a little less lonely with Lily curled up next to me!

Emily Stewart said...

Forever and ever amen on the dog thing for sure! Staying busy is the only way to survive and you're right, it's even more magical than your wedding day! I promise! You rocked this deployment, friend, and I am so proud of you all!

Jen said...

I definitely agree with staying positive! While deployment is not fun it can be a positive experience! Constantly being negative does not help anything.

Nicole B. said...

Ugh, mine is leaving in two weeks.. thanks for the perfectly timed, encouraging post <3 So glad Parker will be home soon!

amy said...

I really needed to read this.
Since i'm about to enter into this military life (and possibly through retirement) - i need to hear more about deployment. <3
What great encouragement and advice!

Kait said...

Yes to getting a dog! We've been through two and I agree with all of these :)

Janelle Cook said...

I love this! I will be pinning it for the future :)

Stephanie said...

yes to all of this, but definitely getting a dog. Grace was my, well, saving Grace during Tom's deployment. She kept things normal even if I didn't feel normal. I had to get up and do things because of Grace. I will be thinking of you all as these days come to an end on the deployment front!

Sarah Hough said...

Wow! You have no idea how much I needed to find your blog. My boyfriend just found out that he will be stationed in Norfolk, Virginia to fly helicopters and we have spent most of our relationship (only 6 months in - yay honeymoon phase) apart from each other. I was so fortunate to be able to visit him in Pensacola and witness his winging. It is amazing how incredibly hard they work to achieve their dreams and I am one proud girlfriend. (It doesn't hurt that they look so handsome in their dress uniform ;) ) I have been completely anxious about the thought of moving in the near future and even more about his deployments and your blog really helped me to focus on the positive side.

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