Military Mondays: What I Learned From Our First Fleet Tour | Anchors Aweigh


Military Mondays: What I Learned From Our First Fleet Tour

It's time for another Military Mondays post, and now that we are officially done with our first fleet tour and onto shore duty, I thought I would reflect on what I learned over the past three years and how it grew and changed us as a family. For those that don't know, the fleet tour for an aviator is the three year period immediately following training where the pilot is placed in a squadron. This is when they deploy and carry out the missions they've been trained to do. The training wheels are off, and it's the big leagues!

1. Deployment is awful, but I also learned more about myself in those 7 months of separation than I ever thought possible. 

I went into deployment thinking of it as a game. Either it was going to win, or I was. Either I was going to survive, or I was going to thrive. There were hard days, tears, frustration, you name it... being away from my husband was hard, but I didn't want to just wish 7 months of my life away and be miserable. I tried to live life as much as I could, and I came out much stronger and more independent than I knew I was capable of.

Pro tip: Get a dog. They make deployment 1000x more doable. 

2. Homecoming is better than your wedding day.

Seriously, it's just the best day. It's a moment you have played over in your head a thousand times, and there is not a single feeling in the world like being back in the arms of the one you love, knowing they made it home safely.

Pro tip: If you gain 30 pounds over deployment, give him a little heads up before the big reunion. 

3. The friends you meet over this period will be some of the best friends you ever make.

There is nothing that bonds you like going through a deployment together. The girls in our fleet squadron and in our training squadron right before the fleet made Virginia home for me. They truly became my family. We took care of each other, checked up on each other, and supported each other when we knew the answer to "How are you doing?" was "terrible, eating cake". I could write a novel about how richly the people I met in Virginia have impacted my life for the better.

Pro tip: Find people like this and never let them go. If they all stay in Virginia, don't move to Texas.

The fleet tour has (like everything) so many ups and downs, but (again, like everything), the positives are there in abundance if you're willing to see them. I look back on our three years in the fleet and honestly loved every minute of it... even the not so fun parts. It was one heck of a journey!


Jen said...

There is nothing like a homecoming!!! It's truly one of the most amazing experiences.

Jane Clifford | Typically Jane said...

I went through a sea tour with the bf and now doing a shore duty. Whew, it sure makes you appreciate it when they are home! <3 But, it's good to have a positive outlook no matter what.

Kait said...

Homecoming is seriously THE BEST EVER! You're right - better than the wedding day!


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