Surviving Deployment on an Island With G.I. Joe's Wife

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today I have the beautiful Sarah from G.I. Joe's Wife. She and I have a lot in common and I just adore her. Her middle name happens to be my first name, she was born in England, and she lives in Hawaii. She's the bomb diggity so show her some lovin'.

Surviving Deployment on an Island

Just after we arrived in Hawaii last year, we were informed that my husband’s unit was deploying in a few months. Even though we’d heard rumors, the news was still shocking. How can it not be? What hurt me most was that the Army was taking him again. We’d been separated through BCT and most of AIT (which he’d just finished) and yet they were making him deploy for 12 months already...

When he left, I knew a total of 3 people on this island. Two were wives from Joe’s company. One of the company wives is a woman I’ve referred to on my blog as Annoying Wife. After a week I realized that her negativity was influencing me and I stopped responding to her 9 bazillion FB messages and texts. The other I just didn’t know how to contact. So, that left me with one friend on this island - Mrs. C.

Lucky for me, we’d met via email and phone calls before Joe and I even moved to Hawaii. Her hubby (also named Joe) was nice enough to help us out with some issues we were having before we PCSed. Once we got here, they picked us up and showed us around a bit. After my hubby deployed, Mrs. C helped me quite a bit. She came over and helped me make my house look like a home. We unpacked, through things away, hung up pictures and even locked ourselves out of the house. =) She watched me freak out when my Papa was put in the hospital and I didn’t have Joe here to lean on. She’s quite a friend, that one.

My bestie, Melissa, came to visit for my birthday during July. I don’t think I would have survived that week without her. She kept me really busy and having someone else in the house was very comforting. After she left, I suddenly had nothing to do. I had tons of time on my hands and too many thoughts in my head. As many of you Millies know, this is not a good thing!! At that point, I still didn’t have any kind of talking routine with Joe and I was still pretty concerned about Papa.

Before Joe had left, I decided that I’d volunteer on post. The job market here isn’t the greatest and, honestly, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to teach here. Plus, I’d heard they were already downsizing. No point in trying, really. Around the middle of July, I went to ACS. I wanted to help out there, but they were full. I was given a list of places that accepted volunteers. As I looked through it, I realized that there was a museum on post!

In an attempt to stay busy, I did several things: I decided I’d take on volunteering at the museum 3 days a week for 3 hours. It’s not much, but it breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to. I also joined the spouses’ club on post, thanks to Chantal. Through her, I also met several
other spouses who have become my closest friends here. We don’t spend just a whole lot of time together, but it’s nice to have other people to talk to about deployment... Their husbands are “over there” with mine, just not in the same unit. I wound up becoming the company FRG’s co-leader as well. It wasn’t something I was thrilled about taking on, but it hasn’t been too bad yet. =)

As much as I try to keep myself busy, it’s still very hard being here alone. I have friends, I have “work,” and I have things to do around the house. It’s never the same though. My house is always empty except for the rare occasion when someone graces it with their presence.

The absolute hardest thing about being here is the lack of contact with friends and family back home. Hawaii is in a terrible time zone. Currently, I am 6 hours behind the east coast and 5 behind CT, where our families and friends live. Half a day. When I usually want to call someone, it’s already 8, 9, 10 at night their time. It makes communication really difficult. Plus, there’s the “out of sight out of mind” thing that happens when you don’t live in the circle. This is going to sound bitter, but it’s the truth. I’m often the last person in the family to know anything that’s going on. On my side, it’s because I’m just not there. On Joe’s it’s either because 1) I’m not there or 2) they’ve mentioned it to Joe and he either forgot or hadn’t talked to me in days. It’s hard to take when you’re used to being in the middle of everything.

I often feel very secluded here. In fact, I’m technically stuck on this island. I can’t go for a 3 hour drive and wind up in another state. I can’t pick up and go visit anyone without it costing $1000. Vice versa if someone needed to get to me. I think I would probably feel different about this place if I’d been able to
experience it with my other half. For the most part, I feel trapped and alone. Even if that isn’t the complete truth.

Despite the crapiness of the situation, I feel like I’m pretty well adjusted. I got out on my own and made friends. I started volunteering. I found a church home for us. I turned these white walls into something a little more colorful. I’ve learned my way around, for the most part. Deployment is an odd thing in itself, and it’s different for all of us.

At the end of the 4 to12 month deployments, all milspouses are the same: We just want our husbands safe in our arms, where they belong.

1 comment:

Allie said...

It must be hard being so far from home in such a difficult time, but it is very inspiring to see your attitude on the situation and the things you are doing! I hope your husband returns home safe and soon!