Sunday, December 09, 2018

Deployment

Well, here we are.  I finally got us up to October.  I actually feel kind of sad writing this post.  Way back last fall Mike started talking a lot about his promotion board and was feeling really concerned about his chances of getting promoted.  Mike is a really good worker.  Anyone would be happy to have him work for them but Mike has chosen an academic path, not the military path as much.  He has only had a few actually military assignments.  His PhD is a big plus, but he is lacking in the military experience and that worries him.  He tried when we lived in Oklahoma to deploy but was a backup and we had tiny kids and it would have put me over the edge if he had left then.  He tried again in Colorado and a few weeks before leaving he discovered that his deployment was canceled and no one told him.  There is more to the story than that but that's all I need to say now.  So, here we were again.  He started talking about deploying.  We decided to pray and fast about it.  I had the feeling that he was going to go.  He got the impression that he didn't need to go and I didn't want to change his mind so I kept my feelings to myself!  haha.  I put it aside but was not surprised when he brought it back up a few months later.  I clearly remember the walk we were on when he brought it up again.  I finally just told him I thought he was going to go and that was what I felt after fasting.  He was surprised but said he was feeling more and more that he should really consider it.  My thoughts were that I just don't want to have this discussion again.  I don't want it hanging over my head and if he's going to feel he should go, he should just get it over with.  

The hard part for me is that I remember the feeling I had--it wasn't this obvious answer, it was just a feeling and impression that he was going to go--but I didn't want him to go.  My reasons were really a lot of wanting him to be happy and if deploying would put his mind at ease and get this out of system, then I wanted to go.  I also want him to feel successful and satisfied in his career.  That said, I would be lying if I said we haven't had some difficult conversations.  I haven't been completely supportive about the decision because I don't agree with all of his reasons for going.  I will admit that I have felt varying degrees of resentment.  There were many months where I couldn't talk to him about my feelings because I knew those feelings would come out in anger and resentment and just put a wedge between us.  

One of Mike's reasons for wanting to go is so that he doesn't have any regrets.  He wants to feel satisfied at the end of his career that he had the military experience and did something to serve his country.  People say, "Thank you for your service" all the time and he hasn't felt like he has done a lot to serve the country yet so this will help him feel more satisfied in that aspect.  There was the chance of going to Tampa for a deployment and he decided that he wouldn't take it and I admit, that caused some angry feelings in me.  He felt like no one would take a deployment to Tampa seriously and I honestly could care less what anyone else thinks.  We would be able to visit him, we'd be in the same time zone...Anyway, it doesn't matter because the deployment wasn't available when he wanted to go.  

So, this is getting long so I'll speed this up.  

He decided in February to go.  He did his research and chose a position and place he thought would satisfy his requirements for a deployment.  A few days before going he got word that he was being taken from that deployment and sent to a different country and doing something completely different.  Where before he would be on an Air Force base with his own room, a car, internet paid for, and doing a job he found interesting, he was now being sent to an Army base, doing something else, having roommates, paying for his internet, riding a bike to and from work, etc.  He was pretty down for a few days (bad things don't have a lasting effect on Mike.  He gets over them pretty fast).  I think it was mainly that he has thought things out for so long and volunteered so he could control some of his experience only to find it out of his hands and not what he had anticipated.  His report date kept getting pushed back but they wouldn't give him a day to leave.  Anyway, lots of changes and back and forth.  It was stressful and there were so many uncertainties.  So, I guess now he really can say he's having the military experience.  

He's been gone for two months.  I will write more about our time with him gone later and about his experience thus far but this is too long already. Instead, I'll just leave these pictures of him from the last few days before he left.  I will write more about the day he left later as well but I don't have many pictures to post from that day and they are on my phone and I know I can get them off of my phone but it's frustrating to try and do that so I probably won't post any from that day.  I didn't bring my camera because neither myself or Mike wanted that kind of attention on us at such a sad moment.  Instead, I just snuck a few of him and Piper holding hands and hugging and then of Isaac and Piper watching the plane.  More on that later..... 










Aug.--Light and self Portraits




















September--Blue Dress

Piper is so tall and running out of dresses that fit her for Sunday so I bought her two new dresses from this website online that were having this great deal.  The dresses I bought are usually $80 but I bought them for $30.  They are both a little big but I wanted something she could grow into.  Of course she was my willing model for pictures.















September--Pretty girls