The Miss-O-Meter

I spent last week visiting my husband on his final pass prior to his leaving for his overseas deployment. When I returned home, I picked up the mail that the Post Office had been holding for me. As I thumbed through the bills, magazines, and junk, I saw it.

A big envelope with Deployment in the "From" field and my name in the "To" field.

I ran my hands over the envelope and realized what had finally arrived.

The Miss-O-Meter.

I'm not sure if the Miss-O-Meters look the same for all branch of services or even from family to family. The literature that comes in the envelope says we are to keep our Miss-O-Meter from direct sunlight and from public view so I will not violate the policy and post a public photo on SpouseBuzz.

I can say it looks like an old-time weather station. A dial for each family member that correlates the pressure associated with the "miss you" feelings of deployment for a final "Miss-O-Meter" calculation.

So far this week, since returning from seeing my husband, my level has been pretty steady. The whole idea of deployment still seems surreal and all I need to do is remember all the fun we had to put a smile on my face pretty quickly. The girls' levels have been steady since last month when they said their final goodbye to their Daddy. They have blips, but for the most part, they have maintained a pretty set level for over a month.

My husband, however, is a different story. Facing down the big trip, coming down from the high of our visit and having lots of time on his hands has pegged his Miss-O-Meter level for nearly 72 hours. I have done my best to help him over this pegging of his needle, but I can tell it will just be a matter of time for him. He needs to arrive where he is going and start working to find a more even keel.

As communication promises to be sketchy at first, we will both likely experience an uptick in our levels during the next month or two. Without a way to have frequent phone or e-mail connections and with no mail set-up, I'm wondering what I will be able to do to help us deal with this as a family.

I'm curious if any of your meters came with additional literature or FAQ sheets that mine is lacking? Deployment is still kinda mad from my letter and I'm thinking my meter was sent grudgingly and without much concern for my welfare. Deployment was simply doing its job.

If you have any information you can share in comments, we would certainly appreciate it. How do you survive those early days between the end of training and the actual establishment of regular channels of communication? Any and all suggestions are welcome!

About the Author

Guard Wife

Melinda, who writes as Guard Wife, hails from a rural farming community in a Midwestern state. She moved to the southwest part of her home state to attend college and remains there some twenty years later. Today, she's a licensed attorney who spends most of her professional time working within the academic support and bar exam passage programs at her alma mater. Her volunteer interests vary from pro bono legal work to Brownie troop leader to Soldiers' Angels. Melinda and her husband have three daughters, the youngest of whom the couple brought home from Ethiopia the same week Melinda's husband returned from a deployment to Iraq.

Melinda also writes about her experiences as the mom of an older internationally adopted child at and maintains her individual blog at

4 Comments on "The Miss-O-Meter"

  1. tankerswife | June 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm |

    It doesn't help him out, but for the kids and myself, we started on getting the first couple of boxes going. The kids would make their pictures and letters. I'd write a few letters or get a couple of cards. Since DH loves getting "smelly" cards, I'd spray them with a healthy dose of my favorite perfume and seal it in a ziploc baggy. And of course, the goodies. All his deployment favorites.

  2. Guard Wife | June 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm |

    That's a good idea, TW. We still have enough time to tell him what we'll be up to so he has something to look forward to once his snail mail address is established.
    I know there are a few guys who will need us to adopt them so we have even some extra boxes to start. :)

  3. Dear Guard Wife,
    I sure can relate to the Miss-O-Meter!! My husband is in his last week of AIT in Ft.LeonardWood,MO. He hasen't seen his daughters in five months and will be home next Friday! He will get to be here for ten days and then be stationed in South Korea. We aren't sure if we will get to join him yet. I too have a hard time comprehending this whole endeavor. He had just turned 40 and joining the Army was something he had always wanted to do. Our daughters are ages 20,11 and 9 years old. They are doing good so far. I, however, feel very alone right now and cry often. I miss him so much and at the same time am so proud of him! It is turning out to be so much harder than I thought it would be. We are new to this whole thing so I guess I don't have much advice to give,sorry. It just seemed when I read your post it felt like you were in my boat.

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