What happens in the field doesn’t stay in the field. An experienced Army spouse recently told me that what happens in the field is a pretty good prediction of exactly how a deployment will go for both soldiers and families.
Within hours of our unit going out, our FRG leaders were flooded with phone calls. “I’ve heard we are having a family day in the field. Is that true?” says one spouse. “What do you mean my husband can’t be home from my doctor’s appointment???” exclaims another.
Lips twitches, leg spasms, and bulging eyes were key signs that these spouses would transform from perfectly normal women to out of control maniacs.
Flash backs from elementary school came to mind, like when the school board decided to take away spring break to make up for snow days. Absolute chaos. Here are a few points I’ve learned about handling the field since my husband joined the army four years ago:
1. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The military rumor mill is a devilish device used to get your hopes up and then knock them down. When a fact about the schedule is true it’s usually announced at an FRG meeting.
2. Get a hobby or a job. Not to be blunt here but spouses need to not only fill their time, but find something they are passionate about. Passion kills boredom which kills petty rumors and chaos.
3. The military will send your beloved spouse home when they are done training. These soldiers are preparing for the most intense experiences of their lives. This training is not meant to torture the spouse. It helps the soldier better so that they can return home safely.
4. Put your big girl/boy pants on. Sometimes your spouse will be gone when your best friends spouse is at home. Life is hard and unfair.
Most of all we have to realize that everything is what we make of it. A close friend of mine recently was diagnosed with cancer. She also has a one year old son and a deployed husband. For her, everyday can be a struggle but she keeps at it and with minimal complaints. I keep reminding myself that everything could be worse and a lot of that depends on my attitude and approach toward everything.
Samantha Brinton is an Army wife. Stationed overseas in Rose Barracks, Germany, Samantha experiences a different side to Army life. Volunteering, working full time, knocking out her European bucket list and freelancing as a photojournalist can be a puzzle she must constantly be tackling.