welcome to wicked! i am a military wife & mom of two. here, you can read about my adventure in keeping it together through creative expression, organization, photography, and let’s face it… laughter.

Mother.

Project52 • Service

The military is more than statistics, strategy, politics, and war.
It is a collection of men and women who train, live, and work in the service of our nation’s freedom.
It is their dedication and commitment to their duty that afford us all the way of life that we enjoy each day.
Let us not forget that the number of persons serving our nation in its military are not limited to those in uniform.
Remember their families: their children, their parents, their wives and husbands.
Because if you think they are not also serving, you are mistaken.


I couldn’t help it. I had two I needed to include this week. Yesterday, my husband left for his fifth deployment in five years (Note: We are active duty Air Force. Our deployments are much shorter than our Navy and Army brethren, at least in the flying career fields.). As I stood in the terminal watching the families give hugs and separate for an extended period of time, it occurred to me that those of us left behind deserve credit of our own for what we do. With a tear in our eye we wave goodbye at the terminal, but as both troops and spouses part ways, we walk away knowing that we BOTH have a job to do. While one serves overseas, one serves on the home front. If the children weren’t cared for, the bills weren’t paid, the house maintained, etc, then it would result in distracted service-members unable to focus on the task at hand. Those left behind must also stand with one another to be sure that their sisters and brothers have the support they need to carry on their lives, and to find the positive in life. We serve our families, we serve our spouses, we serve one another, and we serve our country.

In my experience, deployments also offer an opportunity to grow independently and have more to share with one another upon return. It has given me the ability to bond with my fellow spouses, and make lifelong friendships that I would otherwise never had the time to foster. Deployments have shown me that I am stronger than I could have ever dreamed I was by testing me over and over again. As any spouse of someone whom deploys can attest: Deployments are magnifiers of Murphy’s Law at its worst. If it can break, act up, act out, have an accident, require medical treatment or otherwise cause you to appreciate the support your spouse could have offered had they been home: it will happen during deployment. The kids will get sick, you will catch it, someone will have to go to the ER, your car will need to go into the shop, a major appliance will give out, a storm will threaten or steal your power, and the dog will have an issue that needs the vet. It’s just that way. Every time. While my husband has been away in service, I have encountered viral meningitis, post partum depression, car accidents, sold the home we owned, moved across the country, not to mention countless trips to medical professionals and hours of home maintenance and child rearing, and I don’t think that’s impressive. It just is. You don’t know how strong you are until you have to be, and I learned that sometimes the greatest strength I’ve got is the relationships I’ve made. My friends have saved me time and time again. They have cared for both me and my children when I was unable, and I would do the same for any of them without a moment’s hesitation without a second thought whether they realize it or not.

The hardest part for me recently is watching this all through the eyes of my 3 year old. I’m not sure if she doesn’t get it at all, or has it completely understood. The conversation usually sounds like the one I had this afternoon leaving the terminal:

Her: Daddy has to go away for a long time?
Me: Yep.
Her: He has to fly his airplane far far away?
Me: Yep.
Her: Are you staying?
Me: Yep.
Her: Is Suzie and [Boy] staying? (Suzie = Doll, Boy = her brother)
Me: Uh-huh.
Her: Then we’ll be ok?
Me: We will be just fine.
Her: And Daddy will come back soon?
Me: Not very soon, but Daddy is definitely coming back.
Her: Well I love him, and we can talk on the computer, so it’s ok. Can I have a lollipop?

It just goes to show two things: 1) The military “brats” serve. They have to deal with separations, moving, and all of the stuff that goes along with it. 2) The strength of the military family. Girl doesn’t question that my friends and I have her wellbeing under control. She doesn’t worry about that stuff, because she trusts us after we have shown her that we are worthy of that trust. Because we too are serving.

I do recognize the hard work the men and women of our nation’s military, and I give them a standing ovation for what they do. I love and consider my husband a hero because he affords me the opportunity to stay with my kids while he goes off to work overseas. I cry for him missing major milestones, but also am grateful because I know that I could never do what he does. He doesn’t think he’s a hero. He just thinks he is doing his job. I think any man that loves and takes care of his family and his responsibilities the way he does is a hero. I’m blessed to know many such men, both within and outside of the armed forces. He just happens to be my best friend, so he gets a special mention.

While it sounds like I’m looking for a thumbs up, pat on the back, or to become the next sainted martyr, the opposite couldn’t be more than the case. I don’t think what I do is extraordinary. I don’t think we deserve praise. I don’t think my life is any “harder” than anyone else’s. I DO think that the military lifestyle is DIFFERENT than most, and that many people don’t understand it from the perspective of the family. That is why I thought that I would give an honest glimpse into what we go through. There is much more than is put into this email. Maybe I will revisit it another time. For now, I simply offer this explanation of the significance of two photos depicting the Simple Value of Service.

 

  • { 23 comments… add one }

    Rachel Bliss on Facebook Friday, February 24, 2012, 6:19 am

    What a great post Kate! We will be praying for you guys and that Murphy takes it easy on you:) Hugs to you all!

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:01 am

      Thanks so much Rachel! I do the same for you and the WIC. I know he’s “home” but we both know he really isn’t a lot :).

      Reply
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    Colleen Leigl on Facebook Friday, February 24, 2012, 7:26 am

    Good post Kate . I hope this one is quick and easy. Love the pictures included, you captured special moments and brought a tear to my eye. We will be thinking of all of you.

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:02 am

      Thanks, Colleen! I can’t believe its already time for you to go. Prayers for safe travel, smooth moves, and fast friendships. Miss you already.

      Reply
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    Sarah Foro Wetzel on Facebook Friday, February 24, 2012, 8:11 am

    Great post Kate!!! Please let me or Bryan know if you need anything.

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:03 am

      Sarah, Thank you so much. We always do! You are one of the friends I mentioned in the blog who saved me time and time again. Thank you doesn’t cover it.

      Reply
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    Leia Hollingsworth Johnson on Facebook Friday, February 24, 2012, 10:36 am

    Let us know if you want to hang! We’re around. :)

    Reply
    • { 23 comments… add one }

      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:04 am

      Any time. Leia! Come on over!

      Reply
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    Kaylie Friday, February 24, 2012, 10:59 am

    Great post and I love your pictures! I hope this round goes easy on you and quick too!

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:05 am

      Thanks, Kaylie! With so much to get ready for the move, I am sure the time will fly by. If you feel like comin’ this direction at all, you are more than welcome to come stay! Visitors ALWAYS welcome :)!

      Reply
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    Dana Moran Friday, February 24, 2012, 1:15 pm

    great post, I love the picture of her holding daddy’s leg. I hope this is an easy time for you all and that everyone stays safe and sound.

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:06 am

      Thanks, Dana! I loved that one too. Can you believe it’s an iPhone photo?!

      Reply
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    Lisa Friday, February 24, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Bless your husband for his service to our country, and bless you and your kids for keeping things running at home while he is gone. I met my fiance while he was home visiting his family before his 2nd deployment to Iraq (Army). 2 days after we met, he was back in Alaska, and then 2 weeks after that, he was in Mosul. With the exception of his 2-week R&R, we were apart for the first 15 months of our relationship, which was the hardest thing I have ever done, yet I am certain that it is the reason we are such a solid couple and have made it as long as we have. We learned so much about each other when limited to Skype, IM’ing, and hand-written letters. Military families serve just as much as the actual service members, just in different ways. May this time pass quickly! Check out my Project 52 posts too (http://mtn-momma.blogspot.com/). Would you link to me? I already set up a link to you :)

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:06 am

      Thanks, Lisa! I added you to the list of my fellow 52s. Your photos are wonderful, and I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes you!

      Reply
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    Mahina Friday, February 24, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing those pictures with us! I hope this deployment goes by fast and without a major hiccup. We are thinking of you and your family!

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:07 am

      Thanks, Mahina! I’m glad you stopped by!

      Reply
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    Mallory Friday, February 24, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing..what a great post. Hugs to you all!

    Reply
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      kate Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:08 am

      Thanks, Mallory! I am on my way to check out your 52 right now! Thanks for stopping in!

      Reply
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    Natalie Saturday, February 25, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Well said, Kate, and thank YOU for your service. I will say extra prayers for Erick’s safe return, as well as prayers for you and your babes. I agree that it is definitely hardest to experience with children who understand deployments or are old enough to really feel the repercussions. You, my friend, are a rock, and your children know this and will grow up to be just as strong. I wish we were neighbors again- always, but especially during deployments. I miss you.

    Reply
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    Nanny Sharon Saturday, February 25, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Kate, you ARE wicked awesome and a hero to me. I have had to deal with a part time hubby and dad when my kids were little, it was very frequent, unscheduled, and unpredictable. At most he was gone for two weeks or so – never six months straight. I have witnessed your strength first hand and I can say honestly that in the eyes of us on the outside looking in, you are not just a hero, you are a superhero!

    I have watched you grow into an amazing woman: wife, mother, and friend. And I love you and who you have become.

    Sharon

    Reply
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    Caitlin Friday, March 2, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Hoping for a speedy deployment! The images definitely tugged at my heart strings! Thank you to you and your husband for your service. Thoughts coming your way!

    Reply
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    Krista Friday, March 2, 2012, 3:05 pm

    what a great post, the pictures tell it all!

    I’m catching up on my project 52′s during nap time, I’m almost up to date!!

    Reply
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      kate Friday, March 2, 2012, 9:07 pm

      Thank you! I am proud of it too. :) I can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

      Reply

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