The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

JUST FOUND OUT |

November 16, 2006

JUST FOUND OUT
Name: C. Maloney
Posting date: 11/16/06
Husband: Deployed on float...somewhere
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Milblog url: http://corpsdjour.blogspot.com

I just found out about an hour ago that my husband's unit is being sent into Iraq. Not from the wives network, as promised, not from my husband, not from his commanders or his Gunny. I read it in the news online. I had a real rough day yesterday, hadn't heard from him in a bit, thought maybe he was on the move or there was some reason he wasn't calling. But then I got a wonderful 3:00 am wakeup call from him. I was just so elated to hear from him, to know he was still on friendly territory, to know for one day longer I didn't need to worry. My spirits were high coming into work this morning. I was going to concentrate and get the work done I've been too worried and distracted to do over the last few days. So I get in, I chat amiably with my boss, I boot up my computer, and I do the peripheral scan of military news and sites -- and there it is. I'm not sure why it's published on a public site when my husband wasn't allowed to tell me. I'm all  about OPSEC and take a conservative line on it, and don't understand why they've chosen to announce this. But, there it for the world to see: his unit is being sent to Iraq.

Now, again, I'm in a daze. It's not that it's a big surprise; it doesn't take a genius to figure out that a deployed Marine has a pretty darn high chance of going into Iraq. It's just giving up that last string of hope I've been clinging to that maybe, just maybe, this time he wouldn't have to go. It makes it awfully hard to concentrate on the spreadsheet in front of me. My head is foggy, my eyes are burning, my head is aching, my limbs are heavy. I've called every member of my family and not one has answered their phone. I couldn't muster up enough of whatever it is I needed to leave a message. Talking out loud sometimes makes me break. I don't want to call his family or anyone else who is involved in his deployment. I'd rather they don't know for another day or two. How do you shake something like this off? I know I have to, I know I've got to pour myself into my work, push aside that I don't know the whens or the hows or what he'll be doing there. I know I'll be okay, we've been through it before; we'll survive it again. But right now, this minute, I just feel the literal weight of this life on my shoulders. I just feel like everything is heavy.

Comments

i'm so sorry, my boyfriend was gone this summer and thankfully came back alive and it was fucking hell. i have so much sympathy with you and can only hope and pray that he comes home to you. life stops and begins to revolve around his calls and whether he is ok and everything can be a trigger and there's always a damper on life no matter how much you try to live it. all my sympathies and my thoughts are with you.

I don't know why I have tears in my eyes reading your blog... does it help to know that there are others out there who suffer from the same weight of helplessness as you do? Does it help you to know that you are not alone? Does it help you to know that he could very well come back home safe and sound (as so many have)? Does it help to know that millions of Americans feel what you're feeling? The only reason I say this is because I wanted to reply to your blog... and I had NO idea what to say... I didn't think there was anything I or anyone could say that would make you feel better... but I wanted to try. I hope this doesn't come out short... Good luck C, hang in there.

Godspeed and Semper Fidelis,
Mark A. Schallow

I wish I could give you a hug. I have two friends who are in Iraq and I get on my knees to pray for their safety (and my peace of mind.) One day at a time, and remember that people you don't even know support you and send you love.

The people that released the information to the media aren't going to Iraq, they were told to release the information by higher ranking people that aren't going to Iraq, but they may have been there before and may be going again. No one thought about you, or anyone else that cares about their Marines and what they may have to do, they only care that they released an official announcement to the media about a military operation before the media found out on their own and blindsided some commander at a briefing. Mission Accomplished. I will continue to pray for all those deployed and all those that wait patiently alone, and pray for those that don't care nor understand. If you aren't enlightened or sensitive it may be difficult to be kind and graceful in society. Take care, there are many that do care about you and your Marine. Proudly and quietly, the meek will inherit the Earth.

Sending you a hug, knowing how it feels. We found out that my husband's unit was deploying on the local news. I just don't get it. Blessings and peace to your family.

Hang in there honey. Even though it doesn't seem like it, there are millions of us out here who pray for military families every day. My son has been to Iraq twice, so I know something of what you are feeling. Somehow you just get through it. Everyone has their own way, some are glued to the news and others can't watch it at all. Get what little info you can get from your FRG group and know that no news is good news sometimes. Don't let your head play games with ya, when he hasn't called in a while it's not because he doesn't want to. I'm praying for your Marine, honey, and for you.

I too just want to give you a hug and talk, that's what mom's do. Stateside is so nice but when my son goes to Iraq again it will be a nerve-wracking time. Iraq creeps into my head constantly and makes concentrating difficult at work. I constantly check military blogs. The waiting between phone calls is a real roller coaster ride & I don't even like roller coasters. I pray constantly for our troops. Keep writing to let us know how your Marine is--they are so awesome!

I feel such a sense of kinship with you at this moment. I do not have a loved one in harm's way as you do but I really do feel your pain. I will be praying for you and your husband. Life is incredibly hard sometimes, for a variety of reasons, but God willing, you will be lifted up and sustained in peace and your Marine kept well and secure through out his deployment. Thank-you to both of you for your service to our beloved country in this time of trial. Many blessings...

I have great empathy for what you are feeling right now. My son is "overthere" as well.
Unfortunately, the media does one hell of a job on the families with their "slips" or intentional telling of information that can sometimes affect their safety. However, time, believe it or not does go fast and their are many of us who pray daily for your son, my son, and all of our troops in harms way, and know that what they are doing is important and allows us to not have this taking place in our "backyards". Keep your faith, be strong, and know that their are those praying for your family, and especially your son.

I'm terribly sorry to hear that your husband is being sent back but, as everyone else has said, be strong. There are many of us going through similar situations and know that we are all praying for the safe return of not only our personal loved ones but for all those wonderful men & women serving. My fiance is over there currently & I can attest to my mind running away when I haven't heard from him in several days. Though it doesn't seem like it from day to day when you look back months have passed before you have a chance to notice. Take one day at a time & know that each day he's gone = one day closer to him coming home :o) Hope this helps - you & your husband are in my prayers and I thank you both for all the sacrifices that you have made.

I had a similar thing happen to me. Both my husband and I were on two separate ships in the military, and I found out his ship was in Kosovo (during the conflict)two weeks later when we pulled into Miami and a Chief read about it in the Navy Times. Needless to say, I made some very angry phone calls to the Ombudsman and other "network" people. I'm sorry the lines of communication failed you, as well.
Speaking as a veteran and as a former military spouse, I can only say that, yes, he'll always be in the back of your mind, and you'll get distracted sometimes, and that's OK. Just make sure you're taking care of yourself: it will make things a lot easier on your husband to know that you're doing all right.
I hope you have some other wives or a support network nearby who understands your situation--civilians can be a comfort, but there's nothing like talking to people who really know what you're going through.
God Bless and Godspeed. Please send an update sometime, let us know how you're doing.

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