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.

AN OPEN LETTER |

June 12, 2009

AN OPEN LETTER
Name: Guard Wife
Posting date: 6/12/09
Spouse deployed to: Iraq
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Milblog: Spousebuzz

Dear Deployment,

Although I understand that we are not strangers, I did want to set forth a few ground rules and observations before you officially begin your timeline. First and foremost, please remember that I despise surprises so should you feel the need to visit again before my husband retires, a little notice never hurt anyone. Frankly, I'd appreciate it if you would just take the hint and make yourself scarce, but I understand that you have a job to do and you sometimes find it necessary to do it repeatedly and on your own terms.

You are a tad hard to ignore, Deployment, but I'm doing my best. I have a list of questions in my mind that I need to address with my husband and I will likely do so this weekend. This interaction should not, however, be interpreted as my accepting that you are here or acknowledging your existence in any way. I prefer to maintain my usual schedule of denial until this summer...when I'm really sure you're seriously not kidding in your intentions toward my husband. We plan to put up with you, but we do not plan to make you comfortable in your stay with us. In fact, prepare to be ignored. Sorry. That's just how we roll.

I would also like to make clear that I have absolutely no intention of allowing you to sponsor any type of Germ Festivus in my home as you did in '04-'05. This is patently unsat and will not be tolerated under any circumstance. You will also not invite over any of your other "unexpected" friends. These friends include, but are not limited to: The Germ Tag Team; Death-of-a-Pet; Health Scares; Anxiety Attacks; Insomnia; Crying Jags; or R and R babies. We are willing to work with you, Deployment, but we have rules here and they must be obeyed.

It goes without saying, Deployment, that I expect you to return my husband to me in the manner in which I am delivering him to you next week. He can remain the cranky, stubborn, self-centered man that he is (and if he comes home with washboard abs, I won't complain), however, I do not believe you will want to test me by changing his physical, chemical, spiritual, mental or any other -al part of his make-up as I will not take that lying down. Ask around. I do not enjoy being pushed around and you are already on thin ice where I am concerned.

You will also, Deployment, maintain an assured clear distance of my children and their hearts and minds.They will, of course, miss their Daddy and cry for him. You will, however, allow them to maintain as much normalcy and stability as I can create...you will not stand in my way. But, once your welcome is officially worn out at our home, Deployment, you will go. You will not remain to cloud their hearts or put doubt in their minds. Again, don't test me. I think I'm being overly generous here.

Finally, Deployment, I will admit that I am far less interested in the lessons I may learn from you this time than I was the first go 'round. I do know two things for sure: 1)  I will not become restless enough this time to consider anything even remotely as crazy as law school, and 2) I will be strong in the face of disappointment, fear and loneliness in regard to our adoption. You are not going to rob us of that joy. Sorry. I'm just not allowing you to have that kind of power.

I think that's it for now, Deployment. I do, however, reserve the right to add to this list as I see fit over the next fifteen months or so. You, however, had best just stick to the nuts and bolts of your plan and don't try anything funny or fancy.

Sincerely,
Guard Wife

Comments

You're a brave woman for calling deployment out like that. :)

Deployment makes demands on you, so it's only fair you make demands on it! I hope it's listening!

What a great letter, well done and safe return for your husband.

I love your letter. I am in the same boat with you. We had a deployment from 2003-2005 and are just getting ready to start another.

I don't know how you do it, but I am very grateful you do.

You are the glue that holds together the reality of those serving ...

Ditto your letter for a Guard Mother, especially the paragraph regarding denial until the deployment actually arrives. How else can life even approach normal?

just one Mom

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