I’m not a writer. I’ve never successfully kept a journal or diary for longer than maybe a few days, at best. My experiences with writing in the past have been limited to mandatory papers for school or the letters written to my husband while he was away. So how did I get here? What in the world gave me the desire to begin a blog? And who in the world would want to read what I wrote anyway?
I never expected the places that blogging about our family’s experience with the Army would take me. What started as a way to keep my husband in the loop of our daily lives while he is deployed to Iraq has turned into so much more for me. It has provided an outlet for my frustrations, encouragement from others during difficult times, and a place to share the joys. It has given me a voice. Through blogging, I have been able to share my thoughts and feelings, where I may not have put those into words otherwise. It has also been a window for our non-military family and friends into the struggles and joys that a family faces during deployment.
One of the most unexpected outcomes of beginning my blog has been the amazing military spouses that I have “met”. There is such a wonderful online community of women (and men) who are all going through similar experiences. Being a National Guard family, we are hours from the closest military installation and we are two and a half hours away from my husband’s unit. Due to the distance, I have not been able to attend Family Readiness Group (FRG) meetings or other Unit sponsored activities. The biggest challenge for me is the lack of support groups that are close to our home and having no military friends or family members who can relate to the things we are going through. At times, I have felt very alone trying to navigate through the Army life. And, being a “newbie,” going through our first deployment…not fun. Let’s just say I was ready to start pulling my hair out in frustration!
This is where blogging and connecting with other amazing military blogging spouses has been a lifesaver. I have learned so much through the experience and advice of others and I feel like I am finally getting my footing (although I still have a lot to learn!). Online support, like Homefront United Network, has been such a wonderful resource to find information, ask questions, and connect with these inspirational spouses. I’m not sure I would still be sane (and have a full head of hair!) at this point in the deployment without having made these connections!
While living the military life is difficult, I love it. I am proud of my husband for what he does and I am proud to support him on the homefront while he is away. I am so grateful to The Homefront United Network and all the military blogging spouses, who have given me support while navigating through this life and who have given me a place to land. You have “heard” my voice and responded with kindness and encouraging words. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your joys, so that others may learn from you and find comfort. You are an inspiration to those you reach and a guide to those who follow. Thank you for helping me finally feel at home.