When I moved home for C’s last deployment I was beyond nervous as to whether or not it would be the “support” I needed. I know how important support is. I know how vital it can be to thriving in this life and I knew that I was not set up for it at our duty station. The unit we were attached to at the time was … ummm … let’s say “lacking” in the family support department, we had just moved there, we were on a waitlist for a house, I had two children under two and I needed to go where I knew I could find help.
Home for me is a bigger city with no military presence, no real connections to it. The closest thing to anything Army is a very small naval air base about thirty minutes away. I knew I would have my family – a loving and supportive family – but I wasn’t sure of what else I would find.
I was beyond skeptical.
I was so very wrong to be.
The amount and variation of support was overwhelming. The youth group at my church organized a ‘troops drive’ that they STILL do every six months. I met so many families of deployed military through these donations days. Many guard and reserve families who didn’t have much of a connection – who knew no one connected their child, or spouse, or nephew, etc. But to meet them, and shake their hands, and to see their faces when I said that someone I loved was deployed as well, that I had done this before, that I had lived through it … to see the look on their faces, when they made that connection – I cannot tell you what that did for my heart.
It was at the beginning of this deployment, and very much because I was going home, that I started to blog. I knew how many of my friends thought about the war. I knew how many of them thought about the military because before I met C, before I embraced this life, I had been them. I had judged – wrongly. I had formed opinions – while ill-informed. I thought I knew what was happening, and why it was happening. I started to write to answer the questions I knew they wouldn’t ask and to explain things I knew they didn’t know how to begin to understand and it DID that. But it gave me something much greater. It gave me women like you. The support I found in other spouses from around the country who read each other’s journeys was a greater blessing than I ever could have known.
That may be one of the most amazing things about military spouses. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what unit you belong to, what background you have, we all connect on the trials and joys and difficulties of this life. We feel each other’s hurt. We know each other’s anticipation. We help one another through.
Support is all around you. Your family. Your church. You friends. Your “sisters”.
Never think you cannot find support. Never, ever think you don’t need it. Never think you can’t give it. Never, never be scared to ask for it.