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how to deal with first deployment?


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i'm 17 and my boyfriend is a marine. he is leaving for his first deployment to iraq at the end of august for 6-8 months. what can i do to show i support him? and how can i deal with it and school?
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Bless your hearts...  (((((hugs)))))

I think the most important thing you can do is be strong and reassuring for him. 

I found this from the Army

This list of resources from Walter Reed

This top ten list from militarywives.org

Here's a forum for families of Marines being deployed
Ok, this is something close to my heart.  Being attached in any way to a military man and seeing them deploy is difficult.

The best possible way you can show your support is to write to him often, either emails, or letters.  They love letters.  Its something material that they can put their hands on and carry with them.  Most important, be positive in these messages.  You don't have to pretend you don't miss him, but also don't give him more to worry about.  He needs the focus on his job, not thinking about you wasting away at home.  Just knowing that you are there, waiting for him and caring about him, means more than anything.

For you, let life go on.  Focus on school, your friends, have a social life, that sort of thing.  Find your own strength within yourself.  You might be amazed at what an incredible person you are when you do it for yourself.

There are lots of websites for support in a situation like this.  The best one I found was military.com.  There is a forum very much like this one.  You will find lots of support there from people going through the same things.  And, if you want, you can send messages to me, I'll help with what I can.

Lol. I find it funny that you gave her a link to something for military wifes/family.

She's not his wife nor is she his family. You're his high school girlfriend. Not to lessen that but still. That's the reality of the situation.

He's starting a whole new life in all actuality. It won't be his only or last deployment. Regardless of you.

It's fairly simple to show support. You show support by not acting as if it's all about you. By showing him that you understand what he has to do and that it's by his choice. That you'll be fine. (No worries about how you're coping while he's away. You=fine. Missing him/loving him/you're waiting for him but fine! Even if your heart is aching because you want him home.)

Focus = Him

How you deal shouldn't be your concern. Nor would it if you were his ' wife or family.'Or: truly had real love for him at all. All your focus would be centered around him. Not yourself.

You sound selfish and childish.

I strongly suggest focusing on school for yourself.

You can show your ' support ' that you're there for him. But, that doesn't mean you have to turn it into melodramatics. That only makes it more difficult for him to focus on what he has to do. He wants to be a marine obviously or he wouldn't have enlisted. It's important to him so be understanding, and considerate of that. By being ' supportive ' of his choice without adding all the drama.

Guess what? I'll tell you something other probably won't. The real truth of the matter is.... It doesn't get easier....
They can deploy at a drop of a hat. You may think they just got home you have two weeks together before they're out again. But, at the drop of a hat they're gone. By orders/ choice. The reason I say choice is because they know what they enlisted for. They military isn't taking him away from you. It's something that's important to him.

But, it doesn't get easier with time...
They leave...
They come back...
They leave...
They come back...
They leave...
However, some say... " It gets easier with time. " That's not true. It never does. Not unless you don't love them person leaving. Each time my husband left it I was just as broken up as the time before. However, I never showed that to him. Because that made it harder for him to leave. Knowing that I was upset.... only made him upset. There isn't any place for that in a military life. If you can't take that than I suggest you cut your losses.

The best support you can give yourself is to support his choice. In supporting him you'll make it easier on yourself thus the future. There's that old saying... "If you love something let it go free. If it doesn't come back, you never had it. If it comes back, love it forever." That's my suggestion to you. btw,Those that don't show the inner strength needed don't typically last as a military couples.

enchanting,

I beg to differ with you.  That forum is for ANYONE connected with a military member.  As a matter of fact, many of those who are active there are only significant others.  The beauty of that site is that it is one of the ONLY place that a non-spouse can get information.

A girlfriend is just as important as a spouse or family member, in particular because that girlfriend could be a spouse later.  Matter of fact, I find your whole email a little cruel.  Yes, being attached to the military isn't easy.  But I think her question was quite logical, not childish or selfish.  She isn't acting like it's all about her, she is just asking questions.
I bet he's not feeling too great about going. He's probably nervous, scared and all that. She just asked how she can support him. How is that childish and selfish?

Just tell him your proud of him. avoid drama. Hug him close and write to him lots with cheerful stories and good memories.. Send him care packages if you can.
You can do it! I have survived two year long deployments away from my husband. It is rough. The best way you can show your support is answer his calls as often as you can and email him back ASAP. These guys get really lonely over there and they need to know they are still important. It used to really get to my husband if his calls went to voicemail and I don't blame him.
Oh and vstar is right, letters are great. And pictures too!

And wow, I respect every one's opinion, but enchantingimage, that's not very nice at all. I agree with you about the staying strong part and not showing how much you are hurting though. But I think the poor girl was just asking how to support him, not saying she was self centered or anything.

I'll leave the sugar coated advice to others. I didn't fail to give my imput on what I felt the best way to show support would be. If you don't think honesty is nice. That's fine. Of course, she isn't saying she's self centered. Who would say " Hey, I'm self centered. "  However, the way you cope isn't nearly as important your loved one serving. Of course, that's also just a personal view as is everything anyone writes here. Perhaps, that's not the most important thing to others.  To each their own.

Edit: Agree to disagree!

By focusing on him instead of yourself. That shows him that he doesn't feel he has to worry about you, he can focus on the things he has to do. Because he'll know that you're strong. ( Your love is strong. Your belief in him and in your relationship is strong. He doesn't have to be upset that you're upset. Or: Worry that you aren't coping. Worry things between you aren't working. If you show him support and strength he's secure in you. That's what a partner of someone serving their country should do. Be strong, and show strength in spite of  their own weakness. ) It builds strength not only in yourself but in others.

Pride and strength.

That last post? I can totally agree with. I bit through my lip sometimes to keep him from worrying. You are so right, you have to be tough as nails *even if you aren't* to keep him strong.
Enchanting,

Now, that I will agree with.  Well stated!

It is not easy being on this side of the military situation.  When my hubby last deployed I was in a wheelchair with a severely broken leg.  There were times when I would sit in my room, punch a pillow and cry, but I wouldn't tell him that.

The biggest problem we have, I think, is that there are too many women out there who think they can't survive without him around.  We can, we do, and we will.  Doesn't mean we have to like it and most of the time we don't.  The biggest difference is that some need a bit more outside support than others.
We can, we do, and we will.

I love that! Well said!
exilovemymarinex

I am a mother of a deployed US Army Soldier. It is tough, but never let him know you are worried.  Be strong in front him, then cry your eyes out when you are out of sight if you need to.  You are considered family and you matter.  Do you know his mother? Estiblish a relationship with her, she is struggling to. 

Write lots of letters and send care packages.  Both of you will do a lot of growing in the time that he is gone. He will change, you will change.  Pray for him, pray for a safe return home.  I will keep you in my prayers as well.  You can email me anytime you need to.  Sometimes people here are down right mean, just ignore them. 
#15  
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Wow, enchanting that was brutal.  I would like to think someone would want to know how much they are loved & missed instead of acting like a hard***  Everyone starts relationships as girlfriend & boyfriend (even you)  I think you're the one who needs a reality check!

"Wow, brutal." That seems to be about all you contributed. I didn't fail to give her honest constructive suggestions. Whether or not you felt it was brutal is beside the point. It's a valid point on my behalf. The OP can take it or leave it. Period.  I suggest you add something constructive to the thread. Please, give this girl 'your' wisdom. Or: Just move along because views collide daily.

  I gave her honest direct advice in response to this post. You on the other hand still haven't said anything. Sadly: You've shared nothing to note. You should respond to this thread with something/anything constructive. Share a tidbit of your own advise to the OP or move on. Why? It's a thread asking others personal opinions.


( FYI: You can show someone that they're loved and missed without causing them the pain of constantly worrying about you. )

"I am a mother of a deployed US Army Soldier. It is tough, but never let him know you are worried.  Be strong in front him, then cry your eyes out when you are out of sight if you need to"

"When my hubby last deployed I was in a wheelchair with a severely broken leg.  There were times when I would sit in my room, punch a pillow and cry, but I wouldn't tell him that. "

" Just tell him your proud of him. avoid drama.  " 

" I have survived two year long deployments away from my husband. It is rough."

"  I bit through my lip sometimes to keep him from worrying. You are so right, you have to be tough as nails *even if you aren't* to keep him strong."

Wow.   You consider that being a hard *****?!

If you consider that the trademark of a quote: " hard ***" ... You're out of your mind. That's strength. That's support. That's love. Being strong, and showing strength in spite of your own weakness for the ones your love. It's not easy. It's not something that you do for yourself. It's not something that a ' hard ***' as you call it would do. It something that the women here have done/continue to do to show their love/support...because they ' get it. ' It's not complex it's actually quite simple for real military wives-husbands/families. They naturally do it. Why? They have a inner strength/love for their own. A kind that you may never understand for that matter. People constantly write, send care packages/photos when possible, audio tapes with messages from family, their love, and hopes they'll come home soon. The smallest things that really count that show we understand and care the most. We avoid bogus drama letters filled with sorrow/bad news/and I can't do it on my owns here without you anymore. There is a way to go about expressing our love and support. They're shown they're missed/loved/respected/admired/ and understood. Some of us show our inner strength to give our spouses/mates security on home plate. Selfish/fake/hs drama for them to worry/stress about "us" while they're gone doing their duty isn't helpful,imho. It's not supportive as far as I'm concerned it's just counter productive. Our focus is on them so they can remained focused,strong, and secure. That way they can do their job without us/life at home serving as a hindrance/distraction/weakness. Our strength helps them while our weakness ebbs at away at their strength/focus/peace of mind.

So if that makes some of us hard ***.

I say, thank you for the compliment.

and...

Grow up. :) Use the handy dandy block or ignore option. w/e

I have told my son how proud of him and the other Soldiers I have become close too.  My son knows my strength.  I know his courage.
Wow this subject is close to my heart as my b/f is in the navy and will be going to his basic training in oct 29th of this year. He will be gone for at least 4 months and we're hoping to get married but are taking it slow still.

Keep your head up, xilovemymarinex. Love him unconditionally but open your eyes. He is going to need all your strength and all your support. You have to be strong, but not emotionless. Let him know you miss him and that you want him home but you love him and support all he does for you /his fam/ and his country.

send him care packages if you can and lots of pics [if possible] they love to have pictures. I'm not sure if they let them have jewelry but you can ask & maybe give him something before he leaves. i.e a ring.

military.com is a great website with a lot of forums, go there and find girls in your situation maybe even in your city. You can do support groups and meet monthly. That way you can share your experience and veterans at this stuff can help you cope.

Hope this helps my email is agape197@aol.com write me if i can help you with anything else.
#19  
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Enchanting-

I do understand about showing strength and support.  I just don't think you have to be so harsh all the time.  Just because you don't agree with me doesn't mean I have to "move along".  FYI I am "grown up".  Maybe you should show some of your emotions so you're not so angry all the time.

"Of course, that's also just a personal view as is everything anyone writes here. Perhaps, that's not the most important thing to others.  To each their own.

"You're out of your mind." 

Seems to me these two statements contradict eachother. Which is it?  So far you've told me to move along, grow up and I'm out of my mind.  "You sound selfish and childish."  Practice what you preach!
xilovemymarinex.. my heart goes out to you.. i'm kinda in the same position.. my boyfriend left in april '07 and wont be back til may-june '08... its the hardest thing ive ever been through.. i'm lucky if i can talk to him once a month on the phone.. but you know what?  you wont believe how fast time goes by... just make sure that you keep yourself busy and keep focused on your friends and school and before you know it he'll be back... :o)
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