An installment in the New York Times Deployment Diary
I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “live like he deploys tomorrow.” I remember thinking it odd at the time, since my husband, a Navy helicopter pilot, and I somehow always spent the day before deployments frantically getting uniforms ready, packing bags, responding to last-minute tasks and making tearful goodbye phone calls to parents, siblings and friends. Nothing about it was worth trying to live like that every day. This round, however, was different. Dickens very well could have been talking about the days before deployment when he said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
My husband was supposed to deploy on a Saturday. For months, it sat on our calendar in pen, taunting us with inching proximity. In what felt like the blink of an eye, we went from next fall, to next month, to next week, to “he leaves on Saturday.”
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Brad Crooks Photography
This post was originally posted on Spousebuzz:
Happy Birthday, Navy. I fondly remember the first time you and I were formally introduced. I was in a bar, in Tallahassee, Florida where I ran into a high school classmate of mine from Denver, who had gone on to become a naval aviator. I instantly fell for him, and you. Your traditions, your strength and your breadth of capabilities (and let’s not forget flight suits and dress whites) all appealed to my sense of patriotism and love for our great nation.
As with any long term friendship, Navy, we’ve certainly had our ups and downs and our fair share of disagreements. I’m not sure I’ve fully forgiven you for that time you sent my husband back on deployment less than four months after homecoming. Or how about the move from Guam when you lost part of our shipment? I’m still replacing items from that.
Mostly though, Navy, as with all of my closest friends, you’ve helped me grow. You’ve taught me invaluable lessons about myself, marriage and life.
Here are 5 things you taught me: