December 14, 2011

I Surrender

I'm waving the white least for the rest of this month. Deployment has won. There's just too many holidays...too many reminders of how much it sucks to be apart.

Hanukkah starts in less than a week.
Joshua's birthday is the 22nd.
Christmas (yes, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas) at my family's house.
New Year's Eve...which happens to also be our anniversary (looking back, we really didn't think that one through).

Any other year, it's much to do in such a short amount of time but it's fun. It's so full of family time and love and joy.

This year, it's so hard to not be a Grinch. Just ask our local post office employee...I don't know his name but by now he's come to know us fairly well with all the times we've gone in to send Joshua boxes. The last time I went in, he congratulated me and asked if I was excited. I was confused and then he went on to say that I must be excited because my husband is coming home soon. I started to respond that it's still a few months away (nothing more specific than that per OPSEC and the fact that we don't even know much more than that) but yeah, it's getting closer when he cut me off to inform me that ALL the troops would be home by the end of the year. He heard it on the news.

And then it clicked.

This man, who knows my husband is in Afghanistan...who moments before had stamped the customs paperwork for the box I was sending to Afghanistan was excited because troops are leaving Iraq. He didn't understand that there are two wars. Two battlefields. Two. All he knew was the news reported troops coming home.

My first reaction was nausea at the heart wrenching reminder that we still have months to go. My second was a feeling of being totally and completely alone. Granted, we have our friends, family and the military community but outside of that, it often feels like no one cares. Finally, I was angry that this man and so many others like him live their lives blissfully ignorant. 

I'm proud to say that I kept my composure. I didn't throw up, cry or yell at him. I just curtly replied that the troops in Iraq will be home shortly but the troops in Afghanistan continue to fight. In the end, that's all that really matters. My husband is still in Afghanistan so this year, we'll celebrate Hanukkah, his birthday, Christmas, New Year's and our anniversary without him. It's going to be eleven days that suck. I'm proud of my husband and what he's doing. I know I can't make him come home earlier but I really hope January 2nd gets here fast so at least we'll be done with the holidays.