June 19, 2012

Deployment...the not-so-friendly ghost

Father's Day was officially three months since Joshua returned and although I'm thrilled/relieved/humbled to say that we've managed the reintegration better than I expected, there are moments when the deployment seems like a ghost in the corner invisible to all but us. Like last month when we went to the local arts festival and a balloon popped. Joshua jumped. Not a huge jump. Not really even out of fear. I was probably the only person who noticed but it threw me back to the nights when I didn't sleep and jumped when someone knocked at the door. Our little ghost is coming around less and less often and although I don't think we'll ever really be free of him, he has less of an impact. 

The thing that does still carry a punch is when I hear someone belittle my husband's service (or any other service member's sacrifice). Being a Guard family, we live in two worlds. It's sometimes a blessing and sometimes a burden. The benefits are obvious...we don't have to move, Joshua will (theoretically) deploy less often and we're not always inside the "Army bubble." Unfortunately, the biggest downside is that many people we live and work with don't understand our life. It's arguable whether that's because the can't understand it or they just won't but either way, it can hurt.

Yesterday, Joshua went to his civilian job with his multi-cam back pack (it's how he prefers to carry his laptop) and a woman he works with (whom I will refer to as L and who knows he's still in the Guard and scheduled to go active duty again soon) stopped him and asked "What's up with the camo bag?"

I don't think Joshua totally understood the question or the reason for it and replied "It's what was issued and I like it." 

L: "But it's not like you're really in the military now."

The room got silent (which at his job is hard to do) and I'm thankful that someone else stepped up and corrected L so that Joshua didn't have to. I understand what she meant by it but it's the attitude behind it that stings. Sometimes, I wish people with that attitude could see our little ghost. Maybe then they'd understand.


Kathryn said...

I'm glad reintegration is going so well for you guys. I know what you mean. My husband is in the Reserves and it can be challenging to keep your mouth shut when someone makes an uninformed comment, or complains about their husband going away on a work trip. But I also agree, it has it's blessings. Glad to hear things are going good for you guys!

Amy said...

We are a guard family too and we have several friends in reserve/guard. It is a total challenge to be in both worlds!! Hope the deployment ghost keeps fading away and that your reintegration keeps ahead smoothly! :)

Amy said...
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Brianna Renee said...

Thanks ladies. We're doing well but it was good to recently see some of the guys Joshua deployed with. We live over an hour away from any of them so it's been challenging for him to stay in touch but I think it helps.