Then a Right to Afghanistan … Deployment
So if you read yesterday, you know that I had a bit of a shake up occur starting in April. You say, it’s July? Why yes you are right. A lot can happen around here in a few months. So I did not go to Djibouti, then why do I still publish and write about it? [ because it was a significantly emotional event ... ! ]
Well – remember I said I talked to hubby about it? Remember we are both military? Remember he is my best friend?
Okay then … Phase II :: He started looking for assignments so that we could reset our dwell time together. Long story short, the jobs lead us to Afghanistan. Obviously we got leave, we had a great time on the East Coast with family and friends. My brother-in-law’s wedding was FANTASTIC. The bride so beautiful. We are so glad to have had the opportunity to see people before we came home to the madness of pre-deployment checklists … and daily [ yes, daily for the first week home ] changes to where we were going, when we were going. I was so glad that we had actually been gone for the first part of June with no connection to the madness.
There is a certain amount of uncertainty you expect being military, we have had a GREAT 4 years of stabilization here in Germany, our travels have been amazing! So we enter a year of change … I dropped my hubby at the air base today. The Jeep and motorcycles are stored, the basement cleaned of all the crap we have kept for some unknown reason, the laundry is washed and folded. Bags are packed, and we spent our weekend, just enjoying being together [ of course this was after our final fest in Beratzhausen on Friday night! ]
His flight will be long, he departs Germany and goes to an out of the way Air Base first. It’s a transit center, a place he may get hung up as he awaits for his flight to his final destination.
My reaction to dropping him at the air terminal … please if you are at all an emotional [ like me ] get a hanky. My heart hurts to write this:
We left at 0600, it was a 4 hour drive, he took the wheel and I took to my Kindle. Our arms would reach across the seat to touch each other occasionally – because we still could. I felt the butterflies and electric current of panic a few times. Separation from my husband is not even in the top 100 of things I want to do. It hurts, physically and emotionally it drains me. I slept horribly last night, as did he. He was up at 0400 30 minutes before our alarm went off, I had a little bit of an emotional moment when I woke up and he was gone already, but I could hear the familiar sounds downstairs and knew I was not alone. Our drive was uneventful, no Staus to slow us on our approach. Timing was perfect. The lines were long with deploying Soldiers, some like us on their own. Others with their spouse holding tearfully to their arm as they carried their heavy Ruck Sacks through the Disney line to check in… it seemed to drag on but then – he was checked in, ticket in hand. We even had time to go over to the base restaurant – can you believe? Macaroni Grill. We had a little bit more “normal” as we ate lunch and talked over things that had happened, silly stories from our days in the field. Then it was time, I had to say goodbye. Walking back to the terminal, I saw an NCO and asked if he could take our picture. DH rolled his eyes and said “OF course you did” in reference to the camera I had hidden in my pocket. Of COURSE I would want a photo with my Soldier Hubby. All too quick I was getting in a final hug and a quick kiss [ we were both in uniform and that's always ... awkward? ] I had to get one final kiss, that last contact before I broke away, heart in my throat the tears threatening to flow. I took a deep breath and walked away, quickly the tunnel vision forcing me to look forward and just MOVE. It was the longest 4 hour drive back to base. A quick text at a rest stop to my best friend just to feel connected with someone, to feel okay. I was ever so grateful that upon walking in my oh so quiet house, the phone rang. My daughter somehow just knew, the floodgate opened. Now I wait to hear that he has arrived safely. And my countdown begins …
Please do note, that for his, and my upcoming and ongoing deployment OPSEC is going to be strictly adhered to and having Blogs that publish AFTER will be the norm. I know my family and friends understand when I hedge around specific questions, they get frustrated but – the safety of our military family is more important than the need-to-knows… I think the PAO [Public Affairs Officer] and I will be friends as I ensure my desire to write of my experiences are not in any way used against us or open the door to misconstrued ideas of the mission. And with that, as far as what we do? We are logistics officers … we work in areas of supply, maintenance, and movement. Enjoy our journey and the new adventures, I know they are not going to be the fun European travels, but you never know. You may learn something about what its like to be a military peep [ the first thing I'm sure your learning is to stay flexible! ] my desire is not to write a military mission forum, but just on how we as a military couple go through a deployment. We love adventure … so lets see how this one goes!
OPSEC Rules for Ostranderblog:
- Do not post exact deployment dates or redeployment dates
- Do not reveal camp locations, including nearby cities. After the deployment is officially announced by Military officials, you may discuss locations that have been released, normally on the Country level.
- Do not discuss convoy routes (“we travelled through YY on our way to XX”)
- Detailed information on the mission, capabilities or morale of a unit
- Specific names or actual nicknames
- Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example: pay information, powers of attorney, wills, etc)
- Details concerning security procedures, response times, tactics
- Don’t discuss equipment or lack thereof, to include training equipment
- Don’t speculate about future operations
- If posting pictures, don’t post anything that could be misconstrued or used for propaganda purposes. A good rule of thumb is to look at your picture without your caption or explanation and consider if it could be re-captioned to reflect poorly on coalition forces. For example, your image might show your Soldier rescuing a child from a blast site, but could be re-captioned to insinuate that the child being captured or harmed. (it’s happened!)
- Avoid the use of count-up or count-down tickers for the same reason as rule #1
- Be very careful if posting pictures of your loved one. Avoid images that show significant landmarks near their base of operations, and black out last names and unit affiliations
- Do not, ever, post information about casualties (coalition or enemy) before the official release of the information.
- Do not pass on rumors (“I heard they’re coming home early”, etc)