How To Be There During A Deployment

Dear Soldier,

Take care of your partner back home.

Send them notes and letters; not just emails. We are so fortunate to live in a connected world, but there’s something extra special about a handwritten note that will not only make your SO’s day, but it will keep them going throughout the deployment. Those beautifully written cards will be referenced when they’re scared, missing you, and feel alone. Think about the reasons you love your partner in crime, and carve it into a piece of paper for them to treasure forever.

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Remember that this experience doesn’t just differ from couple to couple, but it also is very different for your partner than it is for you. There are different ways it’s harder on each of you. Be gentle and patient; they are likely trying their best to hold it together every single day you’re away.

Skype, Snapchat, and send pictures often. These, like the letters, are things your significant other will be waiting for. They’re the moments you can use to connect to one another and feel close. Nothing compares to having you home, but a picture is the closest thing to being there with one another since they get to see a little moment of your day.

I hope you’re getting lots and lots of care packages from home. You deserve them, especially since you are likely not in the nicest of living situations. Try to send a few packages back home to your loved ones, too. They certainly understand that you are overseas for a mission, but it also feels so great to feel cared about and knowing that your loved one is taking time away from their busy schedule to think about you.

Deployments are one of the most difficult things this life has to offer, but if you’re with the right person the heartache you feel during them is completely worth the joy of an entire lifetime. Stay safe, connect at any chance you get, and thank you for the sacrifices you are making. I know they’re not easy in so many different ways, and I am so proud to know so many people fighting for justice and equality.

Love,
An Army Girlfriend

Five Steps Ahead

“I had that planned out 5 moves ago.”

This is something Robert said to me after beating me for literally the hundredth time in chess yesterday. For whatever reason he is insanely great at chess (Question for Robert’s friends and family: did he play on a chess team or something in high school? I really think he has competed in this game before but is afraid to admit that he is actually the nerdier one in our relationship), but this isn’t such a bad thing, as I know his job is all about strategies.

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I’ve noticed lately that it’s not just chess he’s ahead of me in. It’s life in general — particularly my life. One thing I absolutely love about our relationship is that Robert is really in tune with what I need. He’s always said he loves taking care of me and making me happy, and his actions match up very clearly with that statement.

A few days ago Robert told me he was sending me a package and that it should be at my house any day now. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my post about how much I love fuzzy winter socks. The very next day I found a package on my bed — that included a pair of warm, fuzzy New England Patriots socks! He had ordered it just days before I posted about my sock obsession, which is just the epitome of how he notices everything about me before I ever even bother to mention it.

That is a very small example of something that I feel like happens every day as we get to know each other more and more. It’s really nice dating someone who gets me. My best friend and I are really good at reading each other’s minds, but I’ve never really dated someone who has been able to do that. I didn’t realize guys and girls could connect that way so seamlessly before. Robert is someone who pays attention to how others are feeling and notices whenever my mood shifts, even if it’s a really subtle change. This is hilarious whenever I start getting a little grumpy because he is really good at making me giggle and come back down to earth when something is bothering me.

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Aww this picture was taken exactly a year ago after Robert picked me up from a Christmas party!

I don’t really believe in soul mates, but if I did I’d think he was mine. There are a lot of ways we are really different, but I think many of those things just have to do with where we grew up (He’s a crazy from Boston, and I am a basic wannabe city girl who really just lives in the suburbs of Washington DC). Even when we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on things, we almost always “get” one another and are willing to learn from each other. I think that’s really important in a relationship. After all, no one is perfect — we always have room for growth — and it’s great being able to learn from people with perspectives different than our own.

Today’s lesson: The excuse “He’s just a guy — he doesn’t get it” should only apply to things like periods and giving birth (But seriously — you’ll never quiteee get how awful we feel once a month). They shouldn’t be excuses for things like showing a lack of feelings or affection. Yes, men and women are absolutely different, but I now know I can be with someone who genuinely cares for me as much as I do for him and isn’t afraid to show me.

Email: Under 300 Days To Go

Dear Robert,

Today I am writing your daily email on my blog. I figured since you’ve become quite the topic of conversation on here, why not make one of our interactions public?

We’ve done just over a week of long distance now, and I keep thinking back to the first two weeks we were apart just over a month from Texas to Virginia. I think I’ll have adjusted again after the first few weeks are over and am looking forward to the many letters, care packages, and Skype dates to come, as they’re all just leading up to your grand arrival back to the states. I can’t wait.

One thing I think is really cool about us is that we are so alike. I thought it was such a crazy coincidence that literally the morning I had snapchatted you a picture of an Army shirt I was thinking about getting that a package came in the mail with an Army t-shirt you had designed for me. You literally read my mind all the time and I absolutely love it.

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My “thank you” Snapchat right after receiving the package

Quick! What am I thinking right now?

The answer is always about chocolate. I bet you knew that.

I know we’re only at the beginning of all of this (We are 1/36th of the way there, in case you were wondering), but I can already tell long distance is going to be as easy as it possibly could be with you. There are fun little adventures and surprises I always thought would be fun in a LDR, but my ex wasn’t really into the cutesy stuff… Am I allowed to say that I think you might be really good at that kind of thing on here? I know some of your friends read this and probably don’t think of you as being “cute.” I also know, though, that you knew what you were getting into with me, and that you aren’t really afraid of what people think about you.

I love you, am praying for you, and can’t wait to see you soon. Stay safe.

Love,
Krista