Military Love

Since I started dating someone in the Army I’ve been hyper-aware of military in the media and as a source of entertainment.

One thing I’ve found particularly interesting is the way deployment love is portrayed in music. I absolutely love writers and musicians because I think they can connect so deeply with my heart and soul. I love to write, but sometimes the way others put pen to paper explains even better the way I see the world — especially when that someone is Taylor Swift. ūüėČ

Something music videos have made me notice, though, is how they happily skip through the way a deployment really feels. Sometimes the songs have a message in them about how difficult this kind of love is, but the overall vibe of the video is still,

  1. Military boyfriend gets orders to go overseas
  2. Girl (and sometimes guy) cries
  3. They write letters back and forth
  4. Then have a really heartwarming hello

This is beautiful, but I used to watch these videos and mainly just think about how sweet they were. I wanted a guy like that who would write me sweet love notes and stay with me, even when times were hard. I still want all of that, but this isn’t the way I want to have it. I want someone who is home with me and someone who will be in my everyday life. I don’t want to worry so much about a loved one’s safety, and those sweet “romantic moments” are great, but they really are moments instead of constants. The reality of a deployment is that you are doing 9 months of extremely difficult long distance. You don’t always know how your significant other is doing throughout the day and sometimes go days without speaking (Thank goodness for the Internet! I can’t even imagine what it must have been like even ten years ago). You pray your hardest that God will protect your loved one, but you also can’t help but be nervous anytime a strange number calls your phone or something terrible happens in the news.

People get divorced or decide they don’t want to stick around during a deployment. Infidelity happens a lot more often than you’d think on both ends, and sometimes either one or both parties think it is just easier to end the relationship than it is to go through something like this together.

Deployments are hard. I am so lucky I am doing one with my boyfriend while I am young and still live at home with family. Most of my friends are unmarried, so I have people to hang out with and offer comfort and support, and I don’t have a family that I have to raise on my own. I can’t even imagine what the next stage of a deployment would look like. My heart goes out to those who have to endure even harder circumstances than I do.

The first 30 seconds of this video made me so nauseous. I literally just stopped watching.

So although I do think these videos are beautiful (And guarantee a few tears), I don’t think they even scrape the surface of what a deployment looks like — in all fairness, how could you in three and a half minutes?

I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, after all, if I wasn’t going through it right now I may have never met Robert and I love that we’ve been strong enough to go through this together towards the beginning of our relationship. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy*, though. Deployments aren’t beautifully romantic every day; they are worrisome, lonely, and an enormous sacrifice.

God Bless America.

 


*You know who you are, worst enemy!!! Just kidding. I can’t think of anyone I know personally who I consider an “enemy,” but you get the idea.

Symptoms Of A Deployment

Anyone who has been close to someone who is deployed understands the great sacrifice the entire family and loved ones are making along with their soldier. I can confidently say that I am not going to take time for granted the way I have with people in the past. I think everyone knows someone who is either deployed or close to a soldier, so I wanted to write something about the way it feels to have a significant other serving overseas.

Here are the symptoms that come along with a deployment:

Anxiousness:¬†Getting a phone call from a random number doesn’t mean the same thing it did before your soldier went overseas. You hope it’s him calling from one of the phones in the barracks, but there’s always a fear in the back of your mind that it’s a stranger calling with bad news.

Irregular Heartbeat: Anytime you hear of something terrible that happened to soldiers in the area of the world where yours is your heart stops and sinks. When you find out it wasn’t him you feel an immediate sense of relief, followed by an intense sorrow for the loved ones who do have to deal with a sickening loss. You hurt for them. Then you pray for them. This thing that had a small impact on you has changed the lives of so many other people forever; losing a loved one too soon is a terrible tragedy that seems to be one thing that the heart can’t fully heal from.

Nausea: When you think about the conditions your soldier is working in, it makes you feel sick. The hatred toward Americans where he is serving is unreal, and you feel anxious knowing there’s a target on the one person you’d do anything to protects back. I don’t know that I would take a bullet for many people, but I would for him.

Sleeplessness: More nights than not you lie awake thinking about the person who is holding your heart halfway around the world. You worry and pray that God will keep them safe. Nighttime is the hardest part of a deployment. It seems so much longer than the bright daytime where you have dozens of distractions. The darkness is deeper than you remembered it being last year, and you feel alone in your big, cold queen size bed.

A New Sense of Patriotism: Your guy is fighting for our freedom. I have not proclaimed my love for this beautiful country nearly as much as I have this past year. The sacrifices thousands of people are making for me and my fellow US citizens are incredible. Soldiers endure terrifying, uncomfortable, and difficult conditions every single day for 9+ months to make sure we can keep the freedoms we have here in the United States.

Don’t you dare say that you hate this country if you live here; you have no right when there are people who are actually dying for it and for the freedoms we take for granted every single day. If you don’t love America there is no reason you need to stay here.

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Photo credit to my new Instagram friend clarkayyyy!

If you told me I could have one wish granted today it would be that I would have my soldier home and in my arms again. I wouldn’t trade that for all the riches in the world. Having that sense security in my relationship again is going to mean the world to me, and I absolutely can’t wait.

God. Bless. America.

Free

Breakups from a serious relationship are so strange.

When you’re with someone long enough, they become a part of your routine. You have little inside jokes and holiday traditions but then, in a second, all of this is gone.

journal
I wrote this in my journal the day of my first breakup.

Sometimes you see a plane and remember how you used to be long distance. Any time you were flying it was to see him. You sit on the playground with the kids you nanny and think about the time you talked your way out of trouble with a policeman while you were swinging late at night, and about the stargazing you did there together. You don’t usually¬†think of him when you eat pizza, but sometimes take a moment to reminisce about the dozens of times he came over to make one together. You’d laugh as his inexperienced hands kneaded the dough while he asked if he was doing it right a million times.

It’s great being able to look back at a relationship and smile — it shows that at least some of it was real. Some of the memories are happy, but at the end of the day you realize sometimes when something is broken it isn’t meant to be fixed. It couldn’t have been fixed, and although you tried, you finally realize you’re moving on to something new. You’re finding something that will actually belong to you, instead of just something fleeting, something borrowed. He wasn’t really yours, and never will be, but you’re okay with that.

For the first time, you realize your life is going to be more than just fine. It’s going to be great — without him. This is what it is to be free.