High Heels and Combat Boots: Deployments by Ashlee Doris
Missing someone hurts and is a part of normal relationships. But missing someone you love who is overseas on a deployment is a completely different story. “It's like a long distance relationship but without the ability for long conversations” said Stacey Graves, a military girlfriend with a boyfriend serving in Iraq. “Why spend your one conversation after weeks of no communication talking about anything but how much you miss them? It seems less important to waste the time on anything else”
Deployments are hard and a part of military life, but as military wife Tammy Hazlips-Adam puts it “If you can't take the distance don't date the military”. It's hard and sometimes very lonely. Families can go weeks and even months without contact. And most military significant others have being worried at the top of their emotions list. “But you have to keep being strong because you love someone and this is their job, you basically hope for the best,” Stacey says. “Sometimes the day to day things are hard because the little things that didn't bother you before bother you now because they remind you of how much you miss them”
The military has programs designed for wives who are dealing with deployments. But sometimes it feels like they don't help at all. Both interviewees expressed that sometimes they feel more alone because some military interactions can be filled with drama and less helpful and leave you with more feelings of isolation. Most of their support comes from family and friends. What helps them through it?
“Planning about when he comes home and focusing on that” Stacey said. Tammy keeps the thought of a safe return in the front of her mind and that keeps her going. That is pretty much what every military significant other hopes for, it is the banner they carry with them. Their loved one comes home safe and they can continue their lives together.
“This deployment makes you see the bigger picture,” Stacey remarks. “Sometime you can't always have your way. It teaches you to compromise and see what’s important and it's your relationship and that person’s safety”