As we continue on in our deployment journey, I become increasingly aware of silver linings. Yes, even with the deployment curse hard at work, I'm realizing how lucky we are.
I've been thinking, in particular, about how technology has affected this deployment. There is wi-fi in certain areas of the base where my husband is stationed. He has an iPad and his iPhone with him, so when he can access the wi-fi, he can FaceTime, iMessage and even play a game of Words With Friends against the boys. It's easy to feel frustrated when I don't get an iMessage when I expect to hear from him. But I've stopped myself, on many occasions, to consider how fortunate we are to be experiencing a deployment in this age of technology.
Many years ago, wives were lucky to receive a letter in the mail a few times over their husband's entire time at war. Even just a few years ago, troops were lucky to make a weekly phone call. This still holds true for many service members, depending on where they are located while serving overseas. I talk on Twitter with other military wives who still endure that kind of disconnect in communication.
You can see why I count myself lucky. I struggle with a day's worth of no communication, wondering if he's OK. Did something bad happen? Is he just really busy? I cling to my phone like I never have before. There's never a good time for your loved one to be at war, but I am taking a moment to be grateful that our time is now.
Tasha Lehman is a mother of three boys living in Vermont. Her husband, Matt, is a first lieutenant in the Vermont Air National Guard who recently headed overseas for his first deployment. The “Home Front: Diaries of a Vermont military family” series chronicles their journey. Read more about their story in February’s “Use Your Words” essay.
This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.