Monday, June 27, 2005

Monday Military Ministration

I think as a way to get all my ideas down, and to keep working on the Survival Guide, I'm going to periodically post various entries from the book into this site. I'm am hoping htat at some point I get feedback from at least some of the readers I know I have. Please bear in mind that I wrote much of this as the deployment was actually going please don't allow the tense to confuse you. It really was present tense when I wrote it...but no it isn't currently ;-)

Ok, today's topic...letter writing:

The first thing to remember during a deployment is to keep writing. I know it can be difficult to think of things that seem "appropriate" but don't worry about that. Write whatever you feel, think and experience. Yes it can seem tedious to write all the things you do in the course of your day and all the little insignificant things that happen.

But remember, our guys are grasping for anything that reminds them of home; anything that makes them feel closer to us and like they're part of a normal life somewhere. Yes it can be tough for them to hear how much we miss them...but if that's the emotion you feel then he needs to know. Not hearing those things really does cause insecurities to arise.

Your soldier needs to hear that you miss him, that you love him (if you two are at that stage) that all you want is for him to be home with you. But also tell him that you are surviving, that it sucks but you know you will both make it through this time.

My letters to Clark range from the mundane schedule of my work life, to the bone-headed things I do and the trouble I get into, to family life, to the letter where all I do is tell him how much I miss him and love him and need him here with me. I write what I feel; sometimes he gets happy letters and sometimes they're the ones where I think the world is falling out from under me. I am blessed that we have such an open relationship that we talk about everything under the sun and yet silence is comfortable too.

It really helps that where he is, he gets to call me every four days but sometimes that's tougher because I know where he is and what he's experiencing. And he does the same with me, some days he's happy and goofy and ornery on the phone and some days I know he's just barely holding it all together. But we both tell each other that it's worth all the drama and struggle to eventually be together and reassure one another that it's something we would both do over again in a heartbeat and that each of us needs the other just as much.

Some days are easier than others to get through. I won't lie and say that it gets easier but I'll tell you that once you get into a communication pattern (whatever that may be) it does get less dramatic to be so separated. There are days when I have to force myself not to cry while I'm talking to Clark and he has days like that too; but we both know that and make sure the other person knows too.

Long-distance relationships are tough; one's like this (where a deployment is involved) are even tougher. But hang in there. If you love your soldier then it's all worth it. I know that making it through this deployment means that Clark and I can make it through anything and that makes it bearable. Just let your soldier know how you honestly feel about him, regardless of whether you feel silly or someone else tells you it's inappropriate or whatever the case may be.

You know your soldier...don't let anyone else tell you how to talk to him. You know what he needs to hear from you...go with that. I hope that some of what I’ve written will maybe help some of you feel a little better about writing. And send those old letters if you want...all mail is appreciated and treasured over there regardless of how you felt sending it. Hang in there is will all be over in time and you will have your soldier back and your life can return to some sense of normalcy.

Posted by Hello