Oprah is looking for real life military wives so my online deployment buddy, Jackie and I both were going to submit hoping that we could meet in real life for the first time EVAH on National Television, ON OPRAH! Now that would make some excellent television right?
Here is my original story,
My name is Jesi and I am an Army wife.
10 years ago I was just a girl who fell in love with a soldier. 10 years later that soldier is my husband, the father of our children. 10 years later I have walked through more military separations than I can count. We have survived 2 deployments, one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. One wedding nearly missed due to the call to assist in post Hurricane Katrina efforts. One weekend a month, 2 weeks a year is what you hear on the Guard commercials. The real story is that this is real life, full of unforeseen natural disasters, politically debated wars, tears and heartaches, gut wrenching goodbyes and sweet reunions.
I will never forget finding out that my husband was being deployed while I was pregnant with our first child. The excitement over the birth of our son became clouded with nerves and sympathetic glances. I was sitting in a meeting at my husband’s armory when the news came crashing down. The families had been invited to come to a Sunday afternoon meeting. We knew there was the possibility of a deployment on the horizon. It was spring 2007 and I came expecting to hear about military family activities or information on benefits. Nothing prepared me to hear my husband’s commander confirm our fears; your husbands are being deployed. Later this fall they will leave for training, they should get leave before deploying overseas. They will be stationed in Southern Iraq. We don’t know what the mission is, the dates may change but the deployment is inevitable.
Rob left when our son was 10 days old. I drove him to the armory early in the morning and said goodbye. I felt almost numb by that point. All of the fear and nerves and tension were released because we were finally here. Rob was gone, Max had arrived and this was to be my life for the next year. In that moment I accepted the deployment for the first time. I realized I could sink or swim and because I had a tiny human nestled in his car seat behind me I had to swim. I was a first time mom full of post partum emotions and anxiety. We made it through that deployment minute by minute, day by day. In my darkest hours as I sat rocking my baby in a darkened nursery I could do nothing more than cry out to God for answers. I wanted to know why we were enduring this separation, why it had to be in this timing. I clung to my faith and my pride in my husband like a life preserver in a raging sea. At times it was all I could do keep my head above water.
Today I am thankful. Thankful that deployment is behind us, a memory that has become just another part of our story. I am thankful for the military wives who comforted me through the pain of separation, many of whom I have never met in real life, our stories intermingled through our blogs and written tears.* I am thankful that my husband came home, safe, alive, albeit changed. We struggled through reintegration as we tried to remember how to be us, as Rob learned how to be a dad, as Max learned who this soldier was, his Daddy. We are not perfect, we are not certain what the future holds, we wait with baited breath to hear the news again but most importantly we are here, together, stronger than before, proud of our sacrifices to maintain the glory of this great country and humbled that we can call ourselves part of this story, the story of the United States Armed Forces.
*In a really interesting side note one of these military wives who was one of my biggest sources of comfort, encouragement and solace has also applied for this show. Jackie and I have never met in real life despite a year long journey together through our respective deployments. To meet her on this show would be a dream come true.
Then we realized that the limit on our story was 2000 CHARACTERS WITH SPACES INCLUDED. Bummer! My final entry was a mere blurb of above, I wanted to include " You cannot include the story of an Army wife in 2000 characters" but I was over the limit, LOL!
Well it's a God thing right, if they happen to get something from our blurbs it's ALL about God.