About 16 weeks, give or take a couple. Nothing is written in stone, nor will it be. Dates can always change, and probably will a few times. That’s ok. I refuse to count months. I’m counting weeks. Work helps time to go faster but I have the feeling that as I get closer to his return date, time will seem to grind to a halt.
One of my friends told me she’s going back home to TN with her kids by August. Another friend – she’s like a sister to me – is having marital troubles, too. I absolutely hate what these deployments do to marriages. I want to fix everything for them, but I can’t. I want to shake their husbands and yell, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” but I can’t. My GA-to-TN pal, her marriage was already strained by more than a deployment, but the deployment was the last straw.
Thinking back to how Tony said that he changes over there, that they all change over there, I wish there was some way to prevent the crazy mindset that tears marriages apart. Financial stress is amplified so much – I know that first hand. This isn’t the best job market area in the state, and Savannah isn’t a big market in the first place. They get bored, they get depressed, they feel a definite lack of control over things back here. We get depressed, we worry, we try to keep up a smiling face when they call or get onto Skype so that they don’t worry. We minimize things that have us wringing our hands – like finances, the inability to find a job, the really bad sound the truck is making but can’t be fixed until payday. We find ourselves fighting with one another, they withdraw into themselves and we cry or get angry and fed up. They insist nothing is wrong with them, that we read too much into things or we somehow manage to start the arguments. We withdraw into ourselves because we’re too emotionally worn down to fight. Anger flares up – nasty words are exchanged – nothing resolves. Will things get better with reintegration? Who knows? For my friend going home to TN later this summer, that answer is no. I pray things work out for my other gal pal…I’m praying hard for that.
I pray that Tony stays safe. I pray that all of our guys come home safely. I pray that Tony and I can keep things the way they are until I see him on Cottrell Field in a few weeks. I pray that we reconnect during reintegration and that I get my husband back, leaving SGT Goodwin at work and having Tony at home. He can be SGT Goodwin Mon-Fri, 0530-1800, but I want my husband back, asking what’s for dinner and joking about me getting into the kitchen to make the food that won’t cook itself.
I’ll heave a huge sigh of relief when I know his plane is on the ground in Savannah, his bus in on the way back to Fort Stewart, and I see his face on Cottrell Field while I wait impatiently for him to be released from formation so I can run across the field to him. I can only hope that my sis, and the other wives that I’ve bonded with over this past year, get to experience the same thing rather than tears of hurt and anger while their marriages struggle to survive.
Tony, I’ll tell you now what I told you the night I watched you board that bus that took you away from me for a year:
I love you so much. Never forget that, not once, and never doubt it ever. Come home to me. That’s all I ask of you. Come home to me. See you later.