My husband, Anthony had some big news even before his MEU deployment was over. Out of the thirteen hundred or so in the battalion from the MEU (ship) deployment my husband volunteered along with almost two hundred more to go to Afghanistan to assist another battalion. He didn’t even ask me before saying YES to his CO!
Through spending so much time on the MEU deployment learning from seasoned Marine Wives I’d learned to just be supportive even in times of stress & concern. So I wasn’t necessarily mad just tried to be supportive yet I was worried. What is a good Marine Corps wife to do though? I knew that would be an option sooner or later and possibly numerous times, he is a grunt and therefore trained from the beginning in war tactics and was anxious to use his skills in real life. He lived for this and wanted to do his part to help. I didn’t have a choice but to say, “go get ‘em” when he called and needed to hear my approval and support for him. He wanted to know I was behind him and would always be so I swallowed any anxiousness, fear and dread and did just that. My only comfort was that it wasn’t supposed to be another full 6 or 7 month deployment. It was only going to be for four months.
Before & throughout the MEU deployment I’d gotten to know his higher up’s and knew they had been there before. I knew they were the best the battalion had to do this mission.
Because of the seriousness of the situation, we decided to go back to Texas for a few days on his leave period to tell the parents and family face to face. We gathered them all together for dinner at a restaurant (public place so no one could freak out, faint or scream) and let them all in on Anthony’s next deployment. No one screamed, fainted or freaked out, it was just a silence and palpable sense of worry in the room.
They all had questions and concerns about everything and wanted to know more information which we didn’t really have. Anthony simply promised that I would keep everyone informed as much as possible just like I always had while helping the Family Readiness Officer for his unit. When information came in and was relevant, I passed it along to them.
This was just the beginning of the stress we would all undertake during the supposedly short Afghanistan deployment…