Military Families Blogging Deployment

BlogHer Original Post

My favorite thing about participating in the blogosphere is the opportunity it provides to walk a mile (or two, or twenty) in the shoes of people in very different life experiences from my own.  I have been learning much lately by reading some of the blogs by parents holding down the fort at home while their spouses are deployed overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Many of these families are blogging their journey with great honesty and courage.

Fayetteville Observer journalist and military wife Rebekah Sanderlin compiled a list of "The Worst Things You Can Say To a Woman Whose Husband Is Deployed".  Number one on the list?

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
(This one ranks in at number one on my "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds ---but thanks, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)

Situationally Single shares news from the front lines, and asks for prayer for her husband and his comrades:

Please pray for my hubby, his unit (the 404th Civil Affairs Brigade) and all of the other soldiers, military personnel and civilians that are in Iraq working to make it a better place. There really are good things going on over there; the media just does not highlight it. So I'm going to blog now and then about positive stories that I read from over there and the good things that are being done to help the citizens of Iraq have better lives.

Fifteen Months shares her memories about the morning her husband left for his post:

When we got to the airport, there was a few piles of young Marines sleeping in the hallways near the USO, which wouldn't open for several more hours. They either arrived on a red eye or were there to make sure they caught their own flight back I'm sure. It broke my heart to see these young men without a send off that befitting to their service. No a wife or parent or volunteer or camera....just some lady riding up an escalator with her husband at the end of R&R taking a picture with her cell phone. Did America know the USO isn't always open?

Heart and Home writes with great pride about what she sees her husband doing:

People hear that my husband is in Iraq right now and often they tell me a sincere and sweet thank you and ask that I would extend it to him. Every time I hear it, my heart swells and I'm thankful again for these guys (and girls) and thankful I can be part, in my holdin' down the fort kind of way, in this fight for liberty.

Of course, is it not only women who find themselves stateside with a spouse in a war zone.  A Soldier's Mind tells the story of Tim Gilhool, who is parenting his son while his wife has been deployed for the last year:

“You do your best...You can’t be the mom. Like planning birthday parties, combing Molly’s hair, putting in the braids, shopping for girlie stuff. You do the best you can, you get advice.”

Tammi Domininski wrote in Newsweek last month a heartfelt column about her family's deployment experience, one that seems to echo much of the resolve I've seen expressed by these families:

I battled through, sometimes with support, sometimes alone, and ultimately came out on the other side better, wiser, stronger. We military wives live our lives like patches on a quilt, lives we stitch together to make a blanket of memories, and of strength, that covers us forever, no matter where we go, no matter how hot the water gets.

Shannon Lowe is a BlogHer contributing editor (Mommy/Family), and she blogs at Rocks In My Dryer.

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