It is hard for someone to imagine the struggles and emotions of a wife left behind by a husband who is deployed. I had no clue what the family members experienced until I became one of those wives.
I don’t think I could ever forget the intense loneliness that I experienced the first few days after my husband left me and our newborn son for Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. I had to finish packing up our house, get the last couple of boxes in storage, and clean our house one last time with a newborn (yes, a first-time mom at that). My husband wanted me to go live with my dad back in Texas. He just felt better knowing that we were going to be looked after.
Three days after my husband left, my sweet dad flew out to Raleigh, put me and my son on a plane and then drove my car back to Texas so that I didn’t have to do that car trip with a newborn. I had friends waiting for me when I got off the plane in Texas. I remember feeling both the need to be strong until I could get my son settled into our new home for the next nine months and the need to fall apart. My friends were incredibly supportive and I was glad to see them.
God was gracious and gave me my own circle of Battle Buddies during that time. Obviously having my dad around was a comfort. He traveled most of the time I was there, but just knowing that he’d be back in a week or two and that if I needed something he would be there was relieving.
My next battle buddy was my friend, Kristi. She lived four hours away from us, but she would come and stay with me for the weekend and my son and I would go spend time with her as well. There is no way to put a value on what she was for me during that time.
As soon as I got to Texas I hunted down a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at a church close by. We met once a week and I was able to get to know the women in my small group. They rallied around me during that time. They helped me to laugh, relax, and vent when I needed to. I will always be grateful to that group of women. I am not close to any of them at this point, but I think about what someone once said to me about friends. Some friends are for a lifetime and some are for a season and we need both kinds of friends. Those women were my battle buddies for that season.
Why do I write this? Well, because I believe we all need people to rally around us during the difficult times in our lives. United We Serve is doing just that. Making sure that Service Members, Vets, and Family Members don’t have to just muddle through is their passion. I hope that if you need help, that you will seek it out. And, if you are able to give help, that you will do that too. We all need Battle Buddies, right?