Less than 24 hours to go. Caleb has his seabag packed with uniform outfits, another bag with shoes, towels, sheets, etc., and a carry-on with electronics, plane tickets, and deodorant. I am to drop him off at the airport tomorrow with all other information being top-secret for homeland security purposes. In preparation for his deployment we have put a hold on his cell phone, bought some pants more fit for the desert environment, and got me a full power of attorney.
Packing is the easy part; we’ve been on many trips, but the emotions that we are feeling now don’t compare to what we know is coming. This will be our third trip down deployment lane. The first time he was gone for six months, we were dating, and I stayed busy with friends. The second time was seven months, newly weds, and I had a job to preoccupy my days. Now, I can expect him back some time next year; we have been married four and a half years and this will be our first anniversary apart; and I have two dogs to help annoy me all day and cuddle and bark and stomp on me at night.
Caleb will be on and off a boat over seas. His work place will change, his crew will change as people transfer and advance (make rank), and his life in America will continue without him. He hasn’t seen his mom in four years, his dad has been an emotional roller coaster for the last few months, his sister has amazing kids that he will miss hanging out with, and he hasn’t seen his brother since he got married in November 2010.
Sparky has been through one deployment and I’m sure Piggy will be fine. We are debating keeping the house while he is away. I don’t mind living out of the car and it helps us save money on bills, though I’ve been offered many places to visit and after I burden my hosts I can use my rent money towards camping fees. Being gone also makes it easier on my mind than sitting in our house alone, but there is the hassle of packing, moving, and searching for a new place. Though I think it’s something I like – not staying in one place for too long.