Lord's Prayer For The Military Wife - Author Unknown

Lord's Prayer for the Military Wife - Author Unknown

Lord, Grant me the greatness of heart to see, the difference in duty and his love for me. Give me the understanding to know, that when duty calls he must go. Give m a task to do each day, to fill the time when he is away, and Lord, when duty is in the field, please protect him and be his shield.

February 5, 2011

Finally a foot in the door

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a yellow ribbon workshop with GI Joe and his unit. Besides, the night away without the munchkins, the briefings were very informative. (These are open to not only to spouses and children but other family members of soldiers, so if you have a child, sibling, boy/girlfriend, fiance who will be deploying, I would encourage you to try to attend the one put on for their unit.) I have never been able to attend one of these before. The first deployment did not offer such an opportunity until reintegration and by then GI Joe was leaving on TDY orders. We are in a semi-unique situation, I say semi because it really is not that uncommon in the ANG; however, I believe he is the only man in his unit in this position...but I could be wrong. He is on loan to a unit that is not his home unit. Therefore, I know even less than usual, no names, no faces, notta.

However, last weekend changed all this. While there was a bit of information overload, there was more than enough useful resources to make up for it. Saturday was a general briefing and overview of different services available. Sunday was made up of break away sessions where you could choose which topics you really wanted to know more about.  I was able to meet not only my fearless FRG leader, (that would be family readiness group, again, open to anyone who has a loved one serving, not just spouses.), but also several of our state family support operatives. (No, that really is not their title, but should be.) I am excited, and my anxiety levels have already dropped. This group seems to not only have it together, but I also have other resources available to me if for some reason the FRG fails in its mission.

I AM NOT ALONE!!! I cannot begin to explain the waves of giddiness that engulfed me. One of the most difficult things for me in the first deployment was lack of information and lack of connectedness, since we were in a similar situation. I expected the loneliness of missing GI Joe, but was not anticipating the "alone-ness" of not having a support system in place, something I touched on with my introductory post. I was determined to do everything in my power not to experience that again. I refused to leave after general session until I was able to meet our FRG leader and offer my support, I hooked up with several of the family support operatives and am even going to attend some training. In general I have made a nuisance of myself and will continue to do so.  In short, I shoved my foot in the door and I am not going anywhere.

GI Joe was laughing at me on the way home as I excitedly talked about the information we learned and tried to sort it all out. Needless to say, he got "the look" during the following conversation:
GI Joe: "I don't know what you are excited about I have heard all this before."
Me:     "Um, really? You know my need for information and you didn't think it was necessary to pass it on?"
GI Joe: "Honey, I said I heard it, not necessarily retained it. Anyways, I don't know which parts of the information you want to know"
Me: "mmmm, try ALL OF IT!"
Yeah, I know, after 8 years of marriage we still have to work out this communication thing. However, another thing I learned was that I am not the only spouse who has to deal with lack of information. At least I am not alone.