Don't worry, be happy
By Tanya Bricking
Advertiser Staff Writer
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2003
Right now, I'm wondering whether my fiance is going to be sent to Iraq for a year. He could be on a rotation to leave in February, when we're a little more than two months into the marriage.
He'd probably be thrilled to go. This is what he's spent his career training to do. He proudly wears the patch on his sleeve that shows he fought in the first Gulf War. I'm sure he'd welcome another chance to serve his country. Selfishly, I'd rather not have such an abrupt end to the honeymoon.
Working in a newsroom sometimes means you find out little pieces of information and are left with a whole lot of questions. Word came over this morning from the 25th Infantry Division (Light) that some of the soldiers originally scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan for six months instead will be sent to Iraq for a year.
Does that include my fiance, an Army pilot? I'm not sure. And, of course, he's gone on a military field excursion for 24 hours and didn't take his cell phone, so I can't even talk to him to find out what he knows.
So, I'll wait. I'm finding that being on the sidelines of a military man involves a lot of waiting around for information.
Back in July, shortly after he proposed and I accepted, we learned that he was going to be sent to Afghanistan in February. We decided to rush our wedding plans so we could get married before he left. It meant setting a wedding date that some friends and family won't be able to attend, including my sister in St. Louis, who will be too pregnant to fly. I really hate that she won't be able to be there. But we accepted the fact that our wedding wouldn't fit everyone's timeline, including that of my fiance's best friend, a soldier who's already in Iraq.
Then, there was talk of not sending my fiance's type of helicopter to Afghanistan, so I thought he would be staying here for a while.
I just got a phone call from my friend in another newsroom wondering if today's news changes everything.
I wish I knew.
I know we're still getting married this month. I know I'm glad we didn't set the wedding for, say, May, or some time when he could be gone. I also know I shouldn't worry prematurely. It could be that plans for him to be stationed in Savannah, Ga., next fall are still on.
My introduction to the military has made me feel like I should brace for the worst scenario that we'll spend our first year of marriage apart. I'm trying to get myself in a mindset to handle that.
I know that being in the military is not just his job, it's part of who he is. I wouldn't want to change that. So I wouldn't want my feelings about deployments to change his.
Maybe I'm getting all worked up for nothing. Some people say that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. You go back and forth but you never get anywhere. I'm going to get up out of the chair now and go on to think about other things. There's more to life than worrying about what's going to happen next.
Tanya Bricking writes about relationships for The Advertiser. Keep up with her wedding blogs while they last. The last journal entry will appear two weeks from today. After that, she's taking off to tie the knot.
[Posted on November 7, 2003 at 8:15 am HST]
I've enjoyed reading your diary.
I wanted to share a little insite for you. I was a military brat all my life. My dad was on the Navy for 31 years. In addition I've had a few boyfriends in ther service. I can tell you from personal knowledge a few things about the military.
First of all - Even if your fiance had his phone out in the field the possiblities of him discussing something like his deployment on an unsecured line like a cell phone are practically nil. Don't take it personally, even though it's hard not to. But it could make the difference between life and death. Their deployments nowadays are considered top secret and confidential. Even knowing this I used to get upset that I wasn't being told anything.
The second thing - The military sometimes can be like Charlie Brown - wishy washy - plans change on the turn of a dime. So what was planned when your fiance left for work this morning - probably changed by the time he got there.
Third thing - Welcome to the military - we are a clan like no other. We envelope and welcome all new comers. Don't be thrown off by it just relax and accept it. Sometimes these are going to be the only contact that you are going to have with your husbands unit. When he's gone - don't be afraid to call one of them when you get scared,worried and want to talk. More than likely they are experiencing the same feelings and they're afraid to reach out.
Fourth - I lived out in Iroquois Housing 2 times in my dad's career. It still remains a comforting and warm thought every time I'm there. Enjoy it.
Good luck on your wedding. I wish you the best.