I met my husband, Scott, right after 9/11. We had our first date on Veterans Day, 11/11. We were married on 5/11/2002. At that point, he had been in the AF Reserves for over 5 years. He was chosen for a deployment in the spring of 2002 and we thought he would be back a week before the wedding. That would have been his first deployment. It turned out that it was canceled, so I didn’t have to worry about him missing our wedding.
His first deployment turned out to be in the fall of 2002 to Ecuador, where he helped with counter drug trafficking. He missed Thanksgiving, but was supposed to be back before Christmas. His flight back was held up because of misfiled papers in Ecuador and he didn’t get back until January, actually the day before I had to go back to work. I had been working at a college and I was excited to have the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to spend together after he came home.
Scott’s Second Deployment was in the spring of 2003 to Qatar. He managed to miss Easter and our first anniversary with that one. The third deployment was to Kuwait in 2005 and his most recent was to Afghanistan from October 2011 through March 2012.
Each deployment was difficult in its’ own way. The early deployments didn’t allow for much communication. We had email, but we only had one 15 minute phone call per week and it was usually with a satellite phone. That really takes some getting used to. It’s kind of like using a walkie-talkie. If you talk too fast you end up talking over top of each other.
The Afghanistan deployment was difficult because of our (then) 4 year old daughter. She didn’t understand why Daddy had to leave. We were blessed to be able to talk on the phone a few times per week AND have Skype calls once a week. We didn’t do Skype before and I wasn’t sure how it worked, but it was WONDERFUL!!! Plus I have those videos of Eva talking to her Daddy on the computer.
So now Scott has been home for almost 6 months. We hope that he only has one more deployment before he retires with his 20 years in 2016. I am really looking forward to having some of his uniforms made in to various Military Apparel items, but I will have to wait for some of them. He might need to use them for a future deployment.