Those of you that know me, know my husband hasn't been deployed during the last 2 1/2 years. We got very lucky when we PCS'd to Germany that he got assigned to the unit he did. However, prior to us moving here we did our fair share of time apart. We were married before he went through basic training and AIT. That was the hardest 5 months of all for me. I wrote to him every single day and he wrote back as often as he could. (Somewhere in storage he has a box full of letters that is much bigger than the box I have from him, but my box is prettier! :) Then we moved to Texas where we spent a year together before his first 12 month deployment to Iraq. When he returned home we had almost a year and a half before he deployed to Iraq the second time. I felt terrible for him having to leave not only his wife but his baby. He missed our daughter's first birthday. He was home a few short months and then he went back to AIT to reclass to a different MOS. (That took 5 more months.) As soon as he was done with his schooling we moved to Germany. At that point we had been married 5 1/2 years and we had lived together for 2 1/2 of them. This time in Germany has been such a blessing. It is the longest we have been together without a training mission, or a deployment, or TDY coming between us. It is even more important to us now that we have a daughter. I know how lucky we are right now.
I sometimes wonder if spouses are as strong as they were in the past. I can't tell you how often I hear someone complain that their husband isn't home for lunch, or that they are going to miss valentine's day, or some holiday that most people don't even get the day off for. No, they are not going to let your husband come home for your birthday, or anniversary (unless you manage some awesome planning for R&R) You're lucky if you can schedule R&R for when you're giving birth. One of my best friends had their first baby while her husband was deployed. I can't imagine what that must be like. Her husband also came home wounded. I can't imagine how that feels either. She's got to be one of the strongest wives I know. I think instead of complaining about every trivial thing maybe we should just be thankful. Some families heroes don't come home.