Five Years, Two Kids and Four Deployments Later

One of the many things I’ve learned: the military spouses I met Tuesday night are women of action. I invited them to contribute to this blog. Within 24 hours, MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club President Jackie Dorr had responded. My thanks to her and to future contributors. Now, I ask all to pass this on so collectively our nation can better understand: the military family is the heart and soul of our volunteer, professional United States Military.

BY JACKIE DORR

I was standing in a restaurant picking up a catering order for the (Enlisted Spouses Club) ESC’s meeting later that night, and an older woman at the bar noticed Anastin’s (our 6 month old) “daddy quilt.”  I took a deep breath because I knew what was coming.  It happens all the time: “Where is he? When does he come home? Is it for good? Gosh it must be so hard, I don’t know how you do it.” Sometimes, I find this irritating, and sometimes I will sit and talk with the person.  The conversation always, without fail, ends with a “tell your husband thank you for me.”

I realize there are so many people out there that are clueless as to what our lifestyle is.  My husband, Brian, and I got married on Veterans Day. He was a PFC (Private First Class) and had been in the Army for almost three years.  I am a military brat. So, I felt confident I was prepared for the road ahead.

SSgt. Brian Dorr celebrates his daughter's, Paisley, second birthday via webcam.

Fast forward five years, two kids and four deployments later!  I have slept alone more often than I have next to my love.  We calculated it once and the ratio worked out that Brian had actually been deployed nearly 75 percent of our relationship.  People joke that I’m a pro at this. I’m not.  It is impossible to be as each deployment offers its own unique challenges, but I am definitely seasoned.  With that said, my life is in fact made up of deployments.  So what does being a wife to a deployed soldier mean? What is the life like?

Undoubtedly, Murphy’s Law will kick in as soon as Brian steps foot in another country.  The car will break down, the washer will stop washing, the computer network will crash etc.  Which means, either I figure it out myself and gain a new skill, or my husband gets to talk me through something via a bad connection with a huge delay.

Jackie holds the cell phone and daughter Anastin so she can talk to Daddy.

On a good day, I will realize at 1500 (3 p.m.) that somehow I managed to make our daughters presentable to the world, but somehow have forgotten to shower. When cleaning, I will always clean around the dirty pair of socks laying on his side of the bed ( he took them off the day before he left and left them there for me to wash). They remind me of him, so they will stay there until he comes home, as will the three pairs of shoes under the coffee table. When I change the sheets on our bed, his pillow will remain untouched, even if it is the wrong color, it still smells like him and makes me feel closer to him.

My laptop is always on. I am always logged into AIM, YAHOO, GMAIL, and Facebook. I will do my best to be available when he is able to get online.  My phone is never more than an arms length away just in case it is him. And every time it rings, Paisley (our 2 year old) exclaims “I WANNA SAY HI DADDY!”  We say goodbye to the sun and send it to Daddy, and hello to the moon because we know Daddy sent it from his “work”

Many military children rely on Daddy Dolls to stay connected to a deployed parent. Here Anastin is giving her Daddy Brian Doll a big smile.

We have Daddy Dolls, Daddy Blankies, Daddy Pillows, and Daddy Books, most of those items go everywhere with us.  I tear up when I think about Paisley crawling while Brian was deployed and taking her first steps 30 minutes before his plane touched down.  I get frustrated when I have to do a simple chore and can’t just run out leaving the kids with Daddy. It can be such a pain to lug the kids in for a quick trip, but I try to remind myself this is only temporary.  That’s when I start to figure it in my head how many days do we have left?

When I realize we are on the downhill portion, I get excited and imagine what the homecoming is going to be like.  Last time, I thought Paisley would be ecstatic to see her father, that dream was quickly shattered! She was terrified of him, it broke his heart, I could see it on his face.

All the distance has in fact brought us closer through the years. There have been ups and downs, but we pulled through.  Every time he comes home, we are new again, and that is exciting.  As soon as I get used to having Brian home, I find myself watching him pack again and begin to psyche myself up to say goodbye another time.  Each goodbye gets more difficult, but I pull through because Brian is a Soldier, and I’m his very lucky wife.

Advertisements

20 Responses

  1. You wrote a very wonderful story my love, hard to imagine we have been through this already and that I have 2 months to go still. I cant wait to see you and my cute little babies.

  2. I know sweets, it has passed so quickly! I can’t wait to see your handsome face 🙂

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Helen wright, Liisa Temple. Liisa Temple said: Awesome piece by #military spouse & mom abt being #milspouse when hubby is on #deployment. http://bit.ly/hbBcTj plz RT #sot […]

  4. Jackie, you tell such a touching story! What you and Brian share is something that many people would kill to have!!!

  5. So I cried, smiled and laughed. You are so talented and you are able to say what my heart says. It makes this world just that much smaller.

  6. ❤ you Stacy!! You are one of my biggest inspirations!

  7. Wow, great article! I have two married brothers in the service and I knew their wives had to be special to cope with it. Your article is just a slice of life with a soldier but it really brings it home, what military spouses go through. God bless your family and all military families.

  8. Thank you Jackie and Brian for all that you go through to be of service to our great country and those around you. It is not said enough and maybe not enough can be done for you. At the least, accept my humble THANKS! America IS proud of you!

    • Thank you very much, your words are very kind and make us smile and feel appreciated! Knowing there are people like you out there, make it that much easier to get through my days while he is gone 🙂

  9. […] Five Years, Two Kids and Four Deployments LaterOne of the many things I’ve learned: the military spouses I met Tuesday night are women of action. I invited them to contribute to this blog. Within 24 hours, MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club President Jackie Dorr had responded. My thanks to her and to future contributors. Now, I ask all to pass this on so collectively our nation can better understand: the military family is the heart and soul of our volunteer, professional United States Military…(Off the Base) […]

  10. […] To read Jackie’s full blog entry, click HERE. […]

  11. I understand everything you are saying. I was military my entire childhood and then married a Marine. We waited until right before he got out to have our first daughter, but I did still go through a good bit of deployments, the first being the entire first half of my pregnancy. When he left I was skinny when he came back I was huge! LOL Everytime he deployed, like clockwork the next day my daughter would come down with an ear infection or some other sickness. No one can know how tough it is that hasnt gone through it themselves. Just know there are others of us out here that are pulling for you and appreciate your familys sacrifice very much.

  12. […] “Five Year, Two Kids and Four Deployments Later” – That phrase is from Jackie Dorr’s first blog post. As an Army Wife and former president of the MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club, she managed to capture the essence of military married life to a spouse who is deployed more often than he’s at home. Here’s a portion of that entry, but I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the entire post. […]

  13. […] The success is due to writing and photos from contributors such as Army spouse Jackie Dorr. Her first blog post: Five Years, Two Kids and Four Deployments Later. […]

  14. […] Five Years, Two Kids and Four Deployments Later […]

  15. […] Three – Fast forward five years, two kids and four deployments later!  I have slept alone more often than …. That sentence comes from the first contribution by military spouse Jackie Dorr who is not only a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: