Joel's homecoming is coming up soon... I always get asked the same questions again and again during this point in a deployment, so I thought I would just very quickly give some answers to those questions.
1. When will he be home?
Soon. That's about as much as I know at this point.
2. How long will he be home for?
I have no idea. The military isn't big on a "five year plan" for military families.
3. Will he have to go back?
Probably. The military doesn't issue punch cards. Joel doesn't have to do "x" amount of deployments to satisfy the government.
4. When will he be done?
He loves what he does so we don't have a time frame.
5. Why does he re-enlist? Hasn't he deployed enough?
It is ultimately his decision to make whether he re-enlists. Again, he loves what he does and he's good at it.
Those are the big questions I get and yes, I know I sound pretty curt. Honestly though, I don't mind most of the questions... I understand that 95% of our friends and family aren't military and we're a Guard family, so I will admit to knowing less than many out there about the confusing web that is military life. But I will say very honestly here that I do get kind of annoyed that people assume that people who are in the military should only do so much. They should only be gone for so long, they should only go on one or two deployments within a career... That logic doesn't make sense to me. Why would it make sense for a military member to only go on two deployments within a career or only have a few years in before they get out? I know that some do and I'm fine with that, but if the majority of the military was like that, we'd have a very young and very immature military. We need people who have many, many deployments under their belt and have had many, many years in so that we can have a strong, solid and mature military. Why can't my husband want to be a part of that?
When I tell people that Joel's most likely going to stay in for 20+ years, I hear a sigh from them about 70% of the time. It hurts me. I get mad. They act like my husband's deployments and service are somehow a burden to them. Maybe they're sick of me talking about deployments??? I don't know. I just don't get it. This is his career. This is the life that we've chosen together. We fully know the cost of this lifestyle. But I think it's an honorable one.
So, please forgive me for sounding so curt. I'm mostly a nice person. Promise.
But right now, I'm just looking forward to him being home. I can't wait to settle back into a normal marriage and a normal routine with our family. I just want to enjoy this time and not feel, in some way, that I have to defend the life that we lead.