Hey y’all! I’m JG from Me and My SoldierMan. We met when we were 13, married when we were 23, and became an Army family a couple of years after that. We’ve got a couple of crazy big puppies that I talk about too much, and love life at Ft. Bliss, TX. We’re currently experiencing our very first ever NTC. SoldierMan left a few weeks ago and now seemed like a good time to sit back and reflect on some of the things I’ve learned during our first-ever NTC.
1) Anticipation truly is the worst part, for me anyway. The closer we got, the more anxious I was. Then the day SoldierMan left, I could literally feel the stress leaving my body like a slow exhale. Now I could get into a routine, start counting down days and feel like I had something positive to look forward to. Hopefully I remember this in a few months when deployment comes around.
2) “Staying busy” is helpful. My definition of “staying busy” and other people’s definitions are different, and that’s okay. Both are good to know. This introvert needs lots of down time, even when SoldierMan is gone! Thankfully, I’ve been able to stay busy, only slightly above my comfort level. God’s really looked out for me that way. Just when I’ve needed something or someone, I “happen” to have that gap filled in. I’ve also got a great support system here, which leads me to…
3) Civilian friends don’t really “get it,” but they’re just as important as milfriends. It’s a little weird going to church and having random people come up and pat my arm and ask how I’m doing in a very concerned voice. Um, he’s not dead. He’s not even deployed. He’s just training. And I can cook for myself, so I’m doing just great. Those moments are a little awkward, and I can laugh about them later with my millies. But it’s really refreshing to be able to get together with people and not talk about the Army, deployment, FRGs and all that stuff for a few hours every week. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know, but I need the separation, the reminder that I’m more than just an Army wife and can still have conversations without acronyms. At the same time…
4) As much as this will kill my mother, NTC has reinforced my decision to stay at Ft. Bliss during deployment rather than move home. I would love to be able to hang out in my parents’ hot tub whenever I want and have dinner with my family a few times a week and generally be back in Oklahoma again with all its wonderfulness. But I need my millies. With SoldierMan being gone and incommunicado, I’ve truly realized just what an awesome community I have here, and one that is still growing. We’re going to be transferred to a new unit soon, and I’ll have to start building relationships all over again. I don’t want to leave right as that’s started. We have a house. We have a church. We have the dogs (who would be a pain to move with). We have gorgeous desert mountains and long sunny days and friendly neighbors. We have a home. It’s not our dream home, or our final home. But right now, it’s home. I’m not in a hurry to leave until SoldierMan is leaving with me. **I’m not saying anything against moving home during deployment. I have friends who have done/are doing it and I know they are going home to wonderful situations and it’s absolutely the right thing for them and I’m happy for them. I’m just saying that, for me, it’s the right decision to stay here.
5) I can do this. I really can do this. God’s gotten me this far and He’ll see me through till the end.
Of course, by no means do I assume I’ve got this thing figured out yet. You learn something new every day, truly. But if there’s one thing I do know, it’s how to learn.
Be sure to check out the other posts in this series! You can view them under the Deployment Series tab, or by clicking HERE