Thursday, June 10, 2010

Deployment... I Love You, Don! +

My baby is gone to Afghanistan, & he's taken the Big Guns with him!  Yes, I can say it now: Don has deployed & will be gone for twelve months.  Twelve monthsTwelve months.  Somebody pinch me; I still can't wrap my head around being apart for so long & where Don will be.  But at least we've started now.  It's underway.  The goodbyes are behind us.

Yesterday was without a doubt the hardest day that either of us has ever had.  Between helping Don finish packing up his things & holding onto each other for long amounts of time, I went through an emotional roller coaster like no other.  We went on two nice long walks with the dogs, enjoyed lunch in town, & took some last pictures together.  When we went upstairs together & Don changed into his ACUs {uniform}, it really hit us.  Hard.  This was really happening.  We were really about to say goodbye.  It was real.  We've never held on so tight.

We said our long goodbyes here at home.  We said everything.  And then, after Don had said goodbye to Layla & Lucius too, we went out to the car.  Don opened the door for me & off we went to Post.

Our plan was for us to say one last goodbye & then for me to head right back home.  Rip the band-aid off.  Make a clean quick cut.  But instead, I ended up waiting there with him for over 3 hours while the guys waited for the next step.  I'm thankful for that time we had.  At first, seeing the other families with tears in their eyes only made it more difficult for me.  Then, as a few friends came up to me for a few words, I became really aware that I wasn't going through this alone.  The Army really is a big family.  And families take care of each other.  We were all having to say goodbye.

Then it came.  The real goodbye.  I can't even begin to explain how difficult this was, but I'm sure you can imagine.  Don walked me to the car, opened the door for me & gently put me in the driver's seat.  Every time we finished a goodbye, I smiled through hazy teary eyes & then..."One more."

I love my husband.  I love his dedication to serving our country & protecting our freedom.  I love his leadership, his respectfulness, his care.  Yes, this life is hard.  But this life is our life.  This life is our love together, & this life is all I've ever dreamed of.  Together, we can make it!  With God's help, we will be just fine!  And I know His peace is with us.  We can feel it.

We have an incredibly strong relationship, Don & me.  We've been blessed with that!  We love each other so much more than anything, & we trust each other no matter what.  No distance can stop that!  No length of time can lessen it either!  We are going to do great, & when he comes home I'll be more proud of him than ever!

Here's to my handsome 1st Lieutenant, the platoon he leads, & the Regiment that he is serving with.  May God's hand hold them throughout their tour & keep them safe each step of the way.  May His angels surround them & protect them.  And may our great Country give them the respect & support that they deserve each day.  Thank you very much to those of you who have been praying for us & keeping us in your thoughts.  Your support means so much to us both!

I love you, Don.  You're my hero, baby.  We'll be back together before we know it ♥
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