Saturday, March 26, 2011

Skype Dates

This goes back to talk about how wonderful social networks are. Before you read this, google SKYPE, and download it now. or those that are reading this and are like "WTF is skype?", it is basically like AIM. You can call someone else on a skype account and talk via webcam. This was the perfect tool to survive deployment.
During deployment, I did absolutly nothing. I worked, I went to school, I stayed home. I very rarely went out. When I would know it was time that Jeff would be on Skype, I made sure I was always done up real cute. We'd call our little skype sessions, "Skype dates." I would look forward to these ALL day. A lot of people ask, "How do you keep it fun?" Well, you have to make it fun. Your soldier is just as happy to see your face as much as you're happy to see his. Some days when my soldier was in one of those "I don't care about anything" moods, I would grab a fake mustache and a fake tattoo sleeve and talk in funny accents. We would have dance offs. We'd play music on either end, guessing who the band was and we'd dance like complete goofs.
Skype dates are a lot of fun. As long as you make it that way. I'm a pretty strong individual, and just like anyone else, being away from your loved one can be extremely hard. It wasn't always all peaches. There were nights where I had no contact with my soldier. Then those crazy thoughts fill your head. One night in particular I will always remember. Only because I almost lost it. Jeff and I were lucky enough to skype almost EVERY day. So it eventually had its own routine. Day before Thanksgiving and day of Thanksgiving I had not heard from him. The first day I thought, ok, well maybe he's busy. But on Thanksgiving day, I felt in my heart that something was off. I went about my day with family and tried enjoying it as much as I could. Bed time rolled around and (I usually left skype on all day) my computer started ringing. It was Jeff! I answered and he just looked bothered. He told me that a suicide bomber had tried bombing their FOB earlier that day. (A FOB is a forward operating base, a little tiny base basically). I asked if he was ok, if anyone had gotten hurt, etc. Luckily the bomber just blew up the Afghani police station. None of their police were injured. The only one hurt in this case was just the bomber himself. Talk about failed mission. Shrapnel had flew all the way over to Jeff and his sergeants  little "hut" as I like to call them. He had pictures and was actually excited to show me. The only thing I could do was just breathe and say "WOAH."
Other times on skype, it's just sad. You miss your soldier, you're tired of being alone, no one understands you, etc. I can not describe how big of a mess I was with him gone. I didn't know anyone else in a military relationship I could turn to. That's why it is SOOOO important for girlfriends and wives to connect. There were numerous skype dates where I would just sit on skype and cry. Jeff is going to hate me for this, but he would too. And you could see the hurt in his eyes. I feel bad for ever making him feel that way. The one thing I didn't want to do was to distract him from his job. But there were always ways to turn things around and smile again. I look at all these survivors from WW2 and just thank god that I did not have to go through what their wives did. I am sooo thankful for us to have the technology we do now.
With all this said, I come to my conclusion for today...If you are currently going through your first deployment, DOWNLOAD SKYPE. Talk to other wives. Stay busy.

Bless our soldiers and keep everyone safe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Online Dating

Being an army wife or even army girlfriend, you meet a LOT of friends. Granted, you never really MEET with them, but you don't have to. Social Networking sites such as facebook have done amazing things. If you're still back home when you're soldier is deployed or you're not around anyone that understands how military life is, you resort to what I like to call online dating. This is the only time where its actually OK to meet up with a stranger you met online.

Before I moved to Fort Bragg, I told Jeff I didnt want to drive the 14 hours by myself. So he flew up a girl I had met off facebook from Fort Bragg. Ok, so I know you're thinking, "What the hell was she thinking?", but hear me out....If you are military YOU UNDERSTAND. I'm going to refer to this girl as Sweden. So i picked Sweden up from the airport, to my surprise it wasn't awkward. We talked like we knew each other. We clicked in a way you click with friends you met in high school. After we got to my house, my brothers bombarded me with random questions. My brother Zach takes one look at Sweden and goes, "Wait, so like you guys met on facebook?" I answer back, "Yep." "Aren't you worried she's like going to cut your throat in your sleep?" Ohhhh brother. I couldn't help but to laugh.

Jeff and I went home in October for our wedding and he had his block leave. While we were there, I would of course check my facebook, and another wife had added me. I will refer to her as Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan got married a week before Jeff and I did. She was on her way to Bragg when we started talking. We exchanged number and texted quite frequently. I didn't think our relationship would go anywhere. After Jeff and I got back to Bragg, we had a little bank from the wedding so we bought some stuff for the apartment. We had a bought a futon from Target that we got for really cheap, but we couldn't fit it into Jeff's G6. Go figure. After remembering Michael Jordan just moved down there and still had the moving truck, I texted her and asked if her and her husband would be willing to meet up with us and help us with the futon. They did. We've been friends ever since. A couple days ago Michael Jordan just told me that before they had met up with us at Target that her husband had asked her, "You guys met on facebook? That's weird, aren't you worried it's some perv?" Apparently even soldiers themselves don't get it.

With all this being said, it is completely normal to meet random wives online. Share your stories, get advice. Live, Learn, Love.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green Ramp.

I wanted to make a blog focused solely on green ramp. For the followers that aren't military, Green ramp is where you meet your loved ones after deployment, or where you may see them off. When I first heard the term green ramp, I pictured a runway that was green. Cute, I know. Green Ramp is more of a ginormous storage garage with bleachers on an air strip.
The day Jeff came home, you get a number to call along with a "secret code" to find out when the plane comes in. My "secret code" was "flight ohio" and I called that number 27 times that night. The first time, the flight was supposed to come in at 1am. That being said, you want to be at green ramp a couple hours early. So I made sure I was ready around 7pm.  After calling numerous times the flight was coming in at 2am. So I met up with an Army wife I had met online, along with Jeff's mom and little sister. We had left at midnight and were on post around 1am. We waited around for what seemed like forever. I stepped into the garage not expecting what to see. I was expecting the guys to come to green ramp on buses like those old war movies.  When I got there, there weren't that many people. There were kids all dressed in "My daddy is my hero" t-shirts, women dressed extremely nice and (some like they were hooking). American flags were in the hands of everybody there. Homemade signs. The whole ten yards. The army band was there and they were playing. It made the situation seem a whole lot more real. I sat on the bleachers nervously shaking. A man came up to the PA and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen the flight will be in sight in about 15 minutes." Everyone cheered and the band continued to play. Other soldiers were there and they brought out a red carpet. A few minutes later that same man came back to the PA. "Ladies, your 82nd Airborne troopers are now in sight." At that point half the people ran out the door to watch the plane land, I stood up. Next to me was a girl not much older than me. We both looked at each other, screamed and cried. "I think I'm gonna puke!" She boldly stated. I didn't know her, but I felt like I knew her. I knew her pain. "I think I'm gonna pee!" I said back all excited. The plane landed, the band played and our soldiers marched right in those doors. It was the most over whelming feeling ever, and you could feel everyone elses feelings too. After talking about how deployment was and other jib jab, they let the soldiers go to their family for fifteen minutes. I couldn't find Jeff ANYWHERE. I finally spotted him and had previously thought about doing the whole dramatic jumping into the arms of a soldier move, but I didnt. I didn't even have time for my brain to tell me to breathe. I ran off the bleaches nearly falling on my face, ran into a girl who was no older than six, and gave him the biggest hug I had to give. It was amazing, and the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. It didnt seem real....This was the man I've been waiting for for 365 days. Here he is. Shining armor and all. After the fifteen minutes were up the PA announcer said that the soldiers had to come back to their company, return their weapons and do a few briefings. (Basically that briefing was to tell the soldier not to go off the deep end.) To my left another soldier was greeting his family and was walking away and his little boy, no older than 4 started crying, "Daddy don't go back! Come home!" THAT was the saddest thing I have seen. My heart hurt for that little boy. But his daddy came home and they are now stationed in Colorado. Jeff was at his company for about four hours and I got to pick him up and we moved into our apartment that day. Green Ramp is an amazing experience and it was so emotional. I'm glad I got to be a part of it, and I'm glad I felt the things I did. But I am not looking forward to doing it again. It will happen again, but as for now, I'm loving my soldier like he is leaving tomorrow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Army Wife.

It has been a while since I updated this blog. A lot has changed. The drive down was a bit different. The goodbyes were the hardest. As I left my house around 8am, I was making perfect timing. I was supposed to be in North Carolina around 7-8pm. I got to the last toll both in West Virginia, and my car stalled out. "Hold on just a second." I told the toll operator. I shut off my car and turned it back on. It started, but the steering was off. I put all I had to turn the wheel to the right to get off the next exit. As i pulled off the freeway, I shut my car off and heard a lot of banging and leaking. I got out to check it out and coolant was leaking EVERYWHERE. I flashed my hazards on and a few different people stopped by to help. I was two miles away from my radiator going into my engine. Nice. I'm standing outside in the 80 degree weather that feels like 100, and these people tell me they can fix it for 300 dollars. I start crying, "I only have 200 on me and I have to get to North Carolina." I pull the sob story about my boyfriend being in Afghanistan and I'm trying to get down to Fort Bragg. The people felt bad for me so they fixed it for free. I finally got down to North Carolina at 6am the FOLLOWING day. The day came to where I would meet Jeff at green ramp (where the flights came in). I was a nervous wreck. Have you ever felt so nervous that you wanted to pee and puke at the same time? Yep, that was me. Things went great. We got everything settled into our apartment and life was perfect. In october, Jeff told me he wanted to re-enlist. But in order for us to live together at another duty station, we would have to be married. Soooo you guessed it: I am NOW an army wife!! We got married October 16th, 2010 in a cute little chapel. I had a beautiful dress and we were surrounded by everyone we loved and everyone that loved us. It was the best day of my life. Now living as a married couple we do not have any children but we adopted a pure bred bassett hound, named Bella. She is the best dog in the world and is beautiful. She brings a smile to my day. Since Jeff has re-enlisted our duty station is going to be at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. We leave in July. Anyways, I have to cut this short today because it's St. Pattys day and hubby is hungry!