I wrote about our first deployment on my now neglected blog, Frog E. Luv. Here is part 1 of 3 as I originally posted it in 2006.
I have mentioned on here before that I am married to a Marine, however I don’t recall ever talking in depth about my political views, my thoughts on the war in Iraq, or what it was like to be at home with a husband fighting for the freedom of people I don’t know. I’m not sure how long this will be and I know for a fact that not everyone will agree with me, it is just the story of what I experienced.
When Chris and I started dating he was in an anti-terrorism unit. What this meant for me was that sometimes he called, sometimes he didn’t. Sometimes he’d call to say that he wouldn’t be able to call for a few days. I never knew and still don’t know exactly what was going on. I don’t care to. Then he got orders to CA where he was stationed with a headquarters unit. What that meant for me was that he wouldn’t be deploying except in time of war. That was fabulous because it was May 2001 and we weren’t grouchy with anyone and there wasn’t a raised level of grouchiness with us. We had 4 months of him working basically 7-4 and it was nice. I got a job and we had lunch together, he usually beat me home from work and we were together for dinner. It was a “normal” life.
In August I got homesick and planned a trip back home to NC. This had been the first time I’d lived in a different town as my family and I chose to go 3,000 miles away. I was due to fly back home on September 11. Everyone remembers where they were when it happened. I cried, I called Chris who was getting ready for a battalion run and told him the news, it was only 6 a.m. there, most people weren’t even up yet. He got tense and as we spoke a few times throughout the day I learned that the base had pretty much shut down and nobody was getting on or off. There also weren’t any flights. If it had happened 6 months earlier, Chris would have been with his unit in NY within 2-3 hours.
I made it home a few days late and we settled into life post 9/11. That’s how it is now isn’t it? Before 9/11 things were different, things were a little easier. It took an hour or more to get from our house through the gate, a half mile journey and then an extra 10 minutes for them to search my car. People got ready to deploy. Chris worked 14+ hour days. I ate dinner alone and warmed his for him when he got home. We knew something would happen, we just weren’t 100% sure what or when. We were on pins and needles waiting for IT to just happen already. We cherished our time together and stress was at an all time high. Me needing my husband and him needing to focus on getting his troops ready for war. Those months are a blur of work, tears, and worry. There were fun times, times we were able to escape the impending dread. We used to say we were "making memories". I knew what the possibilities were when I married a Marine, I knew that I would have to see him off on deployment, I knew that I could become a widow before the age of 25, it doesn't mean that I liked it, but it means that I supported him with my entire being and took in as much of life as I possibly could. I never could shake the black cloud and a knot formed in the bottom of my stomach and didn’t leave. On February 2, 2003 Chris wrecked his car – not too badly, enough to be repaired but he wasn’t injured and drove on into work. He came home a little early that evening and worked through the gear that had become a permanent fixture in our living room.
In the wee hours on Monday, February 4, 2003 Chris deployed to Kuwait.