Today I start to feel the dregs of deployment: I leave for Basic Combat Training (BCT) in thirty-six days and Emily is extending a gift vacation to a stay-cation and living with her mom until I get back. Nine weeks at BCT and twenty-eight at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) = eight months. So with this extra month and change it’s ten and a half months! (Did I get my math write? Whew, that’s nerve wracking to publish your arithmetic online.) We could have made a person in that time. Wow.
Actually, I do get to see her at BCT graduation (one day, around late September), and for Christmas (probably a week). But I’ll miss her for our anniversary, my birthday, let alone Independence Day, Halloween, and Valentines Day. Estimated time seeing her is less than it takes to get over a bad cold.
It’s funny because over the past week I’ve struggled at grasping the finality of this moment; not that I won’t see her again, but that it is definitive and comprised of 3,000 miles. It’s not easily reversible, and to plan to not see your spouse for that long takes a lot of faith. But now I feel like her
hair eye color could change by then. Ten and a half months? We’ve been married for only twenty-two and a half. [I feel like I should title this “Math.”]
And this is nothing compared to to what experienced servicemen have endured. Me, lil’ ol Future Soldier Nevitt: what’s he got on them?
I just know I’m going to miss her. Her smell that I nuzzle into when we hug. The kryptonite effect that baby animals have on her. Her Victorian profile. The assurance she’s near by the feel of the bed. Her diamond sharp sarcastic wit. The dependability of partnership. Her partnership. Her.
This is what I should get used to. The moments we’re close and relish/can’t stand each other, juxtaposed with the separation. The Army’s motto seemed like something with to hashtag this Twitter moment—ya know, since the circumstance is via the Army. “Something-something ARMY!” But the more I thought about it, the more I understood another facet: because you have to be strong to be the occupying force; occupying a distant place when you’d rather be occupying any space with your loved one.