Patriot ☆

I am so proud of my husband — the Army called us while we were on our honeymoon to tell him that he is receiving a Bronze Star for Afghanistan. ☆☆☆

I love that I’m married to a grunt. Most civilians think every person in a military uniform is on a battlefield, that’s a huge misconception; actually most service members are never in direct action and are instead garrison on big bases while deployed — so extra love to all the infantrymen out there doing the dirty grunt load!

Shout-out to the best matron-of-honor ever (and also the baddest female Marine there is — combat instructor, Marine SOI, she’s a big deal). She is the ideal female Marine, and sets the standard for all others. ♡

Surviving a Deployment from the Sidelines

He had came out of Ranger School and was recruited to a LRS Company; a week after he finished Air Assault School, he had an opportunity to go with the next batch of guys deploying to Afghanistan, so he took it. It was good for his career.

Going through a deployment is the ultimate test in a military relationship. Find out what it’s like waiting for him to come home, on my Odyssey article:

Surviving a Deployment from the Sidelines

Identity Theft from Afghanistan to NY

The mister called. I’m not sure if it was because he missed me or if he thought he might get injured or killed today… they took IDF hits today. About 3 rockets coming from somewhere in the mountains, landing about a couple of hundred meters from their building. I won’t hear from him for 10-20 days while they’re doing whatever it is they’re doing over there — advising the Afghan army??? I mean, the coalition forces are gone, and anyone over there now is only on as “advisors”, right?

I couldn’t log on to Hulu. The subscription was put on hold… apparently someone stole his credit card information and bought over $500 worth of stuff at a Home Depot in NY. He got an alert from his credit card company about the charges, and called his credit card company on his phone to find out what was going on — I hate to think what that call cost! I’m thinking that this probably happened when he was buying his Afghan rug for a few hundred bucks! Don’t be fooled… just because they walk around with goats and live in tents doesn’t mean they’re not digitally savvy — how else do you explain all them IEDs that they rig up by pressing a button on their cell phone!?

He said that the thief tried out the card at a vending machine for $1 to see if it worked before going crazy at Home Depot… definitely a man, I mean, what woman would spend that kind of money at a store like that??? Besides, Home Depot is probably the place to shop if you’re wanting to build a home-made bomb with money that you stole out of a deployed officer’s credit card — without ever even having to go through their wallet!

It’s crazy. Before you used to have to worry about walking down a dark alley with your wallet… now people can rob you without even getting out of bed and in their underwear!

The Case of the Goat

The mister called today while I was at work, very unusual as he knows that I’m at work… I answered because I hardly get to talk with him. I figured it must be important. He called because he had a bad day.

His men were firing mortars today, and some Afghan nomads are claiming that their mortars burned down their tents and killed a goat (or goats???)… he’s stressed out about it because now there will be an investigation. The men think that the Afghans set their own tents on fire just so they could get compensation from the military. It’s hard to prove or disprove because the Army isn’t going to send CID to investigate on a goat. It could definitely be worse, they could be claiming civilian casualties or injuries.

I told him it’ll be a better day tomorrow. I’m sure it’s not the first time that occupied people are claiming dead goats via military fires. I told him to be careful for what he wished for… he wanted to get on this deployment roster.

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The Midnight Call

I haven’t heard from the mister in a week. Yesterday, after we came back from dinner I fell asleep… I had the dryer running for 10 hours! The weekends are my time to catch up on sleeping because I never get enough sleep during the week days.

At midnight, I hear the Skype ring on my phone. (Thank God, and Microsoft, for Skype!) I was so happy I didn’t miss his call. It was about 9AM in Afghanistan, and he had to go PT soon. We talked about my new school, how much I hate the commute, my neighbor Frank, the kids in my class… and the usual I love you and I miss you like 10x back and forth to each other.

I’ve been sleeping with my elephant ever since he’s left. I wanted to tell him to watch Better Late Than Never, it’s hilarious.

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The mister text me super early this morning. For some odd reason I went to sleep around midnight and woke up around 3AM. Why???

He told me they’re flying to their FOB today, and they took some rocket hits in Baghran, but thankfully no one got hurt.

I try to text his mom with updates because he usually spends his free time just texting me instead. They were stuck in Kuwait for a few days because the heat was so bad that their flight was cancelled due to the plane being too hot, making it too heavy to fly.

The guys had left last week, and it was also the day that I got my essay results for my license. Sometimes I feel bad when I send his mom updates because I don’t want his family to feel ignored by him or second place, but I think they would rather know what’s going on with him over there than had no update at all about him.

Every day he sends me a text to tell me that he loves me and misses me. He’s definitely my motivator when I get out of bed at 05:30, and leave the house at 06:20, just to get to work around 07:30… ugh, I haven’t done an hour commute for work since I worked in NYC! I only signed a one year contract with the school district, and we’re preparing for Georgia next summer. (I’ve never been to the peach state before!) ♡

I Am Loved ♡

I’m in Texas this week for the mister’s ball. Anyway, he left super early for work and I’m home alone. I cleaned up his apartment a bit, and I was looking for his wedding band. I looked inside the wooden photo box I made him, but I didn’t see it, so I looked inside the wooden wine box-crate that he puts all my stuff I gave/made him.

Inside the box I found a bag from Helzberg Diamonds, I looked inside and found a teddy bear.

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I got on the bed and held it, and when I did I felt something in its back. I turned it over and discovered that its backpack opens. Inside was a maroon jewelry box.

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And inside the jewelry box… pearl earrings!!!

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I’m so spoiled! He’s such a great guy. I love him so much. ♡

Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

Being in a relationship has difficulties for everyone, but being in a long distance relationship intensifies those difficulties.  When is the distance worth it and when is it time to kick the would-be, could-have-been relationship to the curb?

I, myself, am in a long distance relationship, and I just want to make this one statement very clear — it SUCKS!!!  There, I said it, the complete and honest truth.  It sucks.  Think about it, how can it not suck?  You don’t get to see the person whenever you want, they can’t be physically there for you during those bad days when you really need them to be, and you wonder whether or not it’s even worth it or just a huge waste of unaccompanied time… and most of the time, it doesn’t work.  That’s the reality of it.  I know, I should never be a suicide counselor!

Here’s the thing about long distance relationships that has to be talked about if there’s any intention for it to work out at all — the intent to reunite.  Now, if you’re reading this, you’re probably on Google search looking for someone to relate to, someone to tell you that it’s all going to be okay and work out, and you guys are going to live happily-ever-after.  I hate those obnoxious people — I really want to be one of those obnoxious people!

The fact of the matter is, one of you is eventually going to have to pack up your life just to be with the other person.  If you’re in love, I’m so happy for you.  If you’re in high school and found some guy on Facebook that you’re just sooo into… stop it!  You probably haven’t even met him yet, don’t get catfish by some pervert who’s probably 45 years old!  I’m talking about adult relationships here.  No one wants to talk about the future (well women do, men usually don’t).  Guys hate having “that talk” — that talk usually means that the woman is expecting something from the man.

Are you comfortable having that awkward talk with your guy — you know, when you’ve said “I love you” like twenty times a day when you had easy access to each other; will you still love him when you guys are miles and miles away?  Will he still love you?  That is why a long distance relationship isn’t meant for the young, the inexperience, or the faint of heart.  It’s meant for the mature couple who has determinations and achievable goals.  I am surrounded by high school teenagers all day.  It’s so irritating to me.  What’s even more irritating is when the girls profess their undying love for some guy after a week of “dating”. (Was I that annoying as a teen?  Yes, probably.)

What is that awkward conversation about anyway?  It’s talking about the future, talking about the relationship.  When one person is relocating that puts an unavoidable barrier in the relationship, that’s the best time to be completely honest because all bets are off at that point — one of you is moving, and if it doesn’t go as you’ve hoped, then the distance will help to move on from the heartache.  Some of the things that should be seriously talked about before the big move are: How long are we going to be apart?  What’s the intent of this relationship?  What’s the time-line here?  Are we going to see other people and still be with each other?  If we are having an open relationship, what’s the boundaries?… and whatever other questions that you’re concerned about, or things that you want answers to.  Now, the part about the time-line is important.  Women have biological clocks.  My ovaries ache every time I watch some romance movie, it ends with my bladder being in my eyes and crying buckets full of tears.  Seriously though, your clock is ticking!

When you’re an adult, if you feel you’re in love, you shouldn’t be stressed to talk about your relationship.  It’s normal to get anxiety as you’re preparing to talk about it and how you should approach the topic, but after you guys both confess your love to one another, then all cards are on the table about the relationship.  You have that security to be honest with each other if you’re in love.  Do you want to spend the next year, two years, three years, five or more years keeping the relationship at a distance? — is that what you seriously see for yourself as happiness and love? If there’s no concrete intent of being together after about a year’s time frame, then it’s time to go back to fishing in the sea… or river, or lake, or pond — heck, even fishing in a puddle is better than missing some guy that’s miles away in a dead-end relationship.

Okay, so maybe you guys have decided to give it a try, see where it goes.  How do you survive a long distance relationship?  Communication is key.  I know that sounds so cliché, but communication really is the backbone of a relationship that is separated by mileage.  When you don’t have readily access to the other person, you are forced to communicate; whether it’s by phone, email, text, messenger services, social media, video calls, etc.  Your conversations are so much more meaningful because there’s only so many times you can say, “What’s new?”, before it gets annoying and boring.  It’s also important to still try to maintain the relationship as if the person was still there.  So if before the person moved, he/she was the first person that you told anything good or bad to, they should still have that role so that they know they’re still important to you even when they’re not physically there.

Be creative — so like for myself, my guy’s in the Army, I pretend he’s deployed.  It helps.  I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it if he actually was on a deployment, so it makes me committed.  It also makes me do little things like send him cards that I’ve made, or sometimes if I’m being lazy just the generic Hallmark greeting cards — but he always gets something in the mail (including a piece of furniture that was delivered via FedEx for his birthday).  It’s so much easier to send an email or a text, but some things just can’t be replaced, like a physical piece of mail.  Ask any guy who is a war veteran, and he’ll tell you there’s nothing like getting a real letter through the mail.  That’s why the military has services like moto-mail, where a typed letter can actually be printed out for the service member who is deployed.

Lastly, don’t let some article or a blog post (including mine) dictate your life to you.  The internet is awesome, and I’m constantly reading articles and posts that I randomly find online, but everything that is written is always the life of someone else, not yours.  Only you can decide what your values are, and what you’re worth giving up or having, and if in the end it was worth it at all.  Even I don’t know what will happen… I’ll update in a few months (or a year, or years) to tell you if it was worth it to me or not.  At this point, I’m already a frequent flyer for Southwest flying back home to NY all the time, so I might as well do it for Texas too.  Good luck!