Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Difference Between Wanting and Ready

It's coming really close now, and we're wrapping up the last-minute things that occur before a long "away".  He has things he does around the house to make sure we're OK, and we have certain discussions that we always have before he goes.  It's not easy, but this is where "we've done this before" really helps.

I am not freaking out.

Ok, I am, but only inside and only a little bit.

One thing My G said last night really stuck with me, though, and it was something that my younger self needed to hear when we first got married, if I'd only known to ask. It's something that I think all "new" Army wives need to hear.

What he said: "Just because I am ready to go, doesn't mean I want to."

Sweet new Army wife, whether you're 20 or 40, these words are for you.
There is a huge difference between your Soldier (or Airman, or Seaman, or Marine) being ready to go on deployment, to school, to TDY, on an unaccompanied tour of any type - and wanting to leave you.

They are ready because they have trained, they have prepared, they are set to do what the country has asked of them or to fulfill the plan they've made for their career.

They are ready because they've done what they need to do in order to leave. They have orders in hand or their bags are packed or they've checked the handy checkboxes that their units have provided.

This does not mean they want to leave you.

Many servicemembers cry just as hard as their kids or their spouses when it is time to leave, but there are just as many who remain stoic. My G was one of the latter and he still is. This is his job, this is his career, and this is what he does. But it doesn't mean he wants to leave us.

Because we've been down this road so many times, we are able to joke a bit and make comments about "Good thing I won't be here" or "Whew, whole bed to myself!"  But that doesn't mean that we are eager for this separation. It doesn't mean that, if plans changed and he could turn right around and come back to us early, we wouldn't rejoice.

All it means is that he's ready.

In the grand scheme of things, "ready" is a good thing. I want him to have all the things he'll need while he's gone. I want for me to be ready, too, and have some plans and ideas for how to get through this time. "Ready" means that I have a Power of Attorney. "Ready" means that he has the training and the gear he needs to get the job done, whatever the job may be. "Ready" means that our girls know what is coming and we've spent some special time with them while we can. "Ready," in our case, means that we've had talks about budgets and house stuff and he's shown me how to program the sprinklers.

But I always remember that he'd really rather be here.


  1. Great post. I have to remind myself that my husband doesn't want to be gone just as much as I don't want him to be away. It's not fun for them to leave their family behind either!

  2. Such a great post. I wish I'd read it before my first deployment as an Army spouse. My husband is one of the stoic ones, and it's hard sometimes to remember that his stoicism isn't a sign that he wants to do what he has to do. Thanks for writing this one.