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My Deployment is Worse Than Yours!

Erin Whitehead
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tagged: military life, deployment
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(Photo Credits: Photo Pin)

I have proudly been a part of the military spouse community for over 13 years now.  And when I say “proudly” I am 100% sincere.  In my opinion, military spouses are amazing in many ways.   I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be a part of this community, despite our many challenges, and am elated that I wake up every day and “go to work” for this community by working with milspouse writers from all over the world, and interacting with our robust online network.

My love and adoration for this amazing group of people does not blind me to some of the problems within our community however.  Just like any other group of individuals in this world, we have our issues… many of them not far removed from what our “civilian counterparts” experience in their lives and relationships.  But because I believe with my whole heart in the military spouse community, I believe in our ability to improve in areas where we may fall short, especially in the way we interact and support one another.

We have all seen it.  Spouses comparing the danger of their servicemembers job to that of another person serving in a different job capacity.  Spouses comparing how hard they have it because of XYZ circumstance that the military lifestyle has put them in.  Spouses who will swear that their deployment is harder because of the length, or the danger of their servicemember… or a whole host of reasons.

And I wish we would all cut it out already.

Because here is the thing… no matter how hard someone else’s lot in life, it should never negate the way you are feeling (or dealing) with your own problems.  Sure, you can respect that someone else may be going through something terrible and, as a result, it may help put what you are going through in perspective.  But each of us must deal with our own demons without the guilt that our problems are insignificant because of the plight of our neighbor.

Everyone deals with things differently.  Some of us are better at dealing with certain things, at certain points in our life.  So you may be going through your 4th deployment with your spouse in a “no-joke-knocking-down-doors-shooting-Taliban” job capacity… but you may have a tremendous support system and you may be in a really good place.  Your neighbor might be going through their first deployment where their servicemember can call them every day and where they are in very little danger… but they may have a family tragedy occurring, or might be battling other demons… making this deployment incredibly hard to handle.

The point is, none of us knows.

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