Our awesome group of online collaborators went deep into the recesses of their memories and pulled out their craziest deployment curse stories to share with you this month. Some of these stories seem way too crazy to be true… but we promise each one of these scenarios has happened to one of our online writers during deployment.
35) After moving off base (inspections and all), and moving into a rental, I chipped half of my front tooth with a hammer while hanging a picture of us on the wall. Horrible then, hysterical now!
34) We own two rental properties. During one deployment, both tenants moved out… thank goodness for extra deployment pay!
33) My new car was hit while parked during a freak snowstorm needing major repair. And when I went to get the rental car I couldn’t due to expired license. Then, I had a fire in my kitchen where 911 was called! Destroyed my stove and filled the house with smoke. And to top off my year right before my soldier came home we had freak rain storms which flooded my basement! Once he landed in the US all my crazy stuff stopped! And then he left this past may for a month and my 19 year old ended up in the hospital with abscessed tonsil and surgery. Can’t make this stuff up!
32) Three weeks after I had my second child, husband deployed. His deployment was pushed off a week or so due to the volcano that erupted in Iceland. A byproduct of this volcano was that air planes couldn’t fly due to the ash in the air. Husband finally got a flight out of Germany, and I had plane tickets to fly home with both kids. BUT, the mail couldn’t go back and forth. So the new baby didn’t have a passport. Luckily, we got a temporary passport 24 hours before the flight left. Crisis: semi-averted.
31) A month after my husband deployed my 4 year old, yes 4 years old, passed a kidney stone. To this day, no one can tell me why it happened in a kid so young. But I know!
30) Emergency surgery for a strangulated umbilical hernia… 13 states away from family at the time and the husband was in Afghanistan. Thanks Murphy!
29) I moved home with my parents for help when I had a newborn and a 20 month old. And that very summer, they decided to get divorced.
28) Shortly after PCSing and within a month of him deploying, my son became seriously ill. Actually, all three of us were sick, but he had to be hospitalized. I didn’t know anyone around me. There wasn’t a base that we belonged to because he worked out of the Pentagon. I didn’t know his boss’s number, or even name for that matter. So there I was riding in an ambulance and thinking about how I don’t even know my neighbors. Hmmm, except… there was a nice family up the street that I, by happenstance, asked for their number when Chip first left. I called the fellow mother to reach out for help. I couldn’t focus on anything, and I couldn’t take care of my son with a 9 month old on my hip. I asked her to help me. My neighbor met me at the hospital and took my daughter, Abby. I didn’t see my sweet baby for three very long days. All I could do was hope they were taking good care of her. I had to trust a stranger.
27) Recently, we had a tick infestation in the house. Hundreds of them… crawling up the walls of my house.
26) During one deployment the dog jumped in the bathtub, pushed in the stopper, turned on the water as he jumped out and let it run for 8 hours — flooding the house, and ruining the carpet and hardwoods in the house we’d owned for just 6 weeks.
25) During another deployment a family of squirrels moved into my house… and were hanging out in my living room. I grabbed the only man I could find home in my neighborhood to help – (a soldier and UFC fighter and he did an awesome job beating the crap out of those squirrels!) Also, I got attacked by a pit bull and had to have stitches in my face.
24) We decided to get a puppy five days before deployment (I know, what were we thinking?) and that year we had record numbers of major (for us) snowfalls in coastal NC. Training a puppy in snow deeper than she was tall almost drove me insane!
23) Even though my husband’s ship can be thousands of miles away, the sicknesses that run rampant on the ship still make their way back home to their families. The sickness this particular time was dubbed the “Double Dragon” by the guys on my husband’s ship. It entailed vomiting and/or diarrhea for the unlucky recipients. My husband caught it in the middle of the Persian Gulf. We caught it in San Diego, California. Unfortunately, it afflicted my then five year old son and I while our washing machine was broken. That first night, my son vomited on his sheets, and on my bed sheets and all of the rest of the sheets in the house. While having the unfortunate second symptom of the sickness, I had to scrub the bed sheets that were covered in vomit BY HAND.
22) During one deployment my middle child decided to bite a glow stick necklace while we were riding down the road. She started screaming, and when I looked over my shoulder, she looked radioactive! I pulled over at the only place around, a dive called the ‘Crab Shack’, and ran inside to wash her mouth out while she screamed, “It burns! It burns!” Before it was all over, we were waiting for the EMTs in a parking lot that smelled like fish. Some of the worst 10 minutes of my life! Thankfully, glow sticks are non-toxic!
21) Dog was so badly behaved (jumping our 6 foot fence, powering through the invisible shock fence, swimming in the neighbor’s pool, destroying stuff in our house) that I checked him into a $1500 6 week residential training program — where they pronounced him “awesome” and asked to adopt him to use as a police dog. He reverted to his bad behavior as soon as I got him home, of course.
20) Honest to goodness… the minute my husband walked out the door, my “new-to-puberty” son required “the talk”!
19) My deployment gnome favorite: BATS. I got them in my house when I was pregnant with my second child.
18) In Jersey, we were in the middle of the worst winter yet with foot high snow. During this time, my thyroid got so swollen I could barely breathe. But I pumped myself filled with OTC pain pills and shoveled the tiniest path imaginable to get us out but afterwards I was exhausted. Couldn’t sleep, even thought I heard angels…friend had to come take me to the ER. The doctors looked at me as if I was insane. My throat looked like I swallowed a whole apple! I had a terrible fever & infection. They pumped me full of steroids and viola…I survived!
17) My 6 month old daughter was ordered into quarantine after being exposed to tuberculosis (she never tested positive) and I was told that I had to have her at the ICU in three hours, or I would be in legal trouble — even though I had no one to care for my three year old. My neighbors stepped in and took my son and my daughter and I spent five days in a reverse air isolation room. After the hospital she was ordered to go to the health department EVERY DAY for three months so they could administer her medication that made her very sick. After one month I refused to continue treatment and the county health director threatened to arrest me and put my kids in foster care. I had to hire a lawyer until my husband’s command got involved and the health director backed off.
16) Our last deployment my daughter started having nasty migraines. She missed a ton of school and even with doctor’s notes, proper documentation, etc. I was getting truancy letters and visits from social services. Those headaches were 100% a result of the stress of Dad being gone… once he was home they stopped.
15) Third deployment brought a car that broke down three times and had to be towed twice off the side of the mountain near West Point. Same year I cut my wrist pretty deep with a can of peaches (yeah, that looks great in the ER when your husband is deployed)… and then came home from the ER to find out the gas had been on with the stove not lit with all of the kids there with a sitter (how can you NOT smell that???).
14) We were at the ER so many times… the front desk knew us by name.
13) This deployment the dishwasher broke ONE HOUR AFTER I DROPPED HIM OFF TO LEAVE.
12) During my husband’s first training (pre 9/11) when we were newlyweds, I passed out on an airplane from dehydration (had a fever of 105 coming home from a work conference). A nice young soldier caught me (go figure!) and they even announced “is there a doctor on board” since I collapsed in the aisle.
11) First deployment: the garden hose got left on in the back yard (don’t know how, I don’t water!) and flooded the crawl space, our back yard AND our neighbor’s, my cat got bitten by a dog and had to go the ER vet, and my mom, dad, and I all got food poisoning and ended up in the ER. I was so sick, I instructed my brother where to the find wills and life insurance policies!
10) Drove across Washington with a potty training toddler and an infant, stopped for a potty break and flushed my car keys down the toilet at Perkins. Stranded with no diapers, extra pants for the toddler (after she had a #2 accident of course), sunscreen, keys to get in the car or the house, and no one to call for help. That was a rough day.
9) A hurricane. The third summer we were here, almost 7 years to the day after Katrina, we got hit by a hurricane during a deployment. The back passenger widow in the car fell off its track the day before landfall, and we were out of electricity for 7 days in the end of August. In Louisiana.
8) This just happened… I am not kidding. Swarm of bees (seriously over 50 of them) in my entranceway at 9 p.m. at night. The deployment gnome must have heard I was talking about him.
7) While my husband was in Airborne School and we were in the middle of our first PCS to Germany, I was living with my parents in Florida. I woke up one morning to find my windshield shattered on my new car only a few days before I was supposed drive it to Atlanta to ship it to Europe. Luckily the local Ford dealership was able to send someone out the same day to replace it…for free.
6) During one deployment I had to start the eviction proceedings on our tenants in another state who we found out were keeping pigs in the house. No, not of the cute, pot-bellied variety. Real, live, huge pigs. In our house.
5) I got completely overwhelmed during one deployment and spaced on paying the electric bill. Came home to no electricity and had to wait for two days to get it turned back on.
4) He wasn’t deployed but was gone for a week when I spotted a snake in our garage. I called him to inform him that I would be sealing the door into the house and not using the garage until he got home and could find it. If he had been deployed, I would have just emailed him the same information.
3) During our first deployment my sweet, adorable baby girl was being very quiet in her crib one day. At first I was enjoying the quiet. Then I got nervous, and rightfully so. When I opened the door I smelled it before I saw it. She had gotten into the contents of her diaper and used the new medium to paint the walls, style her hair and cover the crib slats (that were textured of course). I stood there for a good two minutes just staring… figuring out where to start. A few baths, sponges and toothbrushes (to clean those textured slats) later and everything was finally clean.
2) I got kidney stones and admitted to the hospital 4 days before Christmas, only to be released on Christmas Eve. Had Jack-in-the Box for dinner. Bad thing was I had just returned to full-time work and did not complete my Christmas list at all. Absolutely no gifts under the tree and my kids were so sad. My oldest cried because Santa never came. Worst ever!!!!
and… last but certainly not least…
1) The mother of all Murphy’s… In a three week time frame I found out my husband was deploying again in a few weeks (he’d been home for just three months), found out I was pregnant, found out my dad had cancer and had 6 months to live, and I was (mis)diagnosed with lymphoma. Got to deal with all of that on my own, culminating in a massive water leak at 1 am that required a nine months pregnant me crawling under the house and then – a few weeks later – going into labor – alone – in the middle of a HURRICANE and giving birth 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital because so many roads were impassable. My reward? Five months of colic, she screamed for five hours every night, right up until three days before he got home from the deployment. (At which point I kind of wished she was still screaming just so he’d know I wasn’t lying/exaggerating).