Monday, 26 September 2016

The truth of deployment, in my eyes

As someone who has said goodbye to their loved one, I feel as I can relate to how many people that have also experienced the deployment journey. Whether it has been your loved one, a close mate, brother/sister, mother or father, just anyone in your life that you’ve had to say ‘see you later’ to as they embark on a temporary journey of a life time, to server their country for the better good of people living in war-torn countries, poverty or even to be posted to a training base. I’ve come to realise, there is little appreciation for everything that they do on deployment.  
The reality is that, yes, they may be killed on deployment but they may also be killed back home when driving to your house, walking the dog or even shopping at the mall. The truth is, nobody knows when you’ll die. While the feeling of the unknown for you back home may be daunting upon you when you watch the news and see something has happened near their deployment location, you cannot live by assuming the worst. Before his deployment, I would constantly live in fear questioning what would happen if he was killed while away. Trying to understand how I would cope with knowing our last kiss, our last hug and holding of hands was a rushed goodbye in the airport on the night he left. I realised that these thoughts got me nowhere. The overthinking will eventually eat your insides to the point where you can no longer sleep, eat or even concentrate on living your life while they live their own, miles away from you and in my case, on the other side of the world. In the first few months of deployment, every single news article that I read in newspapers or online and watched on television instantly filled my body with fear and panic that my loved one was in danger. It is ridiculous, I know that now, but at the time I didn’t know any better than to have these feelings stirring inside of me. I knew that he was fine, he would tell me not to worry every time I had the chance to explain what I had seen, thinking it would be related to him. Like he once told me ‘You can’t believe everything you see’ and ‘You can’t assume the worst of everything relating to me, because if it happens, it happens. You live by everything happens for a reason, so use that motto for me.’ The truth of this was scary, we are both young and I wasn't sure if he would be safe. Knowingly trusting his words of 'You could be killed when taking the bins out' I knew that it wasn't going to be easy, but accepted yet another challenge to our relationship. As I am writing this four months, which is 126 days later, I'm confident when saying that the deployment journey, as challenging as it is, is possible for anyone. Nobody told me it was going to be easy, nor did anyone tell my man what to expect on the deployment. Eventually you learn to live with whatever may occur, but to only live for the day.

I believe there are good and bad in this world, whether their actions are intentional or not. There will be a point in your life where you may face a near death experience or know of someone dying and understand it’s a matter of appreciating the life they have lived or the life you have instead of expressing negativity. I am only young, nineteen years old and counting. I can write that I have experienced life for all that it is worth and enjoyed every moment I have lived as a young person. However, I cannot say that I know everything of it’s true value in life. There are times for everyone when it will all feel like too much, it’s not a ‘I want out of this life’ but more of a, ‘how am I living this life’ which I guess can be a difficult thought for ourselves and also our deployed loved ones. When I am writing this, I think it would be fair to say that the deployment journey effects everyone associated with the person who has been deployed. From this, I want to make it clear that nobody has more of a challenge than them because the reality is that they have been sent overseas, often with a large time difference to back home making contact difficult, they are working long days/nights sometimes between 12-19 hour days alone on only 5 hours of sleep and we almost forget that they are just humans too. I can’t write to say that I know what it is like to be deployed, instead I am writing as a partner of a deployed man. There have been too many times where he tells me that I'm doing it hard, but when I look at the changes to my life compared to his life, the only change was that he is no longer physically around me. While there are plenty of times I throw myself on my bed and cry myself to sleep because I miss him, I know it's not forever. The roller coaster of emotions I feel are normal, my man isn't around me and sometimes all I want is to be in his arms and hear him tell me that everything is going to be alright. Instead, I cuddle up to the giant teddy bear he gave me which smells of him and tell myself 'only a few more months and he will be home'. His position? How he handles it? I would have no idea, our communication is very limited and when he has a bad day he hides it, I know that is partly because there is the assumption an army soldier is strong and as some people criticizes, 'have no emotions' but I know that it isn't easy. Life isn't easy but with the right support and love from the people surrounding you anything is possible, and that is all I have tried to show my man since he left. Until he is home again, I continue to wait for him while I continue to live my life knowing that everything is going to be alright, no matter how difficult the days and nights may become.

Madeline - 27/09/2016

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The fourth care package!

Title - "You are doing a great job" - Encourage Mint.
Themed colour - Green.

Date of posting - Tuesday, 13th of September, 2016.
Date of arrival - To be announced!

As an army girlfriend I could list so many items that are green to send to my soldier! Since this is also my loved ones favourite colour I knew this was going to be an enjoyable care package to create! From the beginning of my loved ones deployment I had decided to slowly buy items here and there whenever I saw them and put them in the colours box to prevent the stress of doing one big shop a few days before sending it. The green care package was one of the easiest, this is because there were so many green items I purchased from food, toiletries, even items to use in the few hours he may have 'free time' in (a rare occasion for him at the moment, lol) and more food!

I had originally planned to post this over a week ago, but it took longer than imagined to have finished the decorations on it. The letters alone on the care package took several hours over a couple of days to complete, so, I'd make a recommendation that IF you aren't good at cutting letters out (like me) then maybe spend money on stickers. I bought a bunch of silver stickers but I like the font of the letters which is on Microsoft word rather than the stickers. After that, I cut out the letters individually then outline them on black cardboard and cut them out. Also, a tip with this is to keep some of the base colour to use use when making the middle hole for letters i.e. A, O, E, etc. I've found this gives a nicer finish to the letters rather than shoving scissors into the middle of the letter.

Image (above) - Design of Care Package. The letters aren't perfect as it took longer than what I had imagined and almost lost my 'cool' after day three of working on them.

Image (above) - The Green Care Package!

Image (above) - The packed care package! So, as you can tell by this image unfortunately there were too many items in this care package to even close the lid. After using my Tetris skills and packing I finally found most items to fit. However, when I went to the post office the package was overweight so I had to remove a packet of wet wipes, a can of pringles, packet of chewing gum and a milo bar, to get the perfect weight of 2 kilograms... #winning 

Items in this care package included:

  • Twirl chocolate bar, mint flavour
  • Box of shapes, Orginal barbecue flavour
  • Extra spearmint chewing gum x3
  • Milo bars x2
  • Ritz snacks, sour cream and onion flavour
  • Speed Puzzles book
  • Hand written letter
  • Mint Pattie
  • Pringle cans x2
  • Body wash, Orginal Source
  • Breaking Bad season one
  • Yoyo
  • Cleansing Puff
  • Smartskin face wipes x2
  • Ball on a paddle
  • Mentos x2
  • Exercise massage ball
Image (above) - Items in care package.

Review of yellow care package:
The yellow care package was another major success! My loved one forgot to tell me that he opened it, and surprisingly it only took nine days to get to him from Australia. As I only send the care packages once a month, I have told him many times any food items are to last the whole month, but he ate 2 of the 3 bags of lollies within 24 hours of receiving it.. But I guess with the long days/night he needed it! The green care package will be sure to have another review in my next care package post, fingers crossed for another success... Not sure if he will find this as cute as the minions. Thanks for reading!

Madeline - 13/09/2016