I saw a debate on Instagram yesterday (odd place for a debate, I know), that asked “Does having been through a deployment with your partner make you more of a military spouse then someone who has not been through a deployment?”
Here are my thoughts on the issues, I don’t necessarily agree with the wording of “more” or “less” of a military spouse, because I think that title comes to everyone who is married to a service members. However, I do think there are different levels, none of which are “better” than the others.
Going through a deployment with your partner is a challenge, and you come out the other end a different person. I think that is something to be respected and something that puts you at a different experience level than another spouse who has never been through a deployment.
I think these levels exist in other areas as well, such as combat vs. non-combat deployments. I can’t imagine what it would be like to fear for my husbands life everyday that he is overseas, and I think women who have gone through that are at a completely different level than me.
Are they “better”? No, it’s just different.
I remember when my husband left for his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. He was so excited, and I was too. I knew I was going to miss him, and I was sad to say good bye, but I was excited for him to have this experience (the one he signed up for when he enlisted), and I was excited for me to be able to challenge myself to make it though. It’s almost like a right of passage, and I wanted it for Jeremy and for myself.
Yes, I am proud to say that I have supported my husband through two deployments. However, that does not make me “more” of a military spouse than someone who has never been through a deployment, nor does it make me “better”.
I’m curious to here other thoughts on the prompt as well if you have a differing opinion!