It is a day that has been hanging over my family for quite some time now. One that I could not really grasp until today. And although it certainly seems more real now than ever before, I think that in a lot of ways, I am still processing.

My brother, Trevor, will officially be deployed tomorrow morning.

This afternoon, we attended the “yellow ribbon ceremony” to send off his unit.

He will be gone for a year. It’s tough to comprehend. Thankfully, he’ll remain in the States for a little while, fulfilling the beginning weeks of his deployment in the deep south. Then, we don’t know what his destination will be. We have no idea where he’s going; and neither does he.

I am sad. I am sad for the hole that will be left in our family until he returns safely home. I am sad that when we have family dinners, there will be a notable absence for a while. I am sad for the birthdays, the holidays, and other important events he will miss. I am sad that we will only get to joke, to laugh, to make fun of our mom (sorry, Mom!) in a long-distance way. (But I do have to give a shout-out for the miracle that is Facetime. Thank you, Steve Jobs.)

I am scared. At the ceremony today, there was a lot of emphasis on coming home safely. That’s obviously numero uno, but for me, it’s a fear I can delay a bit–because like I said, we don’t even know where he’s going. So it’s actually hard to know if we should be scared. But I guess the fear right now is mainly focused in the unknown. So, we wait–just as he does–to find out what his assignment will be.

I am angry. I’m angry that there is even a need for soldiers. Anywhere. I wish that we could all just get along, sitting around a fire and singing kumbaya and all that shit. I’ll go all beauty queen on you and say that I wish for world peace. An impossibility, I know, but hey. I’m just putting it out there.

I am proud. I am proud of Trevor. For the man he is, and for the sacrifices he is making for this country. It may be a “war” that I cannot understand, but it doesn’t mean that I do not appreciate and recognize what the men and women in the military do for all of us. I love Trevor and love what he adds to our family. We fought a lot growing up–especially when we were teenagers, wow, there were some doozies–but we’re grown-ups now.

That’s how Trevor’s deployment affects me. But the thing that gets to me the most–the thing that gives me a ball of anxiety in my gut–is not about me. It’s about the little family he has made.

{Trevor and Kara’s wedding day – May 21, 2011}

When I pray with Nora before putting her to bed each night, it is the three of them that I pray for. For safety, for peace, for strength. That the year may fly by for them so that they can all be together again before they know it.

As we sat at the ceremony today, you could hear the sounds of small children all around. Many of these kids were going to be saying goodbye to their daddies, or their mommies, for an entire year. And that’s just… heartbreaking.

Sitting among all of these people, it really hit me: Kara, Hunter, and our family–we’re not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people throughout this country–and millions around the world–who are affected in this very same way.

{Hunter, searching the group of soldiers for his daddy}

It is with great pride that we send Trevor off to serve with the U.S. Army National Guard.

But we will miss him.

And we’ll be counting down the days until he’s home.

 

12 Responses to Deployed

  1. It’s completely understandable to feel all those emotions, even if he is going to somewhere “safe”.

    I think a lot of people are starting to forget or become complacent with the frequency our service members deploying.

    I have a giveaway starting tomorrow on my blog aimed at military families with young kids. You may want to check it out for your nephew.

    Good luck to your brother and his family! Keep us updated on his progress.

  2. Maggie says:

    I’m hoping this year flies by so he can be home with you all again soon! Enjoy your facetime!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Good luck Trevor! I have the utmost respect for all who have the bravery to do what he is doing. Amazing.

    I am from Israel originally, where there is conscription. It’s a horrible thing that looms over childrens’ childhood – they and their parents know that they’ll have to serve in the army. Luckily, most of the time people can choose what part of the military they will serve in, and many divisions do not involve fighting (because in Israel the army plays a large role in civil life).

    I am with you: I wish there were no need for wars.

    I hope that you all get good news as to where Trevor will be deployed, and that he will be back with you before you know it. Thank goodness for Facetime, I agree.

    I must admit that I don’t pray very often (I should), but I want to start, and tonight I will pray for all of these things.

  4. Our prayers & best wishes are going out to your family. May he come home safe. God Bless!

  5. Ashley says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I understand completely what you are going through: my fianc√© left for his deployment in September. The good news is that time passes quicker than you think it will. One of my friends once told me, “God put a little something extra in those who love our soldiers.” After living through a deployment for 5 months, I completely agree.

    Best of luck to you! =)

  6. basebell6 says:

    sending prayers for a year of safety for him! unbelievably hard thing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    God Bless Trevor and all of those brave men and women who fight so that you may write a post like this.

  8. Bri says:

    Advice from a former army sister (my brother got out a year ago!) Don’t listen to the news! It just freaks a sister out. Only pay attention to the news coming directly from him or the military’s newsletters, etc.

    Be active in the FRG (if there is one!) That was very helpful for me.

    A year will fly by and I will keep you and Trevor and his young family in my prayers!

  9. ~Jaime~ says:

    You just made me cry! We’ll be praying for your family also.

  10. My brother was in Iraq for nine months a few years ago. It was terrifying. But he came home safely, and I pray for the same safe return for your brother.

    I am so incredibly grateful for his service and for the sacrifices he and his family are making for our country.

  11. Amanda says:

    Oh Heather, I’ll be hoping for a safe location and a quick year for his family!

    Best wishes for your entire family!

  12. [...] the late morning on Friday, we received confirmation that my brother, Trevor–who has been deployed for eight months–would be coming HOME that night. We were all so excited and anxious to see him again. All [...]

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