This month My Fair Ellie is giving back to millitary families through the National Military Family Association. The National Military Family Association has been around since 1969, they provide a support for service members, their spouses and their children. Beyond supporting military families, they're a resource to give accurate and up to date information for law makers on issues currently affecting military families.
I just want to be clear about one thing... this campaign is NOT political. You don't have to support the war, foreign policies or even our president to support the families that are sacrificing their loved ones for your safety. So, I thought it was really important to include a blog post to highlight how this topic is dear to my heart and the MFE team.
In 2005/2006 my step father was deployed and as the oldest of six kids in a blended family, I had a first hand look at family life during deployment. From the unreliable communication to the holidays spent without loved ones, the struggle was real. Let's be honest, somedays I feel like my husband can't get home from work soon enough... to imagine his work being half a world away and served in 6 month stretches, just blows my mind. Today we are so thankful to report that my step father is safely home and has moved on from his military career, his new duties include being a full time Poppa to our kiddos!
While being the (step) child of a deployed soldier can be difficult, I cannot imagine being the spouse, which is why I think it's so important for you to hear a story even bigger than mine. Danielle, our amazing seamstress, is the wife of a soldier who is currently deployed. I wanted to take a minute to ask her a few questions in an effort for you to learn more about her, her family and why this cause is so worthy!
When did you meet your husband?
I met Daniel 18 years ago in my front yard. We were new to the neighborhood and he was playing basketball with my brothers. He had a nice smile and a beeper which made quite the impression on my 14 year old mind. For me, it was love at first sight!
How much of your relationship has he been deployed?
My husband has been deployed six times with the shortest being nine months and the longest, at the height of the wars in the Middle East, being fifteen months. Two years ago, someone asked me how many months and years of my marriage Daniel had been in the home. I finally faced myself to jot down actual dates. I did the equation - he's been present for approximately 38% of our 16 year marriage.
What’s the hardest part of deployment?
For me personally, the hardest part of deployments are the lonely nights. This is the time when my kids are asleep and I have time to think. I look around and all is still. There's no laughter, no snuggles, no arm body and no guarantee there will be one again. As I write this, tears rolling down my cheeks, I have to face the cold truth. It's so easy to busy myself in work or kids. The fact that I may never see the only man I've truly loved again scares me to death. But, as a seasoned military spouse, we are expected to be strong, suck it up, smile and drive on. That's what I do best!
Who do you rely on for support while he’s gone?
I am blessed enough to currently live in my hometown, so I rely on my family for support. I also have a phenomenal group of friends I met through church. I have grown so much since meeting them!
What advice would you give other military spouses?
My advice for the other military spouses would be - your family is making a huge, but honorable sacrifice - stay true to your values and beliefs. Remember why you said "I do" and that these times shall pass. When times get hard, rely on God.
Thanks so much for reading this blog post! Be sure to drop your comments below to show your support for Daniele and her amazing family! To purchase your items, shop HERE!