The last time Nick was on a submarine, I lived in New York while he lived in Washington (state). At the time it was the right decision for us. I know that some military spouses choose to move back in with family during deployment and I think that is an awesome option to consider, especially if it’s a long deployment, you have young kids, and/or you don’t have a good support system where you are stationed. Or maybe you just don’t like where you are stationed and deployment is a great excuse to move back home and spend some time with family.
I feel like I received a lot of judgment, especially from other military spouses, when I didn’t live where Nick was stationed. I’m not saying that I think it’s better to stay put or to move back home. I think that both are awesome choices. For this deployment, it made more sense for me to stay in Hawaii. I am getting to spend about a month in New York visiting my family. I think that this is the perfect balance although I already feel like it’s not long enough. It never is, though.
There’s a reason why I put “home” in quotation marks. My home is in Hawaii. I don’t have a job but I have other important responsibilities. I have two roles that I volunteer in at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. I finally have my workout routine. I have my apartment and my cars and I can’t just abandon all of that for 6 months. I need to take care of my home that we pay a ton of money to live in.
Also, it’s Hawaii! Why wouldn’t I want to be there?
When I lived in New York, I missed out on FRG meetings, meaning, I missed out on getting information that you can only get in person. If I lived in New York, I would not have been able to go to Guam. Living in Hawaii enabled me to travel for free to visit Nick on a port call, and to get the information and paperwork I needed to go. Information is power, especially during a submarine deployment when you can’t talk to your spouse and everything is secret.
I don’t want to miss out on the camaraderie of the other spouses. In Hawaii, my girlfriends and I had a sleepover the night the boat deployed and we celebrate milestones during deployment. We get together to cook dinner during the week and the question is never, “are you free this weekend?” It’s “what are we doing this weekend?” Having the support of my friends who are literally in the same boat makes the time go by and makes it a lot more fun.
I totally believe that Hawaii is a great place to be during deployment. It’s always warm, there is so much to do, and if I’m sad, the beach will always make me feel better. By the time deployment is over, I’ll have had 6 sets of visitors come! I love that I can share paradise with my friends and family from New York.
Did you ever move home for deployment?