This piece is Part 1 in a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.
Recently, I was tasked to deploy, again, for the fourth time! Now it’s not what you think, I actually haven't deployed at all in the short five-ish years I’ve been in the Air Force. So here’s my story…
A few years ago (2014), I received my first deployment tasking. I was in the middle of planning a wedding and had just recently pinned on 1st lieutenant when I received word that I would deploy to do administrative stuff in a joint environment.
The great news was it would be a sweet deployment (more like a vacation than a hardship). The location had, not one, but two pools!
The bad news--I would miss my own wedding.
You would think a girl would be heart broken about this news, right? Wrong. I was actually quite excited for the opportunity until I told my Fiancé. Needless to say he was not thrilled about the idea of me leaving and us postponing our wedding.
After discussing our options, I begrudgingly agreed to try and find a replacement. In the beginning of our relationship, David and I had agreed that we would always put our family first, if ever given the choice.
Going on this deployment would mean putting off our wedding for the unforeseeable future (we had already bought a dress, hired a photographer/DJ and reserved the hall) and there was no guarentee we would be able to have a big celebration in the future.
It wasn't easy reaching out to my peers, but I humbled myself and sent an email to everyone eligible to deploy in my place, explaining the circumstances.
After a few inquiries, no one volunteered to go, so I mentally prepared myself for this new adventure; and then it happened.
God said ‘not right now’ and He took this deployment right from underneath me. Apparently, the downrange commander wanted someone higher ranking with more experience and so I was removed from the tasking. It was a bitter sweet moment for me.
On one side, our wedding plans stayed the same - kind of, but on the other, I lost out on a great opportunity to deploy and save a lot of money.
For those of you who never understood why we had TWO weddings… well now you do! We decided to have a small celebration in case I would be tasked again while also keeping the plans for the large celebration.
David and I went on to get married, then moved across the ocean to finally live together, like a husband and wife should.
Then, after another whirlwind of events (think—new job, new country, new home, pregnancy then miscarriage), another tasking comes down.
Deployment tasking #2.
I don’t mean to negate the impact of those previous events, because they surely affected us greatly, and I will talk about those later; my current focus is on the peculiarities surrounding me and deployments.
In a span of four months, David and I rode an emotional rollercoaster, with twists and turns, climbs and drops, which encompassed my first deployment tasking, then deployment cancellation, the passing of my grandma and then finally getting married; all of which I would have missed had I left on that deployment.
Looking back, I don't know why the first deployment wasn't meant to be, but I am thankful for the opportunity I had to spend extra time with my family. Now it was time to prepare for this next mission set before me.
Deployment - Take 2