Photo by: Mykl Roventine

Pre-Deployment Navy Style

Photo by: Mykl Roventine

OK, I really should say Pre-Deployment Sub-Force style. I say this, because surface ships and submarines run a little differently than what most people think. Both surface ships and sub boats will have similar sea trials (this is where they take the boat out to make sure all is working well), but communication is extremely different. But, these sea trials really prepare both sailors and their families for their 3-, 4- or 6-month deployments, depending on the type of submarine they are on.

Currently, this family is in the beginning of our first sea trial. It’s been a good 3 years since our last big separation, so the kids are taking this differently than I expected. Although, my sailor is only going to be gone for a month, Katie seemed to have taken it the hardest. I truly thought, she would be OK, since she remembers all the other times daddy was out on deployment. But this time was hard. It was hard for me to see her so sad and then finally break down and cry. She’s much better now, as she now has her own email account where Daddy can send her direct emails.

I honestly thought, Charlie would be the one who would have the hardest time. But, he’s taking this quite well. In fact, he said, “I really miss daddy. I need him to help me pass the next level for Lego Indiana Jones.” Yep, my kid only needs his dad for video games!

Lillian is still really young and new to the whole thing. For a few days, it seemed as if she didn’t notice his disappearance, until the day she took my phone away to call daddy. She had the longest conversation with him, I only wish he was really on the other end to hear all her babbling!

And for me…yes, I really do miss him! But, all three kids are doing a great job of keeping me very busy. This is the part where I have to put together a new family plan, a new system, to keep us going and staying sane.

The communication aspect of being a submarine wife sucks! It really really sucks! It sucks because there is barely any communication at all. And what little communication we get is through sporadic emails that are not very personal at all (because they are screened). AND, being a wife of a submariner sucks more when your sailor is serving aboard a Trident/Boomer submariner, versus, a fast attack sub. To me, because we’ve done just about every type of submarine deployment, I like the fast attack sub life a little bit more. There is actual communication, via phone and web chat because they port at different locations around the world. And, if you are lucky enough, you can actually travel to the different ports to be with your sailor.

Every situation and lifestyle for each family aboard the boats are different, so above “sucky” parts just happens to be my opinion.

So, really, this is a sucky pre-deployment to gear up for an even suckier deployment.

Sonia Brown is a mother of three and a Navy Spouse. She is also an Air Force Brat that grew up overseas. Her family her inspiration and also the cause of many hair pulling stressed out days! She is also proud to show that Down Syndrome can fit into your life, no matter where you live and what you do!

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