#TBT: What I Learned During Our First Detachment

I mentioned this months back, but at the beginning of the year (in February) John went on detachment to New Mexico for a month. It feels like ages ago now, but it was the first time that we spent any time apart due to training, and in hindsight I learned a few things that seem worthwhile to share over here for my military readers.

A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

Firstly, what is detachment? Detachment, more often known as “Det,” is when a squadron relocates somewhere for training. In our case, an entire Primary training squadron leaves Pensacola and heads somewhere with better weather, typically New Mexico or Michigan, for a month to six weeks in order to take advantage of clear skies and push the pilots through the program a little faster than they would be able to in Pensacola. Pilots usually fly twice, if not three times a day, and are subsequently accelerated through training. Squadrons normally start leaving on Det when there has been a significant back up in training or if the weather has just been really bad in Florida.

Many of our friends went on Det towards the end of Primary, so it wasn’t a surprise when John got called up to go. While no one likes to wave goodbye to their husband for a month, John and I dated long distance and have spent a few months at a time apart, so I wasn’t really nervous about his absence. As my friend Haley says, you can do anything for a few weeks and in comparison to deployment Det sounded like a breeze.

Here is the gist: For us, Det wasn’t a huge deal, but it did give me some unexpected perspective. The reality is that, because of John’s career, there will be large periods of time in our marriage in which we are apart, and although one month is not comparable at all to a six to nine month deployment, I feel as though God used the time to teach me a few things in preparation for longer seasons of absence. I established a routine, got lots of exercise with Flynn, kept myself busy with girlfriends, and worked a ton. The most obvious thing that was impressed upon me, though,  was that it is ok to make the first move and ask my friends and family for support if I need it when John is gone. While John was away this time I had a family emergency that (thank God) ended up being ok, but looked pretty dicey for a few days. During that time I realized that there will be things that happen during John and my life together, whether to us or to the people we love, that are hard and scary and sad, and in those times John may not be with me, and I may be living in a place far away from my family. I am not someone who likes to ask for help (pride) but I am learning that in this lifestyle is it so important to be able to reach out to your people and say “Hey, I need some extra support right now, will you check in with me this week to ask me how I am?” Our friends want to be there for us but sometimes they don’t know how, and it is so ok to be specific. It is so much better to ask rather than end up resenting the people you love for not supporting you when they just really didn’t know how I am so thankful to the people who rallied around me for those few days, let me crumble at work, pick their nursing brains, or just shot me a text asking how things were going. It meant the world to know that even though John was miles away there were people who had my back.

Military life is challenging for sure, and it forces us to be so intentional about maintaining and establishing deep relationships across the board-- with friends, family, and spouses. Over the past few years in Pensacola, though, I have realized that those deepened relationships, both old and new, are one of this lifestyle's greatest joys, and that is a gift that I will continue cherish.

My fellow military readers--anything you have learned from time spent away from your partner? Any tips or perspective, whether for short term or long term absences? I would love to hear, feel free to comment below. 




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{Marriage} 2.2

I love these monthly marriage updates not only because they are a great way for John and I to journal month to month, but also because they are a fun way to keep the Gallivant's amazing readers in the loop about whats going on with us--the nitty gritty version. Thanks for checking in!

Taos, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

Richey 2.2 Update

Favorite Meals: I was on my own a lot of last month as John was in New Mexico on detachment, so I ate pretty simply. One of my favorite meals was slices of grilled halloumi cheese on top of pink gratefruit and spring mix, with a lemon olive oil vinaigrette. So fresh and yummy.

Favorite Words: Detachment, Roswell

Favorite Snacks: Ricotta, Pink Grapefruits--they are SO good right now!

Favorite TV Shows: Outlander. Have you seen it? Set in the Scottish Highlands, the first installment of Season 1 lays the foundation of the story and introduces all the main characters, namely Jamie and Claire.  I have been reading the books, and was pumped that Amazon had Season One on instant streaming. It is only 8 episodes so far, and most of them were build up and background to the main event which really kicks off the story. 

Currently Reading: Last month I read Drums of Autumn and Where'd You Go Bernadette, (read my review here) and John read Meaning of Marriage (Again--we love it.)

Gallivant: John did some pretty cool exploring last month while he was in Roswell. He and his buddies spent a day checking out the Carlsbad Caverns, and then a few days later they woke up at 3:00 am and drove six hours up to Taos. If you know John than you know that his love for skiing runs deep, and he was thrilled to be able to tackle Taos and spend a day on the slopes. 

Meanwhile in Pensy:  John being away on detachment for most of February was an interesting experience as it as the fist time that he had gone away on any military-related training. Lets be real... three weeks really isn't a long time, especially after dating long distance, but it is a little different when you are married and have gotten used to seeing each other every day. Even though it isn't really comparable of course I couldn't help but think about deployment. Three weeks is nowhere near ten months, but I did have some stuff going on in my family that made me reflect a lot on the fact that things might happen while John is deployed--scary, hard, heartbreaking things-- that he will not be able to be with me for and I will most likely be far from my family at the same time. In a sense I felt like God threw some  situations at me over the past month, (which all ended up being ok, thank goodness) which gave me some helpful perspective. Something I am learning is that it is important for me to be humble and able to ask my friends and loved ones for support when John is away. It is totally ok to say "I need some support right now--can you check up on me?" In a way, these little training trips are like pre-season for the real deal, and although I don't think I could ever be fully prepared, the things that I learned, and that I will continue to learn, are helping us to grow as a couple and work on our communication and strategy in advance of any long absences.

Happy Monday friends, and thanks for stopping by. 



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P.S.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!