A word to surely send chills down most of my friend’s spines. In our world, deployments involve an aircraft carrier, an air wing, and lots of sorties. In the Navy, these deployments can last between four and ten months. One is like a semester of college and the other is like an entire freaking year. For the 2014 deployment with the USS Carl Vinson, L deployed for five of those ten months. One of my girlfriend’s husbands deployed for the entire ten. He left and his newborn daughter was exactly four weeks old and when he came home, she was eleven months old. He basically missed the entire first year of her life. It was heartbreaking. But, as my girlfriend said, in the BIG scheme of things, this is just a little blip in the whole scheme of things.
Typical things about a VRC deployment is that we “DET” out. Meaning, instead of sending our entire squadron, we send out 5-7 pilots and they head up a DETACHMENT and they do the deployment together. The DET is made up of: an OIC- which is a department head, an AOIC- which is a JO, and then a couple AC’s- aircraft commanders, and then a few nuggets – which are pilots who have never cruised/been deployed before. Back home, you have the DET wives group– wives of the guys deployed, which i hope was self explanatory. On our first deployment, two wives went home, the OIC’s wife was traveling the entire time, one nugget wife was traveling, and so that left two of us behind. We did things together, but not a lot and definitely NOT deployment related because we were always with the wives whose husbands were not deployed.
This deployment has been such much different. Our DET’s OIC wife has been….for lack of better words, AMAZING! She is so great at relaying information to us and making sure we all keep in contact and spend time together. And besides her each and every other wife/girlfriend has been fantastic as well. I keep thinking about our trip to Big Bear and it seems so long ago. Everyone has brought so much to the deployment. Having these women in my life, make deployment not so bad at all.