The Spoils of Shore Duty

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the military side of life.

Right now, Adam is on shore duty, which plainly means he is not going to be deployed for a few years yet. After shore duty is up, he will go to sea duty for four years. This rule changed recently from three on, three off sea duty to four on, three off.

I will readily admit that I am spoiled right now. We got married when Adam had only a few months left of sea duty, and he had just finished a deployment. For almost a year now we have enjoyed shore duty. Being on shore meant more early days, no more 24 hour duty days (no more staying on a ship overnight), and no more underways and deployments. I am lucky to have started married life on the easy side of the military.

That being said, I know that I will struggle when Adam switches back over to sea duty. I have a few more years yet before that happens, and that means more time to get used to being spoiled.

Sea duty isn’t easy — no military life is easy, for that matter. I have friends who have gone through tough deployments and are facing some now and will be in the future. I can’t say that I know exactly what they are going through yet, because frankly, I don’t know exactly. But I do know what it is like to be away from your loved ones for a long period of time. My brother was on a deployment for about a year and when Adam and I were dating it was all long distance, and most of the engagement was while he was on deployment.

Recalling those months of being away from loved ones, I know that it will be difficult when shore duty simply turns to sea duty. However, I feel that if I know that I am being spoiled right now, and that there will be a time when life will turn upside down for our family, I can prepare for it better.

One key to this preparedness is to simply remember that shore duty does not last forever. And “Count your blessings”. Also, communication is vital to every relationship, in every circumstance, and that includes not losing oneself in the bliss of shore duty. I find that the more I talk with Adam about the Navy and the changes that will be coming, the more I get comfortable with them in my mind and heart.

I am grateful that Adam and I have a strong relationship, and that we are in a strong church community. I know that if ever we are struggling, we have family (and that does not only mean by blood, but also the family of Christ) who will walk us through.

Another spoil of shore duty: longer weekends on holidays! Now, who can complain about that?

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