I cry at just about every single military homecoming video - it just makes me so happy to see that person come home. I'm a sap that way.
Every time I see a video, I wonder how it'd be if Rich was able to stay in. Would we be happy? There are those fleeting moment, for me, when I miss it - I miss that connection you have with other military people, the uniforms (HOT!), seeing a tank going down the road and not thinking twice about it - but getting excited when a deer is in my backyard (true story!) - I miss it all.
But, yet again, I don't.
I hated ignoring the news when Rich was deployed. I hated checking the internet and seeing we lost another person (moreso now because of Facebook, and the like), wondering if he was going to come home.
Rich is just the opposite,he misses it so much he can't stand it some days. He misses being to actually do his job, and not just teach others to do it. He misses having his "brothers in arms" beside him - he was really born to do all that military-esq type stuff.
He's toyed with the idea of going back in a few times in the last four years he's been out, but I think he's afaid I couldn't handle it again. Some of it may be true - I lost him for years after he got home, PTSD tore us apart for far too long, and I'm terrified it'll be worse if he went back.
We've never hid the fact of PTSD - for years we didn't go around fireworks, watch any military movie at all, he had nightmares where he woke up screaming, he's had his hand on my throat in his sleep from a nightmare (no worries, I was never harmed or feared for my life), I had to put our gun in a combo/key safe when he had suicidal thoughts, he didn't sleep well for years, he drank a lot (which lead to no alcohol in our home for over a year), rolling down the back windows of a car while driving set him into a flashback and tears, we hated each other for a few years (even if he hates to admit it) -- but we made it. It was a lot to get through, and come out on the other side still together.
I MISSED him so much in those years, I can't explain it. He would be right beside me, and at the same time,not be... he was a stranger. I didn't like who he'd come back as, and he wasn't a fan either, but it took a while before he realized he had a problem. He had to go TDY to Ft. Leanorwood, there were nasty storms in the area, so all flights were cancelled, so he had to sleep on some seats in the airport, and talked to meon the phone. I honestly don't remember what all happened, or what was said, but obviously it was something that made him see what I'd been trying to tell him for months. He got help the first time there at the base.
He went through several meds (one of which made him gain 100 lbs in less than a year), therapy, and know what helped him? Getting out. Removing himself from the situation, he was able to refocus on himself, work through it all, we talked - a lot, and something just clicked in him.
Now that's not to say that fireworks don't make him upset (we take precautions on the 4th and New Years), we still can't roll down the back windows of the car, he can finally watch some military movies if I screen them first, he sleeps better, it's been a while since he's had nightmares. He's a constant work in progress, but he's moving forward in it all.
So will we be a military family again? Probably not. I think Rich'll stick with working with them, teaching his craft, and living through them when he can. We both miss the community, but think we're better off out of it right now, versus in.
But, thank you to all military - you're all amazing. :)