Like many military spouses, I try to avoid watching the news during a deployment. I don't mind going to news websites and looking up political stories about what is going on in D.C., but I try to avoid obsessively following military reports from the country where my loved one is working. However, between Facebook and my e-mail home page, it was hard to avoid the news of the U.S. helicopter that was shot down in Afghanistan yesterday, killing 31 people. Since my husband's battalion is "somewhere in Southern Afghanistan" many of the spouses in the battalion immediately became concerned that the largest day of casualties in that country would involve their beloved.
I have to say I was never that concerned. I knew it was unlikely my husband would be on a helicopter, and then when I learned it was Navy Seals, I knew he wasn't involved. I was relieved, and prepared to forget it had even happened. But all day today I am seeing FB posts (from military AND civilians) honoring the memory and sacrifice of those 31 fallen. Has my gratitude for my own husband's safety made me completely numb to the sufferings of other families? Is it selfish of me to care only about him, and not about other military casualties? Last deployment, there were at least 7 deaths in his battalion. But because none of them were his platoon or spouses I knew personally, none of them hit close to home. I think it's healthy to stay somewhat strong and emotionally reserved during deployments so you are not constantly worrying or making yourself sick. But I don't want to be emotionally dead and unsympathetic to others. Do you have a good way of coping during deployments without getting emotionally involved in every news story?