Military spouses must be brave, strong, and understanding. They are unsung heroes as many military personnel rely on that one phone call, text message, or Facetime to bring them back to home even for a short time while they are fighting overseas. The life of a military spouse can be crazy yet logical, distant yet close in heart, and terrifying yet beautiful.
“There are so many of us out here that are military families, and there is a reason why we do it: spousal support,” Christy Ball said. “They support our country, so they need all of our support as a family. You just have to stay strong because it can get very weakening.”
Christy’s husband, Jesse Ball, is a Calvary Scout in the U.S. Army. The two met through a friend six years ago, and Jesse reached out to her via social media. After dating for some time, the two knew they wanted to spend their lives together, and they were married. Their story thereafter is amazing and commendable, but not exactly an ideal fairy tale.
When Jesse first decided to join the military, Christy was four months pregnant with their first child. Jesse was able to spend about a week and a half with his newborn baby girl before he had to leave for 16 weeks of basic training. After graduating from basic training, Jesse learned that he would be stationed in Colorado. Once Jesse found a home in Colorado, his young family moved there to be with him in January 2014.
They soon found out they were pregnant again with their second daughter. The following March, Jesse had to deploy again for seven months. The very night he returned to his wife, their second daughter was born. About a year and a half later, they found out they were pregnant yet again with their first son. Jesse was able to spend about two weeks with his newborn son before he was deployed again in December 2015.
“When we would go three or four days without talking to each other, then he sends me a text, my heart just drops because I know that he’s okay for that couple of days, and then your days get better,” Christy said. “Usually the days that we don’t talk, would be like the worst days. There’s always that what if when they’re deployed. You just never know.”
Jesse returned to Colorado Aug. 27, 2016, which is where his family is currently. However, Jesse chose to take his work to Savannah, Georgia, to be closer to family. Both are South Georgia natives, Christy from Brooks County and Jesse from Colquitt County. Jesse also has another daughter from another marriage in the region as well, and it was important to him to be there for her.
With all their time apart, it was inevitable that some holidays would be impossible to celebrate together as a family. Jesse was in Afghanistan last Christmas, away from his beautiful wife, two daughters, and tiny baby boy.
“It was really terrible,” Jesse said. “You wake up in Afghanistan, and you know it’s Christmas, but it feels nothing like Christmas when you’re there. You’ve got your guys that you’re with every day, and you kind of make yourself a little Christmas there. You try to make it a holiday, but we just work. It’s the same schedule.”
The separation on Christmas was hard on the whole family. The kids were able to do a Christmas celebration with their father around Thanksgiving, but for their oldest daughter, trying to understand why her dad couldn’t be there on Christmas day wasn’t easy.
“She kind of had a grudge towards him; she didn’t want to talk to him on the phone, Facetime, or anything like that,” Christy said. “It took her probably six months to open back up to him once she realized that daddy could talk to her over the phone, but he couldn’t physically be around.”
This Christmas, Jesse will be home for the holidays. He is looking forward to being with his family, seeing his kids’ faces in the morning as they run in to see what Santa brought, and to just enjoy the holiday.
For Christy, nothing could make her happier than spending Christmas with her husband and her children. It’s an occasion that many families take for granted. Through all of the ups and downs, however, Christy remains supportive and understanding for her husband and her children.
“When he’s deployed, and it’s just me and the babies, some days are tough,” Christy said. “But I am very proud of him. I love what he does, and I love the military life. Everything is good now.”
Health & Life | November 2016
Home for the Holidays
Written by: Sarah Turner