Tales of deployment: An Army Reserve wife counts her blessings

Today, my husband signed paperwork indicating that he would be mobilizing in July -- a short two months and some from now -- toward deployment in Iraq. He's been in the Reserves for four and a half years, shortly after we found out I was pregnant with little boy #2 (we now have three), so it's really amazing he hasn't yet had to go overseas. And while I'm terrified, freaked out, and otherwise dreading 15 months (or so) alone at home, I'm also relieved.

Six months after having decided to junk my corporate job and freelance so I could devote more energy to three needy little boys and work on a book project I've been dreaming about, we're really strapped for cash. My husband has been decidedly under-employed and the mortgage and utility payments were starting to slip. $2,500 a month could be stretched to pay the bills if we were caught up; but we never got caught up.So when he heads off to Ft. something-or-other, for training up in July, I'll be sad but counting my blessings, to the tune of a tripling of our monthly income once he's overseas, and an immediate reduction in expenses for our already-frugal household; mobilized soldiers get full health and dental benefits for their family and I'll have one less mouth to feed. Other than a little babysitting here and there ($100 or $150 a month), I can't foresee any increase in costs.

Instead, I'm planning an Army wife gift to herself: a new wood stove that will replace our $200+/month gas heating bill and a lot of spare income to pay down old debts. So my husband is going to Iraq, and while I'll worry about his safety, I'll breathe a sigh of relief over my finances.
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