Recently, my husband and I experienced a pretty stressful process.....a little thing called being an alternate.
When a deployment list comes out for a squadron, there are always "alternates" on that list. The purpose of an this is to have extra people ready to leave in case something comes up. This is completely understandable but is not easy on the family of the person in that position. Until that deployment actually leaves, we have no idea whether or not our spouse is going!
This scenario is what my husband and I went through with the last deployment that left. Fortunately, he ended up not leaving but it was a very long night waiting to find out whether he was leaving or coming back home. I have to say, that was a very long night but in some ways, I think it was harder on my husband than me. Although he wanted to stay here with me, there was a part of him that wanted to be with his fellow airmen, a part that wanted to complete the mission.
It was a stressful situation for both of us and I don't wish being an alternate on anyone. As difficult as it was to watch the rest of his squadron leave without him, we are very lucky that he gets to stay home at least for a little while longer.