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Current Situation: Chris Stapleton

Author’s note: This article also has a working title of “Battle Buddies, Jesus, and Christ Stapleton. It’s dedicated to JoJo and all the Blue Star spouses currently waiting on their service members. Song titles from the music of Chris Stapleton are in bold type.

Last week, my civilian neighbor stopped by with a bottle of wine and asked if she could (and I quote) “be on my Deployment Team?” My neighbors here in Texas (mostly civilians at this duty station) are aware that my husband is downrange, but this was a first for me.

I asked her what she thought my “Deployment Team” was, and she replied, “You know, the one that cooks for you, watches your kids, and just keeps you from crying all the time.”

Wow! What an offer! I didn’t even know such a team existed, but I thanked her and told her she was more than welcome to be on my Deployment Team, and I would update my roster immediately!

But then I got to thinking… do I even have a Deployment Team anymore?

I’m a military spouse of 21 years with multiple deployments and separations under my belt, so I don’t know if I could even call my team a Deployment Team anymore. I think my team has morphed into a CST: Current Situation Team.

Deployments are just a part of what life throws at us in military (or civilian) life, and every day seems to bring different challenges that have me reaching for my roster of support.

So my “team” doesn’t just get activated during deployment. It is a 24/7, on call, Current Situation Team whose expertise is diverse and invaluable.

My CST can handle war, teenagers, family issues, internal strife, and dead car batteries on a daily basis. Whatever the Current Situation is, my roster of experts can handle anything I bring to them and help me through it.

So, who is on my roster? In no particular order, my roster includes my Battle Buddies, Jesus, and Mr. Chris Stapleton.

My Battle Buddies range in age and experience, but most of them have (at one time or another) waited on their spouse to come home. This part of the roster has been carefully collected and tested over the past 20 years. Some are veterans and some are rookies. Some I call frequently, while others are “ringers” for specific situations.

Nothing I say sounds idiotic to them, and no time of day or night is off limits for a call or text.

My faith is always on the roster. If I had to pick the MVP on my CST, it’s always the same selection. I know Jesus is holding me up no matter what burden I’m carrying. My faith is the foundation that guides me through every valley and the reason I can celebrate on the mountaintop.

Finally, the last player on my roster is a man I’ve never met, but he comforts me profoundly through his music, lyrics, and soul-soothing voice. His songs can cradle my heart the way mac & cheese can cradle my stomach.

For me, that person is Chris Stapleton. If you don’t know who he is, please look him up immediately!

When I need a Parachute he can make my landing from a hard day that much softer.

As life (not just deployment) continues to grind on me, I like to take a drive and sing “Take Your Best Shot” at the top of my lungs while I challenge another day to try and get the best of me.

And Sometimes I Cry. And sometimes I need to Drink a Beer.

After all, we’re all Just Travelers on this Earth! So we should all be traveling with the best CST on each and every road!

Your roster may have another player whose songs can transport you somewhere as you wind down another day and let the music take away your frustration and pain. I hope you have your own Chris Stapleton—someone on your CST team you can sit on the back porch with and let them soothe your soul, your psyche, or whatever else you need to take care of.

Too many Broken Halos among us to not seek comfort.

I hope you can let that person fill your ears, your speakers, and your heart. I hope when the last note of the music drifts away, you feel the peace that’s left behind.

I will leave you with the following question: Who is on your Current Situation Team?

Who are the go-to people you would want on your roster for the things you face in your life?

No matter where you are on this spectrum, recruit your team! Find the kind of Battle Buddies, Faith Promoters, and Soul Soothers who can support you all year.

We can’t do this alone because, as my man Chris would say, “We Got a Friendship,” and like my neighbor who stopped by to offer to help…

That makes all the different.


Who is on your Current Situation Team?  Let us know in the comments.



  • Kathleen Palmer

    Kathleen is an educator and project seeker from Texas. In her 25 years as an Army wife, Kathleen has taught and coached in six different states and Germany. Kathleen has a big heart for both Army families and soldiers having served as a Soldier for Life counselor in both Germany and Korea. Her favorite part of Army life is her acquired community of battle buddies! Kathleen loves words (both speaking and writing them) and has contributed to AWN, NMFA, The Fort Hood Sentinel, The Army Spouse Handbook, Inside Abu Ghraib, Memoirs of Two US Military Intelligence Officers, and The Army War College at Carlisle. Her favorite writing piece about being an Army wife is “The Lady in the Grey Suit” which was published in 2015 in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors (Vol.3). You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, or on her website, Life Is Messy, Love Big. Just like Kathleen, the site is a WORK in Progress! She also currently serves as Mission: Milspouse Director of Content.


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

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