Tag Archives: military

So Close

2 Feb

I was going to hold off writing about the deployment again until my husband is home because that’s how painstakingly close we are. I have known an estimated date of arrival since the end of December/beginning of January and have been avoiding any thoughts about it until recently to help prevent the inevitable time warp-like slow down that happens when you are anticipating something exciting.

Before I met Eric, I didn’t know what it meant to truly miss someone. The first weekend he was gone was so hard and I cried so many tears over the unimaginable nine months I had to endure without him. With his homecoming “date” quickly approaching I finally let myself start to get excited, to begin the things around the house that needed to be done, and to look at what I had to “get through” until he was home.

This morning I found out I need to add on about eight days to my countdown. Eight days might not seem like a long time but right here, right now it feels like an eternity. Twelve hours later and I still can’t begin to proces those eight extra days. They hurt to talk to about, they hurt to think about.

I just want him home.

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Taking A Stand

26 Jan

I really wanted to write this last night but I knew I needed to sleep on it first and wake up with a fresh mind and a better mood. So here goes…

I was in an angry mood yesterday. I was a little over tired, work was a little crazy at the end of the day, and I’m a litte impatient as we crawl to the end of this deployment. All of those little things, and a lady who doesn’t know how to drive, put me on edge. I even thought to myself, I shouldn’t be driving right now because I am that angry.

Fort Benning is transitioning to an automated gate system but the communication to the ID cardholders has been terrible. After being told by the FRSA that the system isn’t going into affect anytime soon (not his fault, that’s what he was probably told) a wife posted to our facebook page a link to a post by the “Military Housing Issues and Concerns” facebook page. For those of you who don’t know, housing is not run my the military and this is not an official military page.

That being said – they posted an announcement about the new system that is being implemented well, next month. In order to use the new system we are required to go register our ID cards, in person, on Fort Benning. Sponsors, aka the active duty soldiers, are not allowed to do this for their family members. The hours to do this? Monday to Friday 9-12 and 1-430.

I am overly opinionated and made a comment about the hours being too limited for those of us who work a normal work day (i.e, not a 3rd shift). My comment was not rude and I obviously understand that this announcement was posted on a page that has nothing to do with the new ID system. I was actually hoping to find a little agreement in the absurdity of trying to get thousands and thousands of people registered in a few weeks during only a 7 1/2 hour window in the middle of the afternoon on weekdays.

A back and forth started between myself and who I quickly found out is a former soldier who runs the page. I said a few things I should not have (the worst being “thanks for your smart ass response”) but I later went back and deleted those things I said out of absolute anger.

What I wanted to share out of this long-winded story is this:

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 7.38.09 PM

We, as in the spouses, should not have to fight to have our own careers. It is 2013 and I thought we were beyond this. While I do regret responding so quickly and not thinking before I reacted, I am not sorry I stood up for what I believe is right. Women wouldn’t have the right to vote if we didn’t stand up and speak. This issue is quite petty compared to the profound women’s rights movement but it’s still something. 

Not a single person on that page came out and agreed with me. There are 715 people that like that page. To say I was a little shocked would be an understatement. I started to wonder if I was out of line, perhaps it was crazy of me to think that I should have to ask my boss at my civilian boss if I could have off for yet another thing for the Army. Not until I posted that same picture to my facebook page did I have someone agree that the man who runs that page was out of line.

Are you a working military spouse? Do you think we make sacrifices in our own careers because of what our spouse does for a living?

Moments

20 Jan

Deployments are hard. I didn’t cry until the night before when we were laying in bed together, the silence suddenly broken by the thought I had been pushing away for so long. This will be the last night I sleep next to my husband for nine months. I didn’t want to let myself drift off to sleep. I watched him for what felt like hours, blanketed in the darkness of shadows cast from the peak of street light coming through our curtains while he slept. I knew this moment – the sound of him breathing, the brush of his arm as he turned over, the weight of his body next to mine – would be all I had when I crawled into bed that next night and I tried so hard to drink it all in.

The next day I cried once before we left the house, we were in the living room and he started gathering his things. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t physically hold it in, my eyes burned so badly trying to fight back the tears. The car ride was awkward. Every mile brought us further from home and closer to goodbye. Watching him walk away across that field as I stood next to the car with tears spilling down my cheeks and blurring my vision is still a moment I can’t think about easily.

Our house was so still when I got home but certain places burned with the absence of him. Where we ate the Chinese food we had ordered for lunch, where he left his cell phone on the counter, where he pulled me into a tight hug as we stood next to the couch. Oh how deafening silence can be.

Routine soon replaced the absence and days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. I’ll soon be standing with the other anxious wives, waiting for our husbands to walk off of that plane that took them so far away from home.

Looking back on that night before he left I realize I can’t remember. I can’t remember what it sounds like when he sleeps, what it feels like when he brushes up against me in the middle of the night.

It’s okay. I can’t wait to discover those moments all over again.

Falling Into Place

15 Jan

My biggest struggle with being married to the military, and in life in general, is making peace with the unknowns. I am a planner and like to know what the future holds. These past two years I’ve become better about rolling with the punches and letting what happens, happen.

With Eric’s end of service date approaching and our plans to start a family set I’m itching to have at least a general sense of direction for us.

After a few conversations over Facebook chat, because that’s where all important discussions should take place, Eric and I have a road map of sorts for the next two years.

And, breathe out. I feel so much better knowing that we aren’t heading into 2014 with two potential major changes – a baby and an unemployed husband – and figuring it out as we go. Yes, I know there will be bumps along the way and not all will work out as planned, but at least we now have a destination in mind.

What are these grandiose plans, you ask? Number one and the biggest of all is to start growing our family. Next is the decision to move when our lease is up in July. I really hate that we do not have any outdoor space so I am going to look at a nicer apartment complex tonight and another one on Saturday. And finally, Eric is going to start working towards his bachelor’s degree when he gets home. I want him to be college-educated and I want him to take advantage of his GI Bill as he does not have the option to pass it along to our children. While he is in school I will continue working until mid-2014 when I will begin looking for a job down in the Tampa area where we want to move. Once I secure a job Eric will transfer schools and we will finally have reached most of our big goals.

Here’s to hoping for a successful few years and a lot of good times along the way.

Problems with the Military & How to Fix Them

11 Dec

There are three big, scratch that, four issues that families face with the military.

1) All families, whether military or not, are affected by the astronomical amount of money our government spends.

2) Military spouses who choose to work have a hard time advancing their careers

3) Military kids are constantly required to change schools

4) There is a lack of consistency with the constant change of command

Well..Ive officially solved all of the above problems with one semi-simple solution-keep military families where they are!

Here is how it would work

-Soldiers could pick their top five for their first duty station
-If after 3 years a soldier would like to move and a slot is available they may do so
-OCONUS bases would be voluntary-only except in cases where a slot would need to be filled. Those bases would be 2 years or as long as the soldier wanted stay.
-If a slot is open and there are no volunteers a soldier could still come down on orders like today.

Am I missing a few issues? Probably. But so much money would be saved, spouses could build up their careers easier, kids would be a little more “grounded”, and each unit would have less changes with each incoming and outgoing soldier.

What are your thoughts?

Why I Hate the Army

10 Dec

Before you get all up in my business for not being “supportive” I just want you to know that I 100% support the troops and would follow my husband to the end’s of the earth if that’s where the Army sent him.

Now that that has been cleared up, let me start with point numero uno:

Sterotypes about military spouses are there for a reason. And all of those reasons are in my husband’s current unit.

Reason number two:

No matter what way you spin it, spouse’s careers are not fully supported.

Tonight at our FRG meeting we were told return flight dates have not been set yet. I get that, we are still a little ways out. However, my husband had to turn in his leave packet last week for block leave. Because I am very new at work and taking quite a bit of time off for Christmas I need to be careful about asking off for block leave. I want to be at least 80% sure that the dates are accurate before I even bring it up and since our next meeting could potentially be less than a month out from homecoming I needed to ask tonight how “set in stone” the dates were.

Now, I get that anything could happen and the guys could be needed half way around the world in 48 hours. That’s not what I am referring to. After the capitan that was running the q&a portion of the meeting (we run our meetings battalion-wide) said he was about 90% sure the dates were set in stone he handed the mic to who I believe is the battalion commander’s wife. She responded in a very patronizing way that I should know things could come up and basically said in less words that my career was less important than my husband’s.

It took all I had in me not to roll my eyes and respond back with the same tone. But I, on the other hand, understand the meaning of respect.