April 20, 2011

PCS and all the rest

It's creeping up quickly as the days go by. Today we got our official orders (in hand) and got the paperwork done for the No Fee Passport from post. Last night when my husband came home he came home with a ton of papers and different dates and times for appointments, briefings and etc. Overwhelming to the max, especially when my 2 lunches this week had to get canceled because of them. We have about 4 more months until we PCS, and before that we have to get the command sponsorship approval for me to go. It's hard to sit here and wait and not be able to do anything to make it go faster. The 2 passports (the regular one and the No Fee Passport from post) are supposed to take 6-8 weeks, and then the EFMP paperwork screening is next week. So hopefully once the screening is done, we will know if the Command Sponsorship is approved.

Tomorrow we will be going to California until Saturday night for my husbands grandpa's funeral. Then back home to appointments and what not.

April 13, 2011

Top Quotes

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.” - Winnie the Pooh ♥

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

What NOT to say to a Military Wife

Saw this on a website: Figured all my fellow military spouses would agree.

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
This one comes in at number one on the "duh" list for every military wife. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers in the backs of our minds -- but thanks, brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
This is intended to be a compliment, but it's just a little annoying. Here's why: It's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cellphones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable; we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So, we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas / anniversary / birthday / birth of a child / wedding / family reunion, etc.?"
Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
Short answer: try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq because there is work that needs to be done.

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
Sure, we do learn coping skills, and it's true the more deployments you've gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's three-week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12–15-month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an IED (improvised explosive device), your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12-month combat deployment to a business trip is like comparing a Ford Taurus with a Mercedes convertible.

9. "Wow, you must miss him."
This one also gets another big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not, and they're now divorced.

10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for nine years and at war in Iraq for seven years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in the papers every day -- and on maps everywhere.

11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there."
Yes, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid, ignorant comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask to be hit by anything -- he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fighting for your freedom.

12. "Don't you miss sex? I couldn't do it!"
Hmmm. Seriously ... military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn't withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.

13. "Well, in my opinion ..."
Stop right there. I didn't ask for your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a restaurant when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our butts off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are inviting them to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the president. Especially while we're trying to heat up our Lean Cuisine in the crappy office microwave.

Last but not least ...

14. "Oh, that's horrible ... I'm so sorry!"
He's doing his job and he's tough. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our military fights the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad and you stay safe.

This story was told to Stephanie Gaskell by Kristina Tipton. Tipton, married to a Navy Seabee who has deployed three times, including a tour in Iraq, is stationed in Naples, Italy. She and her husband, Tim, have two children. This story originally appeared on The War Report.

Getting through it

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

As the days are approaching my husbands last cycle at Fort Benning will begin, that's only IF he doesn't get to go to Ranger School (either because it's full, or he gets pulled back again). I hope he just gets into this school, he's been trying to get into Pathfinder for about 4 different start dates, but can't ever get in. I'm hoping he will be able to get Ranger school done before we leave for Alaska. 

But that's not the point. The point is why do I want my husband to be gone for 2 months with no contact, should I be sad? Because I'm not. I want him to succeed in his career and to get his Ranger tab. I don't want to be the wife that keeps him back from doing his job and learning everything he can. Part of me of course will miss him but I know that he will be doing great. 

What bothers me is when wives are FREAKING out because their husband is gone in training, or doing something else when he is just doing is job. The other day a friend made a GREAT comment on the Fort Benning Facebook. Explaining that basic trainee wives should be thankful for the volunteering of taking and posting photos of their significant others.  Which is true, before Facebook their would be NO photo's. Their husbands are not in danger, and they are training to do their jobs and protect our country. WHY would these significant others FREAK about their husband gone, they are in for a RUDE awaking because that is what their life will become. 

I know that when my husband is gone for training, or schools he is learning more and becoming a better soldier. He will keep himself and others safer from the knowledge he will be getting at schools. I wouldn't want them to be distracted with cameras, that just takes away their focus. I think that this whole obsession with Facebook photos of training soldiers is disgusting. 

When they start training, the significant other is starting to learn what being along side their spouse means. Being strong for them, supporting them and understanding this is their job is the first step. If the one along side their husband is strong, their husband will be stronger. 

I'm just saying it takes A LOT of strength and willingness to be a military spouse. People don't realize the importance of the spouse and their actions.

April 12, 2011

My Drill Sgt of the Cycle

Just bragging:
I am so proud of my husband for getting Drill Sergeant of the Cycle.. The graduation was 3/31 but I'm just that proud :).. He deserved it.

Drill Sgt Creed

With my husband and 1 of his awards :) He also got 3 different coins, and a statue award

April 10, 2011

Life goes on

Just the other day, the government was saying it was shutting down. No military pay, commissary's shutting down, ect. Taking a large impact on military families like us. As Friday night approached, chaos over Facebook happened. Until an agreement has been made. Since then things have settled down. So now we just keep on rolling. This government situation has caused everyone to gain insight on financial planning. Since I always took an interest in finances, we have savings.. actually two savings accounts. So life moves on, and so do we.

Anyways, in 2 months my husband will be going to Ranger school for 2 months... meaning no contact for those 2 months. Then in 4 months we will be PSCing to Alaska.

Also, another thing on my mind.. I HATE WHEN people talk to my husband, and don't ask how I am..
I AM HIS WIFE, in my mind its a nice thing to do.. and respectful...
I'm hurt that they don't ask how I am.. I don't feel like they approve of me or like me.. But at this point like everything else.. I just have to move on and forget about it.

April 7, 2011

Military Chaos

It's been a crazy week, with the whole "military not being paid" and government shutting down. The stress have overwhelmed us all, and people are expecting us to be happy for 8 days, instead of the 2 weeks. Well, personally no we're not. In my opinion, these service members are securing your country, fighting for your freedom, and working around the clock to keep you safe. They should be the ones getting paid, but nope... government shutting down is causing chaos among the military, mostly the spouses. How will our bills get paid? How long will this go on for? Ect. Ect. It's stressful having to think your "steady pay" is going away.

In about 4 months, we will be PCSing to Alaska. In the next 4 months, we have to pay for our current house to be fixed, painted and rented out. He's the only one working, and I feel bad getting a job for 4 months then quitting. I've been getting all of my paperwork done, and passport stuff done. Hoping that the passport is done before we leave (since the government is shutting down, so will the process of passports)..

Also in about 18 days, my husband will be leaving for Ranger school soon for 2 months. Meaning another 2 months with the 3 dogs, and a cat alone.. Lonely.. But waiting for the two months after is going to feel like FOREVER..

Another day in the military lifestyle, and just staying strong for my husband and his career.. I hope he gets his ranger tab, more than likely he will get the promotion next year..