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March 7, 2013

Army Update

You want to hear my Army update?
Jake's National Guard contract is done!

It's been a crazy 6 years.
Let me give you the cliffnotes version.

  • The day Jake signed was the last day he heard from his recruiter. She pretended not to know the twins after she got her money.
  • Before signing his papers, the whole family was told that both boys would 100% be back in time for SIL's wedding. That was ignored and in order to get back he had to drop out of his year long AIT and have it delayed by over 7 months. But yes, he got in late the night before the wedding.
  • Jake's basic training only allowed 3 phone calls home. Peroid.
  • The family traveled to Ft. Bragg for Jake's Basic Training graduation... We had to leave him there because his year long AIT started immediately after.
  • The arly considered Jake an AIT drop out because of the wedding. This means that all of his training got pushed back. This meant that of the soldiers in his unit with the same MOS, he would be the last to be promoted unless he had mad promotion points.
  • Jake's second first day at AIT he was forced to do push-ups in a pile of red fire ants. Not really related... But still crappy.
  • Jake injured his ankle (we think he actually broke it) and because he was able to walk into the clinic he was told 'it was fine'.... Then they managed to 'lose' any paperwork concerning his ankle.
  • We got engaged.
  • Jake finished his AIT program in one of the top spots in the class. I don't remember his place, but I know it was really, really good.
  • Jake came home from AIT.
  • We made a date for our wedding... Then had to move it up by 3 months because of deployment orders. 
  • We got married and moved into our place.
  • That deployment was cancelled. Yay for spending more than 3 months as a married couple!
  • Another deployment was scheduled. The unit went to the pre-deployment training.... It' a month long.
  • That deployment was cancelled.
  • Everyone and their mothers got pregnant!
  • The Sept 11, 2011 date was given for Deployment. Another month long training was scheduled.
  • 3/4 of everyone had their babies!
  • Jake and I moved into our current place. KG moved in and the twins, and RG, left for Afghanistan. All with in 5 days.
  • 2 months later, Thanksgiving day, we were told that Twin was coming home.
  • Twin came home Dec 31st... 
  • Jake was skipped over more than three for a promotion... His promotion points were 'lost'. At least 2 of the people promoted in place of him were state side.......
  • Jake was moved to a new base and was given all of the jobs that person had before him... And wasn't given the rank to go with it.
  • Jake was within 30 feet of an RPG exploding. Those things have a 200m range. Praise the Lord it didn't detonate. Let's just say it was an awesome day for me....
  • Jake came home.
  • The unit offered him an extension on his contract with absolutely no perks... It was a mildly offensive offer, in my opinion.
  • The VA basically brushed his PTSD and other issues under the table. 

Serving our country was the right way to go for Jake. He volunteered to serve when he didn't have to. The role he had in taking care of the wounded, civilian and soldier alike, that came through his clinic makes me so proud. He helped save lives. Not everyone can provide a service like that. 

 The National Guard has provided us with a lot. Job experience and training for Jake. A way to stay out of debt, for the time being, when it comes to school and VA benefits. Jake and I were quickly thrown into the reality of married life and the kind of support that is necessary in times of trouble. I'm thankful for that lesson every day.

But, it has also left us with a bad taste in our mouths.
There is nothing worse than knowing that your husband is an all around great guy. Jake always follows all the rules and has proven time and time again that he is a excellent soldier. To see the unit completely ignore this and treat him like crap... It's hard to watch, knowing that there is not a single thing I, as a lowly army wife, can do about it.
In the end, his dissapointment and bitterness was too much for us to continue the Army National Guard life.

We are just one story, and thankfully ours is done, for now. Truthfully, I'd be lying if I said that we were completely done with the military. There is always the chance of a great opportunity after Med school.

We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

So there you have it.
Jake is on a 2 year recall, so hopefully he doesn't get called up again for a deployment.
I'm praying with every fiber of my being that it wont happen, ad I refuse to feel guilty about that.
It's time for us to move on with our lives.


Nikki said...

Wow! A lot of that happened before I started reading your blog. What a crazy roller coaster. So glad he's home age and thanks so much for his service and both of your sacrifice.

Darby Hawley said...

I am so excited for this chapter to be coming to an end, for now. That was a lot to handle and you did so with such grace! I am excited for you and the next chapter!!!!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Wow. Just wow. It's sad that the people defending our country are treated so poorly. I thank my lucky stars that there are still brave men and women out there like your husband willing to do it!

Here's to the next (and hopefully better) chapter in you life together!

itbritt said...

I'm cringing.
This whole post is so... relatable.
my husband is a marine, and if I were to make a list as you did - oh, it would be so disappointing. I don't think I could bear to have it all written in one place.

Being in the military, and married to it; definitely a unique experience.