I can’t say this week has been easy. It hasn’t. But I’m starting to wonder just what y’all think is going on here. Monday night, I was in tears. I laid awake, bawling because of the strain of my husband moving to Ft Bragg without us and a myriad of other worries and stresses that decided Monday night was the night to let it all out.
The night kicked off with my oldest coming back from a sleepover. She was over tired and hungry, cause you know that child won’t eat. She wailed and cried for three hours STRAIGHT. We finally got her to sleep and then the little one wouldn’t settle down. For children used to going to bed at 730, 10pm was insanely late.
But the crying, over tired kids was only the start. It really hit me that my husband is moving to Bragg. No biggie, right? Yeah, except that he’s at Bragg and the girls and I won’t get there until January of 2011 because I’m going to my advance course. We’ll make it work, we always do, but pressing on my chest that night was the dread that my daughters could be without their daddy for 3 YEARS. Because what if we get to Bragg and then he deploys. Really? This is the choice we have to make?
I’m not blaming the army here. I accept that ‘needs of the army’ trumps needs of a family any day of the week (notice I said accept, doesn’t mean I like it). But when the people on high look down at the micro level, at the individual soldier and say, well, sometimes you’ve got to take one for the team, I feel like saying…well, it’s not fit for the public but use your imagination.
The reality of it is that my husband has not officially moved from Ft Hood since 2003. Nevermind that he’s done 3 COMBAT TOURS in Iraq in that time period, plus his advanced schooling so he’s been physically at Ft Hood less than 24 months out of that entire time period. I, on the other hand, have moved because of my officer training.
The army says, you have dwell time. Well, what good does dwell time do when you move someone 90 days after they return from Iraq and you don’t consider that he is part of a family with children. 3 schools in the first year of kindergarten? So no, I have to stay in Hood until summer time.
I’m not telling you this to demand you write to the powers that be or anything like that. This is our situation and we’ll deal with it, just like we always have. I’m sharing this because sometimes, the magnitude of the impact on my kids gets to me. I keep telling myself that they’ll be allright. They’re with me, we’ll get by. But they love their daddy. And you know what? I love their daddy and damn it, I don’t want to spend 2 years without him.
So it hurts to be faced with these choices. It hurts a lot but these are the consequences of our continuing to serve. And sometimes, the consequences and the weight of it all keeps me up at night, letting it all out, so I have space to put it back inside and get through the next day.
So that’s it. A night in the life of a worried soldier, mom and wife who’s no longer in combat, but sometimes, just as worried.