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Posts Tagged ‘support’

when screaming is the only thing you can do  This has been a year of frustration -the Army has really tried to make me say UNCLE. Between the craziness of trying to figure out where we were going, the halt called to movement a week before he was due to leave and then the sheer insanity of not getting orders until the Friday before the Sunday he was supposed to leave,  I wasn’t sure which way was up.

Shall we talk about this training TDY?  probably not a good idea – but I wonder why the efforts made to contact the “support” person for the unit have resulted in a deafening silence.   One phone call from Rear Det to make sure they had the right phone number and email.  Then one mass email – and one envelope with a “newsletter” composed of pictures of past training classes, and copy/paste information from ACS and the Red Cross.  No response to emails volunteering to help; no response to any requests.  I don’t want to hear a word about how FRSAs need help; I don’t want to hear a word about the lack of communication and the lack of participation in FRGs.  Really.  Not. A. Word.

Now, with less than a week until they are done with this training… still no word whether or not they are getting leave, a pass, or flying out right away.  Never mind that we could have booked an affordable flight a few weeks ago, or even last week.  Never mind that actually saying goodbye, in person, is necessary.  Never mind that the already justifiable stress and tension in the families isn’t healthy for either the family or the soldier.  Never mind.

For all the talk about “we support the families”; for all the “families are important”; for all the “we recruit the soldier, retain the family”…  THIS is the reality of this deployment.  No briefings about what to expect, no information, no support.  nothing. I’m lucky, I’ve done 4 other deployments, so I know what to expect.  I’m hoping at least most of the other team members are in the same boat. But, really – is this necessary?  Is this how we are being “taken care of” or even just kept informed?

I think the grade I’m going to give this particular deployment and prep?  FAIL.

KESF

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I’ve been gone for 10 days – and stepped out of my blogging/facebook/email life for most of that time. Taking a break from my connections was interesting! No, I didn’t go cold turkey, I had my blackberry! But very little blogging, and very little Facebook posting. I wondered if anyone noticed, but I did get a few friends asking if I was alright.

Oh, I was more than alright. I flew out west to pick up the best grand daughter in the world and fly with her to my parent’s house in Florida – my dad turned 90! Flights with a 5 year old are interesting, especially when she says I don’t want to fly anymore – sweetie, we are over Kansas right now and can’t get out. Spending time with them, and afterwards spending time decorating her new room with butterflies and pink – was wonderful! I need to thank the other grandma, Deb, for letting me monopolize her for 10 days, and to the wonderful boxing trainer for coming in to train our granddaughter so I could film it for everyone.

But I realized how much I depend on you all. With the deployment beginning, with Chief away training preparatory to heading downrange, I know that you are going to be my company, my shoulders to lean on and the ones who will make me laugh, make me think, keep me on my toes and able to relax at the same time. My new hobbies and my business will keep me busy. BUT – and this is important – I also realized how much of my life is online, is dependent on the “interwebz” and those who hang out here with me. That was reinforced this week when one of my “imaginary friends” as Chief calls my online buddies came and stayed for a couple of days. We sat and talked, we’ve known each other online for years, but only met physically a few months ago. We speak the same language, we don’t have to explain much to each other (except to translate Navy to Army speak!)

We speak the same language, we understand the stages of deployment and reintegration…we understand how we feel and how the other spouse is coping, we reach out to each other, give a shoulder and an ear to each other.

Thanks for being here, for being there; thank you for supporting and comforting me and others.

KESF

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There are worries in the military family sphere, now that the celebrating is over. Because no matter how good this news was, the wars aren’t over.

The incredible work done by our intel services, (hooah MI) the other intel agencies, the SEALS and their families – we celebrate their heroism, their perseverance and their guts.

We’ve all been relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead, and there have been celebrations at Ground Zero and Lafayette Park in front of the White House. As I said last night, normally I don’t celebrate death of anyone – but I’ll make a definite  exception for this one, a sentiment I’ve heard from quite a few people.

I’ve been chatting with some of my milspouse friends in various venues, and we are all worried.  Not just the repercussions of this, the vengeance attacks that we dread, especially those of us with spouses or loved ones downrange.  We are also wondering how soon it will be before the questions start.

“So, guess he won’t have to go to Afghanistan now, huh?”

“So, what are you guys going to do now that we don’t have any wars going on?”

“Aren’t you glad it’s all over now?”

But it isn’t.  It isn’t over.  Yes, one mad evil man is dead.  But his group is still there, hasn’t needed his hands on guidance since he was driven into the mountains.  The splinter groups are still doing whatever they do, without his leadership.  The Taliban is still sending 12 year old children into crowds with strapped on bombs.

We’ve already seen the compassion fatigue – the “how long do you need something” attitudes from some civilians.  As our families continue to deal with deployments or redeployment,  with the effects of absence on families, with the drain on their strength; support will still be needed.  Are we going to hear the  “it’s over, so shut up and go away”?  Our families can’t just pack up and go on their merry way.  We have to go on.  We need support.

It’s Not Over.

KSF

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