Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When is it enough?

Well, I have been trucking along through my pregnancy and trying to enjoy the last few weeks with my husband before he deploys for the 4th time.

We had been pretty happy with our unit here--they honestly seem to care about Soldiers and their families. This pre-deployment train-up has been insane, thanks to actions of a previous brigade commander that was relieved for a "lack of confidence in his abilities". Since returning home last August, hubby has been in the field for over 1/3 of that time. But, I dealt...because you have to.

Recent news has pushed me to my breaking point. I don't know if I can hang anymore. And if anyone wants to know why company grade officers leave the Army, the answer is coming. (But let us also not fail to mention the extreme experience gap between company grades and field grades/general officers. CGs have been deployed multiple times in their short careers, often more than an FG or GO---how can the 2 groups possibly relate on matters of family time and multiple deployment stress?)

After the requisite recon visit to downrange, it was determined that hubby's company take on a different mission set. Suffice it to say, it's not what they spent the better part of 2011 training for. So now, there has to be more overnight training on the eve of deployment. Fail #1.

Hubby is being moved under a different battalion commander. One that isn't so sympathetic to our family's needs. After months of being promised that my husband would be here for the birth of our daughter, we are now being told to "suck it up". I even learned that my husband had to sign a dwell time waiver, so that he could deploy without completing 12 months "at home".

So, I want to know, when does my family sacrifice enough? Or all of these promises about family time only for junior soldiers? I am not foolish enough to believe that my husband would ever get the 10-day paternity leave, but I was foolish enough to believe that someone might have a heart and let him stay back for just 2-3 days to be here. I would even be happy if he could be there for delivery, but had to leave later that day. I don't want much. I was foolish enough to believe that the 4-star responsible for signing the dwell time waivers, would stick to his promise and not sign any. But, 11 months is almost 12 and he is a leader, so....I should just expect to be drop kicked and suffer.

Why does my family not have an advocate? Do senior captains really not matter that much?

There are a lot of factors going in to this, but there is a good chance that my husband wouldn't get R&R, either. So, I am left looking at a future where my husband leaves, my child is born a few days later, and he then returns to a 12-month old.

I. am. pissed. Since I learned this, not a day has gone by that it doesn't make me nearly ill or have me crying at some point. When do I get something?


  1. :( And people argue with me over the fact that we're going to wait and see about babies until husband gets through his next 2 1/2 years of "deployable" time...

    You make a great point about the "higher ups" not being from the same generation, and not having any empathy for young families who have been through many deployments at this point.

    Isn't it always getting the rug pulled out from under you that just does you in? You're all ready to "grin and bear it" and then the thing you're supposed to "bear" completely changes and your world is spinning.

    And you've got a baby coming -- all the more reason to be spinning.

    I hope hope hope that Army can't get it's shit together, and dates get pushed back and your husband will be there with you to meet the baby despite the ignorant higher-ups who don't give a damn.

    Wishing I was in Germany to give hugs, walk the dog for you or just help out. **hugs**

  2. Ugh. Do I understand this. Our experience, in the Navy, has been brutal honesty - "No promises. We don't really care if you see your daughter born." Or, out-and-out lies - "We'll make it work." And then they don't.

    Most women I know on our base did not have their husbands by their side in labor, even if they were told they would.

    We have shore duty right now, and even with that, the Navy makes no promises.

    And they wonder why the attrition rate is so high...