The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in partnership with the Ad Council have launched a campaigned for Veterans of OIF and OEF. The campaign encourages Veterans to join an online community that is the first and only one of it's kind that is specifically exclusive to the Veterans of these conflicts. It is designed to help them connect with one another. Much like military blogs, the social networking site provides them a place to talk about their own unique experiences.
I received this information from Matt Hirsch, on behalf of IAVA, in partnership with the Ad Council and felt it important to help the word out about this site.
See, I am very lucky that when issues came up with my husband after he returned this last time....issues that had been there for many years (since his first tour) that he knew that there was something wrong. He knew that seeking help for the growing feelings he was experiencing was what he needed to do. I was also very lucky that my husband is a loving husband and father and never let the uphill climb he faced (and still does) destroy his love for us or his commitment to making through to the other side.
Other service members are not so lucky, they may not have the supportive love of a wife who understands, or children waiting for them so that they can pick up where they left off once they return, or a Command that "gets it", or family and friends standing by their side. Many do feel alone and as if they have no one that truly understands where they are coming from.
Maybe this will be one more tool to help them feel less like they are in it all by themselves. Please help me, help them spread the word......
The MHS is hosting a web town hall meeting where experts will answer questions from service members and their families about the Defense Department’s medical care programs for its wounded, ill and injured troops. I hope you can join us.
When: Nov. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. EST
Questions: Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
And please consider posting an entry to your blog and invite your readers to participate. During the event, medical experts, supporting organizations and service members who have been touched by warrior care will be dialoging about healthcare solutions. I’m working with MHS and your help will be appreciated.
Military Health System
Below is the link to the site
Build A Sign
Last year I spent it with my closest friend as we remembered those agonizing hours as we prayed across our post for friends, neighbors....... leaders that we both knew separately.....but this year it will be different....we are once again separated, but this time by many, many states and are spending it once again with our soldiers home.....who knows what our futures hold for either of us....but for those two September 11ths....we were on the same military installations....one grieving, the other remembering. Today, I miss you!
To all those who were the first victims of the war on terror and to each and everyone since as well as their families, as we once again look upon this anniversary of sorrow for our Great Nation, I pray for you, that you are able to move past what this war has done to you. That God grace your lives with love and comfort.....
To America, do not think for a moment that our enemy has forgotten what he did to us......he remembers far more then most of you do.....he laughs at our grief.....revels in every death caused by his hand and will stop at nothing to continue his path..... Support those that defend your Country, support their families, let them know that what they do for each of us, you honor. When the time comes that you find out that someone you know has laid down their life for you......let their family know that it was not done in vain......help them to know how much you appreciated that ultimate and great sacrifice....you have no idea what happens to a family who loses their service member, it does not end when the funeral is over, in fact, that is really when it just begins for most...... And America, where is your flag.....you make such a great stand of flying them when something horrible happens to our Nation....and yet my flag is the only one that flys on my street......it has flown every day for 20 years...... Why don't you honor our nation by flying it's national Flag?
I did not know what I was having when I was pregnant with you....I didn't want to know. The miracle that you were was enough for me, I found comfort in knowing that you were just there, often when I was all alone.......I was overwhelmed when the doctor said "it's a girl." I cried......I still do when I think about it.
I am not sure when you got to be so beautiful....was it when you first cried, back when it was just you and me kid? Were you always so inquisitive? So full of questions? You walked early, talked early, got teeth early....so ready to just get on with it, you began growing up before I realized it was possible. Do you remember when I knew you could read? What the first word you read aloud to me was? It was Donut, we were driving....and you told me you wanted one....I laughed out loud and turned around and got it for you....you were five. Do you remember how you used to repeat everything I would say....often using the same colorful adjectives......I was apalled, but everyone else thought you were so cute.....
Your eyes always took in so much and were always the first thing anyone ever noticed about you.....so blue, so big......so beautiful, they still are, followed by your beautiful smile. You were the wind beneath my wings when I was just discovering how to be an adult.....the one thing that brought me out of the dark days of a war....did I ever tell you that?
How did you get to be almost 18 years old and graduating this year? I look back at photos and videos of you growing up. How proud I have always been of how you gracefully eased through all that life through at you.....the loss you experienced, the pain you went through and even coming close to losing one of your closest family members, not once did you fall......but then I have always been there in case you did.
As I looked at you this morning, my heart filled with so much, I hardly knew where to begin and so I was pretty quiet......you twirled around like you used to when you were little, looked over your shoulder at me and said, "Hey Mom, it's my last first day." It was all I could do to not let you see the tears as they welled up in my eyes.....when did you get to be so grown up, where is my little girl....with the bright inquisitive blue eyes and giggles when I held her....she has been replaced with this stunning creature I sometimes hardly recognize.....did I miss your life? I know I was there.....but being your mother has never once been hard, so maybe that is why you seem to have grown up in the blink of an eye.
Those hard days, the ones that stand out in my mind, the ones you rose above and showed what kind of resolve you had in you......the day I took you and your sister's cell phones away to make sure I was the one to tell you about your friend dying and then you held your little sister, the day the war came home to us, the day your friend at school didn't wake up.....through glasses and braces and disappointments you took life in stride, never once turning away from me. You knew I was there for you and you always sought the solace and safety of my arms, knowing that I'd make everything alright.
But now, I think you know that it's time to spread your wings, to find where your place in the world is, to discover where this last year of high school will find you.....ever knowing that I am always going to be Mommy, even on the day you become a mother yourself. I love you with all my heart, my love, my firstborn, my beautiful grown up daughter. I will always be proud to be you mom, privileged to have you in my life, thanked God every day for you, even before you were officially you, but as you grow up, I am excited about being your friend....
BEIJING - AUGUST 19: Gold medalist Shawn Johnson of the USA smiles as she stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's Beam Final at the National Indoor Stadium on Day 11 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 19, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) courtesy of yahoo sports
See, this is my honors child...the one who, since kindergarten has been the child each of her teachers stated would do great things....12 years later she is an English major....taking AP this year in English, Government and Economics, on the Newspaper and Yearbook......she will graduate with distinguished honors....even her new teachers are excited about her being in their classes, so much so the counselor called her to tell her.......
AND while we are very proud of her and her siblings, I was dumbfounded when she asked me how to spell IMMEDIATELY and then asked me if she had spelled AVID right.....I guess after thinking about it, I was just a little perplexed. Of course I too spell things wrong and have to admit that I have become reliant on my browser's ability to underline in red what it does not recognize as being spelled right, especially on my blog......but all and all I am a very good speller....
Such a small thing, but such a big impact.....to me, being a good speller comes with being a good reader....which my daughter is, in fact all of them are........so why the issue? As a comparison I asked my middle daughter to spell IMMEDIATELY to which she did without issue, and while she is a strong English student, her areas in honors lie in math and science.....and come to think of it, she has not had a computer for as long as her older sister either.
Even though I know what classes my children take, and I have guided each of them so that they will be prepared for college, I guess I get to own up to being a bad mother now for not knowing exactly what is in the syllabus. But since they are such great students, I guess I just assumed they each had vocabulary, never really asked them about it. Anyway, I spoke to the girls about their English classes and they both stated that they did indeed have vocabulary, but my older daughter said that in her course, it is such a small part of the class, that her lowest grades were in that area, usually in the low 80's. She said that she did not study as hard for her vocabulary as she did the Lit part ....considering the course often had her reading European Poetry as well as Literature of up to 800 pages, but even with her explanation, she got a dirty look from mom it. She did get a 94% in the class, but imagine what she would have gotten had she not blown off her vocab, not to mention the fact that it is far easier for her to ask me how to spell something then to be confident in her own knowledge of it.....
This will be my daughter's third high school in four years and for the last two years she attended a high school that had block scheduling. For those out there that do not know what this is, it is where you complete a course in a semester instead of a year (much like college, same amount of information put out over a shorter period of time, but for a longer class time). The classes are 90 minutes long instead of the 40 or 45, and you have 4 a semester for a total of 7 or 8 credits per year......instead of having the standard year with 4 quarters, you only have two, when progress reports are sent home they are pretty much looked at like a quarter grade that does not count.
So I'm curious......
Is it the computer age? Did her attendance at one high school that had normal scheduling and then 2 years at one with block scheduling affect her and the way she had to study in order to pass classes that were shorter with just as much information....or was it something else? Many experts say that our adolescents are more prone to low attention spans due to over exposure to television and gaming, but what does it say about computers?
The following is taken from an April, 2008 Article in the NY Times:
James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, drew laughs when he expressed concern about what he called “the slow destruction of the basic unit of human thought, the sentence,” because young Americans are doing most of their writing in disjointed prose composed in Internet chat rooms or in cellphone text messages.In an age when we use computers as if they were always part of our lives.....when most of our children think they always have been, are we losing certain aspects of old-school learning while we focus learning how to use our computer programs? We now rely on the computer for everything from writing mail to writing books and blogs... as digital photo albums and for online support and friendships.... We communicate with our friends and share information via Myspace, Facebook and other like websites. We use programs to balance our checkbooks, watch movies and listen to music, use web-cams and talk on the phone to our loved ones thousands of miles away, use spreadsheets and charts to explain everything from household chores to major proposals by large corporations.... and so much more. All things we used to have to do by hand or without the aid of our expanding technology. How often do you hear someone state that their laptop contains "everything" on it or when it crashes they are determined to save the data?
“Overall, American students’ writing skills are deteriorating,” said Will Fitzhugh, the founder of Concord Review, a journal published in Massachusetts that features history research papers written by high school students. He expressed skepticism that the national assessment accurately measured students’ overall writing skills because, he said, it only tests their ability to write very brief essays jotted out in half an hour.
“The only way to assess the kind of writing that students will have to do in college is to have them write a term paper, and then have somebody sit down and grade it — and nobody wants to do that, because it’s too costly,” he said.
Mr. Fitzhugh cited findings of a 2006 survey of college professors, in which a large majority said they thought most high school graduates came to college with limited writing skills.
With so much being accomplished with the aid of computers, is one small program that we all use at one time or another .....called SPELLCHECK, making our children less smart? Or is it just a compounding problem of many media applications? I don't know the exact answer to it, but what I do know is that the idea has opened my eyes up a little bit more AND that I will be checking to ensure my Senior will be studying her vocabulary a little harder this year......
By the way, the word spellcheck, was not recognized as a word by my computer.....funny.
Summer Olympic Photo Gallery courtesy of Yahoo Sports
I logged into my blog and checked out my daily reads and Spousebuzz's Gbear had this post up this morning....and here is the irony.....it is also what I am writing about today.....
The dreaded insomnia that we all endure. She referred to it as TDY Insomnia....and while for the most part I would say that it is a fitting title for what we go though as military spouses. But we also endure it during different parts of our lives. As I grew up the problem began in my teens and has only been compounded with more complex issues......the day's events for example, how often do you lie awake and worry about something that happened that is out of your control, it doesn't matter that you can't do anything about it, you still lose sleep. There are the times during extreme stress, hectic schedules, sorrow and worrying that cause us to lose sleep. As adults, as parents, our children keep us up at night worrying over sickness when they are young and dates when they are teens....and all the things in between that cause the Sandman to evade us....
But me, I'm a career insomniac. What do you have to have in order to qualify for such a title, well you simply don't sleep. Sometimes for days, weeks and unfortunately one time, for almost 3 months straight (by the way, you get really really super sick from this). And so I read, I read everything...... during the deployments you could find me cleaning, doing laundry, etc....all the things I did not do during the day because I was so busy with other commitments.......I used to also surf the web but then I was just reading online.........still amazed at the bizarre stuff I would come across....but now, I have given most of that up and gone back to my old habit of reading late (or early into the am). At present reading Les Miserables with my oldest daughter who has to finish it for her senior AP English class.......although, I have been known to be up at 3am sanding walls (that damn foyer).
This habit has increasingly gotten worse every time my husband has had to go away (the dreaded TDY Insomnia Gbear speaks of). When he was with Group, it was bad....and then when he was home I would seem to creep back into some assemblance of sleeping, if it only being 4-5 hours. There have been times in my life where I have slept normally, (whatever that is) but it has been so long, I don't recall exactly when that was....... I do not have a television in my room because it promotes insomnia, even reading in bed does as well, but that I simply do anyway......but there are nights where I refuse to give into it, even if it means laying in bed for hours praying......most nights I eventually fall asleep, but it seems to be 30 minutes before my alarm goes off.
Last night my husband, who in all the time he has been home has never had issue with my late night habit of reading, woke up and rolled over to me at 12:30am and said, "Babe, you gotta get back to a normal sleep schedule." Hm.....and here is where this becomes an issue......I don't have one anymore. This is who I am........I have lost so much sleep in my life, I surely have aged well past my 40 years. Experts say that inconsistent sleep can be a factor in having a shorter life.
A 2007 British study found that people who slept the same amount of time (seven hours) each night lived longer, on average, than people who adjusted their schedules to either add or subtract hours from their nightly slumber. Finding your own ideal sleep/wake cycle—and staying consistent—is key to healthy sleep, agrees Carol Ash, DO, medical director of the Sleep for Life center in Hillsborough, N.J.I remember a time when we were told that you couldn't make up for lost sleep.....that it was just lost and you had to move past it.......whether that is true or not, I guess is up for discussion....but the following is a good example.
Q: Is it possible to make up for sleep hours lost during the week by sleeping in on the weekends?Studies show that people who chronically lose sleep, find a way to adjust themselves to the problem......but they are deficient in their daily tasks, memory becomes a problem as well.......so how do you win with this..... For me, I have come to the conclusion that it is just something I have to live with.....best I can. But I hate that when it's late and I'm up, I feel like I am the only person, it seems in the world, awake........... The issue of the deployment/moving cycle from hell which we have been on has only made matters worse and it's no grand surprise that I don't sleep anymore.
A: Sleep can’t be fully made up until you get back into a regular pattern. One of the problems with trying to catch up on lost sleep hours is that it disrupts your natural sleep clock, which requires roughly 16 hours of wakefulness before you’re ready to fall asleep again.
After a night of getting only six hours of sleep, many people try to catch up by sleeping until 9 or 10 a.m. the next day. But when they try to fall asleep the next night at 10 p.m., their sleep clock won’t let them, because they haven’t yet been awake for 16 yours. They may not be able to fall asleep that night until 1 a.m., and if they have to get up early the next day, the whole pattern starts again.
It’s best to try to establish some regularity in your sleep schedule, so that every night you go to bed at a reasonable time, get a good amount of sleep and wake up at roughly the same time each morning. Varying that schedule by an hour or an hour and half isn’t a big deal for people who aren’t having sleep problems. But trying to make up three lost hours of sleep on a Saturday morning is going to be tough on anyone’s sleep clock.
My husband, he can sleep anywhere......he is a sleep magnet. But he also has vivid dreams when he sleeps.....when I told him of my dream of my father, he hugged me and kissed away the tears, but he also told me he had dreamed that he was back in Iraq......life was normal in his dream....but in real life.....it's not. How can it be for him when he has spent more time there then here......more time with soldiers then family......more time fighting and less time living? I mean, come on.....when you go away for years at a time.....why would home feel normal? And then there is my issue....... we have been separated for so long, we often wonder if we really know one another anymore..... Over time I worried about whether I would have a husband who would make it home alive and if so, would he be the same man? Let's face facts, I am far from the same woman.......
And so that just gives me pause to be concerned.....if we are the product of our experiences...... and what I have written is our life......is there a time when we will once again find a harmony in which to live, where his being here is normal for him and my having a husband home is for me? One where I can finally sleep along side of my husband all night long and he no longer dreams of war?
I just can't help myself......now with the Bravo show Flipping Out, which really is quite terrible...Jeffrey is such an f-ing ass....(I caught this one last night) only to discover that my husband had already been watching it [gasp]
2. trying to figure out the schools
3. finding new dentists/orthodontists/doctors
4. finding a new church where you feel at home
5. starting over in your community (making friends)
6. moving all your information (insurance, change of address, etc.)
7. missing the things that made your last home, feel like home
I used to love it when we PCS'd, a chance to start over and I found it to be an adventure, but now it seems like such an effort to do this stuff all over and over again. I guess I'm burned out.....
****Okay, so updated to add #8****
8. getting used to the new News Anchors in your area....they all seem strange!
After hearing my daughter proclaim to her siblings the other day that..."what does not destroy us, makes us stronger", I felt the need to try to explain to them that God does not give us more then we can handle..... I tried to show them examples of what I meant, yet I feel I fell short in doing so. I believe this only because I know it to be true, yet how do I convey this to my children........must they endure their own "whats" in life in order to discover this for themselves or will they accept it as it's face value?
I pray. I pray all the time, it matters not where I am or what I am doing....but I don't usually pray all that much about myself....it is mostly for others. Before my surgery I prayed to God to see me through it so that my family would not have to bear losing their mother/wife, yet in my heart, I was scared. Then afterwards I was told that things had been very iffy during my surgery, that I came close to dying....... But I know that the power of prayer must have played a part in my survival, so many were praying for me.
When I have come up against, or better when I have felt as if I were walking in "the valley of the shadow of death" I knew I was not alone...... There have been times, much to my chagrin, that I have questioned God directly....and that bothers me because I have always held onto my beliefs, no matter what. Even now, as I continue to face an uphill battle to recover from my injury as well as the surgery that caused it.....I hold onto the fact that I know there is a reason for all of it, I just may never know what it that reason is.....
During my husband's deployments, I, like many military spouses, had difficulty sleeping. The middle of the night shadows would creep up and all my worst fears would come out to play....yet, I knew that it was just my subconscious working it's self overtime.....but that knowledge did nothing to calm my fears. Only prayer did.
As I have aged, I have come to accept the fact that not all prayers are answered the way we may want them to be.....The song "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks has always been a favorite of mine, simply because it speaks of such a great gift that God gives us. One we may not see at the time......and while I may not hold all the answers, much less all the questions, I do know that often, God is THE answer.
None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. For some it brings life, for others, death, but it always brings us the promise of another day........I find peace in that knowledge and I am thankful.
Not just things that have happened in the few months since he returned from Iraq, but on things that have transpired over the years since we married.....how different we are, this man I love and the woman I grew to become.......then from the love sick 20 some year olds we were when we married......40 was old to us then, yet we both have passed that hurdle already in life......our children were much smaller in the early days, going from one to two to three.... just children and now we have a daughter approaching 18 and where has the time gone and what have I done in that time?.....the years get shorter for us as we gain one in age......each year.
I look at myself and try to find the woman who used to live here......she is now but a remembrance of mine......a face I see in pictures, memories of her's now live with me......but I think of all I did not do....all I said I wanted out of life and what I gave up when I traded that in to be a military spouse.....
I would not trade the life I have now......not that it's possible to anyway, but I'd do it all over again, every tear shed, every heartache suffered, ever fear not founded, worry not warranted.....I'd do it all over because to not do it over would be to change those I love more than life.......but the late nights when I am unpacking boxes holding memories of years spent doing what I do, it makes me wonder, was any of it of any help to any one? So many fights wrought on behalf of someone else, usually someone I did not know......was it truly worth what I put into all of it? I'd paid a price, usually you do when you go up against any form of authority to have something changed.......but was it worth it? All I lost for the little that other's gained.
I made enemies, I lost friends and the respect I thought I had earned, I found out quickly was just an orchestrated act of smoke and mirrors.....maybe I just don't understand other people's point of view on things......it's all about how it appears to others and that is just not me, it never was and I never want to find myself in a position where my opinion affected my husband's career so much that I was no longer allowed to have my own voice.......
A couple nights ago I found myself going through all our old pictures, the ones in the box, years and years of them.......chronographing my life down to the moment each was taken......and I wonder, who am I?
I am a mother, a wife, a military spouse, a professional in my own field by trade, but trained in other areas.....I never graduated from college, but many of us finding ourselves choosing to go along with our children......but do I want to? Do I want to go back and try to find where I fit in in life in the new world we have evolved into or is where I fit in, right here? As the spouse of a senior leader in the military, a position that requires me to be part of that life......
I have been asked to stand up again as an advisor, but I have so many reservations about that position.....I guess because of all I endured at our last duty station......but I know deep down that my position is unique, where I sit right now and this is no deployable Division and the spouse of the commander, certainly not like the last......my peers in this life are strong women, women of all nationalities, women, who like me are a face to a family that represents my husband, both personally and professionally.....
And so........what do I reconcile about my life when its all said and done? I guess in the end I am just who I am, trying, like many, to find where I fit in in my own world......do I even still fit, or have I just become a circle trying to fit in a square hole?
I found myself reading a story I already knew.....my husband fought with this unit, knew it's leadership and was friends with those that were lost.......
I found myself hanging on, hoping that the story would not turn out as it did in real life.......in the end it just served as another reminder to both my husband and I what we have endured to be where we are today, to thank God for every morning we wake, every sunset we are blessed to be around for and every smile we see on our children's faces. So much could have turned out differently, as simply as a decision made by someone in the opposite direction in which it was made, would have altered our outcome so much that the mere thought of it gives me pause to cry......
This is a gripping tale that I feel every soldier, every warrior should read. Both new warriors and those that strive to understand what and why they do what they do each day, to ensure our Nation's freedom remains in tact.......should also read this, those that do not share our love for this life, our fears for what it brings and the amount of courage and strength it takes to do what we do, would simply not understand why I find this book such a great read......and that is really a shame.....these people lived, they fought and some died........and they were just like you and I......with families left behind to sort out the remains of the day.
We now also have a black kitten named Midnight underfoot to contend with along side our shih tsu.....life just keeps on getting better!
Our cable/phone/internet company is apparently run by transportation since they too can not have anything set up for two weeks (what is it with this place???) so, this will most likely be it for a while.......and so until the next time I am able to run off to Starbucks for some much needed caffeine and a hotspot to write by, this is A Soldier's Wife......
~Living the Dream! (or one might say nightmare at this point, there are arguments on both sides to justify this position! :D)
Sorry to be gone so long.....it was never my intention. Take it up with Transportation......
I have never been in limbo-land for a month as a result of a move. I blame transportation for it all......they have no ability to deliver our household goods, period, until the 2nd of July, maybe the 1st.......and so I am TDY with my husband......and my children. He had to go away and so we all went with him.
Our internet sucks in lodging here so I am doing my best to let you know I have not abandoned my blog....I am still here, just not here as in here, here. Yes I sound like a bumbling idiot, who wouldn't after 3 weeks of living with your entire family either at the family's house or in a hotel room.....? I mean come on, you can only take so much family togetherness before you are ready to run and hide in the bathroom for sanity purposes.
And so I have no sanity left.....we still face the 11-12 hours worth of driving home in a couple days to face 4 more days in a hotel......so if my blog goes into hibernation for a bit, assume I've been locked up for mental illness due to TOO MUCH FAMILY TOGETHERNESS......never thought when my husband was deployed that we would spend too much time together as a family, but let me tell you, it is possible to wish for some time ALONE.......
ASW ~ currently writing from somewhere in the world, but not at home.
So on to day one of our driving....we did not get out as early as we'd hoped, the installation saw to it to make clearing the biggest issue it could. Housing was no big deal, that took about 5 minutes.....I guess they just wanted the money for the cleaning crew we were paying for....but me being the obsessive person I am, I had to clean it ahead of them.......go figure! But the last few things my husband had to clear, took way too long......Anyway, once on the road we were able to drive about 5 hours of our trip.....that 5 hours included me freaking out as I yelled at one of my daughters 'that checking her blind spots as she changed lanes WAS NOT AN OPTION'.....then at the other one 'that YOU DO NOT STOP OR SLOW DOWN ON THE HIGHWAY WHEN YOU CHANGE LANES, YOU WILL GET US KILLED'.......one almost took out a van, the other decided to get into a challenge with an 18 wheeler over who would win out on the merging of the lanes......and decided to go 85 miles an hour to do so.......that ended with a 20 minute disertation from her mother on why we don't take on tired truckers on the highway.........then I got to listen to her go off every time a driver refused to use their blinkers when they changed lanes only for her to use her windshield wipers a few times instead of her own.......and so when we finally stopped for the night I wanted to kiss the ground but it did not look so appetizing.......the only one in the car not making trouble was the dog. She was happy in her little collapsible carrier all snug on the car seat........
When my husband and I decided to stop for the night the girls were a bit PO'd, they wanted to keep driving the other 5 hours to the inlaws......we were like, um......what gave you the idea that we would drive all the way through.......they say we did, and we both laughed in unison and told them "Oh, we lied, we were never driving all the way through after three days of movers, two days of cutting grass and cleaning a house." They were not happy at first, but now that have had a good nights sleep and are refreshed..............they now know that they get another chance to drive and drive me crazy in the car with their driving, so all is well with La Familia esta Loco! No wonder my husband and Dennis are riding in the truck and only call on the phone when absolutely necessary......they know the hell I'm in.
The only saving grace is that I will have a small reprieve from my crazy driving daughters who only see one problem with driving and that is when I mention that maybe I should take over the wheel for awhile........so barring any huge fiasco that might happen while we are there, like them going out with their 15 cousins and getting into trouble with the local law (which are problably related to us anyway) or my shih tsu getting knocked up but one of the many strays that run the old Kentucky homestead, we should make it out of the state without anyone ending up in the ER.............. but everytime we go home to see the family I have this overwhelming fear that someone will lose a limb or a barn will get burned down or when the phone rings it will be the other shoe dropping and it will involve my children.......I guess that is what happens when your children and all their cousins reach the ages mine are.....it was so much easier when they were all little and cute and listened to their parents......now, not so easy..........so with all that being said, lets all say a little prayer that my children remain safe, my dog unpregnant and that I don't lose my mind! :D
I hate the open road, I prefer the closed air of a plane and a stewardess......I don't even mind paying for the extra bag......at least I don't have to hear "are we there yet" for 2000 miles.......
And so it shall begin............Move 2008. The only positive thing about it is leaving here......but still, I think I'd rather go to the dentist then ride in my car with two newly licensed (permits only) teens arguing over who gets to drive next, fearing for my life the entire way there AND hearing "are we there yet?" :D
There are two codes on a military move. Code 1 and Code 2. Code 1 means that they will shove all your household goods in a truck and move it to your next duty station. Code 2 means that they will use crates to pack your belongings instead of a moving truck. If you do not have a door to door move set up, meaning that you are meeting them at your next house, all household goods go into temporary storage. Most people think that code 2 using crates is only used when you are PCSing overseas, but this is incorrect.
Cade 2 in our opinion is a far better way to have your belongings moved because it is packed up and crated in front of you and then the crates are sealed. Those crates are then either placed in storage or met by you on the other end. It is pretty hard for a crate to disappear (although it does happen) but when your belongings are placed on a moving truck, more often then not, they are not the only ones on the truck. Depending on the amount of weight being moved there can be a few families' belongings being driven across the country, or it could have a soldier's belongings on there, leaving those belongings up to chance of being mixed up where they meet on the truck and as they are dropped off, you may lose some of your things. Yeah, I know, they have different stickers, everything is inventoried, but IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. Not to mention, your belongings are handled by the movers at your end, then they are moved out of the truck by another set of movers and placed in storage, then they are handled by another set of movers who then take it out of storage and put on another truck and bring it to you....that is a whole lot of hands moving your things......you are opened up for theft as well as the increased chance of breakage. So we opt for CODE 2 and request that it be crated whenever we have the chance. It does not cost the military any more money.....although I have had some transportation personnel tell us that it does as they mark code 2 on the paperwork, I just sit there and look at them......like it is money out of their pocket......just be nice to them and remember that if the option is open to you, you are entitled to it......but remember that some installations do not offer this to CONUS moves and if they do and its a busy season OCONUS has the priority for the crates. But do yourself a favor and opt for CODE 2 whenever possible and have your household goods crated for any move.
So now that I have told you about this option, here is how this will play out for us today. Each crate acts like it's own little truck. Our things are put in the crates so that they are packed full and less chance of things moving around. They packed our dressers full, leaving clothing and such in them. I used my chests to place our linen for our beds in them so I know exactly where they are when we get to our next duty station, no searching for THAT box! Also any special or antique piece of furniture I am worried about, I just told them and had them box everything that was in it instead of having it travel with the belongings in them, they were more then willing to do so. They figure that each crate holds about 1000 pounds, but it's a guess because when your sofa goes in, it takes up alot of space, but it no where near comes in at the weight that all my husband's professional gear will come in at. Make sure you have them mark all professional gear as such in case you are charged for being overweight and ALWAYS REQUEST TO HAVE IT reweighed......
And so that is just a piece of friendly information from this Soldier's Wife who wishes someone had shared this information with her a long time ago........this being our 6th move in 7 years.....it will be the 5th one we have had crated.
I'm excited.....we are really moving tomorrow YAY! I definitely will look in my rear view mirror and say goodbye to this place, vowing to never return~I will miss my two friends D&V but otherwise, this is not a place that will go down fondly in the old memory book, fond memories yes, but in the Great Big Book of Everything, it is going to definitely go to the bottom!
It seemed a little strange for us this time, we have always been present when we closed on our homes in the past. But this time with how things have played out, we had no choice but to fly out to our new duty station ahead of time and put in the offer and then do the closing via overnight mail. It was a bit more stressful and a little more work since this was the first time we had a Realtor doing the work for us, but it went off without much to do and once we arrive we can pick up our keys and move in. Well.....I will, my husband has to jump right in and start with his Assumption of Responsibilities, a Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Induction and then the Change of Command for his new BC. Following all this, 6 days later he will then be TDY for a week leaving me and the children to sort through boxes in an attempt to make some sense of the house.
But first we will head out from here to visit my husband's family for the annual reunion we have every time we PCS....which is normally every year, but this time we were lucky enough to have 22 months between moves. This next one promises to be three years before the Army will up and throw an assignment at us, but now we have that option to say NO and just retire.....what a great feeling that is to have!!!
I will say that it is a huge relief knowing that all we have to do upon arrival is call to have the water and gas turned on. The electric, phone, internet and cable are done.....we know everything about the children's schools since we chose this neighborhood based on where we wanted them all to attend. We met some of our neighbors while we were there and although it is not a huge military community, I think we will all love our new neighborhood......I guess its a give and take at this point.
Since we, as military spouses, rely so heavily on one another and our military community during back to back deployments, its only natural to be a little hesitant to move to an area that lacks those qualities.....but since my husband will not be deploying again (just the occasional TDY) I will take that over the military community any day (it does not mean that I wont miss it, because I will)......but hey, after 20 years, my family may have some assemblance of a normal life. I'm not quite sure what we will do with that, except maybe enjoy the hell out of it and thank God for every day we are together.
One of the most stringent conditions all angels must meet, ASW, other than double-advanced harp playing and skydiving abilities (not necessarily at the same time), is that they must not allow themselves to feel hurt or rejected by the choices made by others, no matter how much they've done for them nor how great their love.
YEAH, WOW......how profound!
On a holiday when most of our Country looks at our Nation's flag and fails to see what she stands for and those of us who know what is lost and all that is gained, let none of us forget those who are still fighting the good fight and their families who remain at home praying for their safe return.
As we wish one another Happy Memorial Day, we, the living breathing souls that truly know what it feels like to be a Nation at War, we remember that it is not about sales or a day off from work, it is about those who have laid down their lives and given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our Great Nation and the freedom of others......it is about their loved ones who have grieved that great loss. So on this National Day of Remembering, I wish you all a safe Memorial Day.....no matter where you are and who you are sharing it with. May God bless each of you and may God bless America.
And so we sat there and chatted about my sister and her children, my niece who is getting ready to graduate and then the subject kind of gravitated to when I was in high school and I asked her if she had a hard time coming to terms with her age and with her children growing up when we were in high school.......I told her that I look at my children, and see them for who they are but in my mind I wonder when I got where I am.....how did 20 years of my life pass by and I can't remember my getting there??? She said that she too had to come to terms with this while watching my sister and I grow up....she was 48 when I graduated high school....the exact age I will be when my youngest graduates.....so I am right on target to follow behind her......will I feel the same as her? Am I already starting to feel the same as she did back then? One part of me remembers every waking moment of my children's lives and the other looks at it from the perspective of the audience of a play.......I know I was part of it, I was there for the most important steps, first smile, first tooth, first words, first steps, first day of school, tying their shoes, riding a bike, etc.....and yet I look back and remember like it was yesterday standing in the stadium getting ready to receive my diploma for graduation......I can feel the heat of the day, I can remember the air conditioning blowing down on us, remember the smell of the perfume I was wearing (it helps that I still have the bottle and it's half full by the way, I could never quite find a way to use it all....it was Lauren by Ralph Lauren) And yet, here I am at age 40 watching my niece getting ready to graduate, my daughter one year behind her and it feels as if the past and present are going to collide.......
And just before they do.......reality sets in and I remember that I already did all this, I had my turn, this is their turn and one day they, like my mother before me, will get the chance to experience the prom with their daughter, get to experience the wonderful nights when their son comes in their room, jumps on the bed and proclaims that she is simply the best mommy because she gives the best kisses, and oh, here's a kiss from daddy (because he's away) (at what age does that stop, because I need to prepare for that soon), and I will get to be the grandmother, the one to give her the advise my mother gave me today...... that it was just part of life, we all come to terms in our own way, in our own time....but we do, it's part of growing up. I guess I grew up again some today......I just love it when that happens......I love my mom.
This article was copied in full from Reuters with permission.....please keep these people in your prayers, many schools were hit, they believe that 18,000 may be buried alive and they are running out of time. (death tolls have risen from this article to 12,000 and they fear they will just continue to rise)Link to English version of Chinese News updates on the Earthquake
POWERFUL QUAKE HITS SOUTHWEST
The death toll from the most devastating earthquake to hit China in three decades is expected to rise as authorities and rescue teams make contact with the worst-hit areas of Sichuan province, where roads and phone lines have been cut off since the quake struck.
A website for the region's Aba prefecture said the quake had cut several major highways in the region and communications were down in 11 counties.
The quake's epicentre was in the Sichuan county of Wenchuan and its force caused buildings to sway across China and as far away as the Thai capital Bangkok. Buildings toppled in at least six counties near the epicentre, official news agency Xinhua said.
Several schools and at least one hospital were also reported to have collapsed. Mountainous Wenchuan has a population of about 100,000 people.
Premier Wen Jiabao rushed to the area and President Hu Jintao ordered an "all-out" rescue effort, Xinhua reported. Thousands of army troops and paramilitary People's Armed Police carrying medical supplies were also headed to the region, state television said. The U.S.
Geological Survey said on its website that the main quake struck at 0628 GMT at a depth of 10 km (6 miles). An employee at the local newspaper in Mianyang said there had been several earthquakes. USGS said there had been numerous aftershocks.
Xinhua said there was no immediate impact to the Three Gorges Dam project, hundreds of kilometres from Chengdu. Experts have said the weight of its massive reservoir could increase the risk of tremors.
Unlike some other content on this website, the written content in this article may be republished or redistributed by any means free of charge. Any use of photographs and graphics on this website is expressly prohibited. You must check whether written content contained in other articles on this website may be republished or redistributed without the express permission of Reuters or the relevant third party provider.
Congratulations Patti, you more then deserved to win this for everything you have done.
Go here for News Release
Another welcome was the sound of sirens and off and on tornado warnings all morning. Nothing like the blaring sounds of the emergency broadcasting service across the installation accompanied by those sirens. My husband commented to me that they give off more of a "boy who cried wolf" syndrome because they use them when nothing happens and I agree with him. I think more and more people just blow it off.....the weather service errs on the side of caution and throws out the warnings and watches because of the conditions and while we heed them, having a room set up for our family should anything happen, I think most people don't really pay attention to it......sad, because when and if something happens, it will be bad.
And so as the afternoon rolls along, I am spending it with my family getting ready for another set of storms to move in, once again with the ever impending threat of tornatic activity. You know, I'd say I was happy to be leaving an area where tornado's happen, but where we are going, they are just as prevalent.
So Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers out there! Motherhood is the greatest experience and accomplishment of my life.
Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be able to try to let go and not worry so much about my child who is pushing her way closer and closer to 18, but I can't. I am worried about her. While she is funny and beautiful and beyond smart, she also trusts everyone. She has this great network of friends that range in age from 16 to 19, sophomores to graduating seniors, placing her in the middle. They are all going to miss one another a lot.....but when I sit here and know that they are all out together, I worry.
My husband tells me to leave her alone, let her have fun. But I just had to text message her and make sure they found the restaurant they had planned to go to. It is kind of confusing to get there, but she and I are cool about my making sure she is okay. She always texts me to make sure we know she is okay, so alright, this time Mom initiated the text because I was worried, and wanted to make sure she was fine.....AND I am sure I will do it again before the night is over, because the mom in MOMMY just can't know that her baby is out with friends without worrying over her......am I just being too overprotective?
I wonder, did my mother feel the same way? I had my own car and was gone all the time, did she just get so used to it that it did not phase her, or was it just a different era?
As a child you learn of a soul mate…a person made perfectly for you, your two souls become connected as one and are destined to be together until the end of time.
Through adolescence you grasp on to this idea of a soul mate, believing you will someday find the one.
But after much heartache and many rivers of tears, this notion you’ve held onto for years begins to fade.
As time goes by, day by day, year after year, you move forward, accepting of your failures and proud of your successes…until that day.
This is a day like any other, it begins no differently than yesterday and the days before, but it is a day that will change you forever, a day that the magic and fantasy of a soul mate becomes real.
For each of us it happens differently…the holding of eye contact, an introduction, a smile. Regardless of how it began, the moment is unforgettable.
It was a magical moment, frozen in time, the surroundings, the smells, the feeling you felt.
The rush of warmth through your body felt exhilarating and new, yet somehow familiar. It was a feeling you imagined time and again…but never this powerful.
As butterflies fluttered in your stomach it was an explosion of emotions. Who is this person that can make me feel this way?
As this invisible force draws you to this person you can sense a mutual feeling. A connection unlike any other you’ve experienced before, impossible to resist.
You feel a burning, a fire from deep inside, that you can’t ignore. From that first second of encounter this person is there with you, in every thought and action…causing you to smile, laugh, and feel more alive than ever before.
This person becomes a part of you, your other half…your soul mate.
And as you learned as a child, this person was made perfectly for you, your two souls are connected as one and are destined to be together until the end of time.
So how did I come to find this great doctor and his staff? Welp it was all by a series of very fortunate events.....I have a very close friend who is a chiropractor at Fort Campbell who told me about a treatment he does on soldiers there........so I looked it up where I live and low and behold there was exactly ONE in our area, the rest were out of town........... this wonderful treatment, that is non invasive, now I'm not saying it does not hurt, I have cried at times, but that means he's getting to the root of the problem.....it's good if I cry (go figure on that one)
So this treatment, which by the way has been around for a long time, very few medical doctors even know about it, much less would bother to do the research on it. The "Real Doctors" out there would have had me back in surgery operating on my leg. Tricare does not cover this treatment because he is a Chiropractor, but what he was doing is a special tissue manipulation to release nerve entrapments.....kind of like if you pinch a nerve in your back, or if you impinge a nerve in shoulder, first thing THEY (med docs) would do is whip out the drugs and very long needles, but this treatment called Active Release Technique (ART), can be done without the use of expensive drugs and miserable side effects of steroids. The kicker is Physical Therapists are also trained to do this and then Tricare would be more then happy to pay for it......how flipping twistedly turned around is that.....I hate Tricare and their assbackwards ways of doing things....so I am out about $1,000.00 because of my NEUROSURGEON and his team of merrymen did not take better care of me during my FIRST surgery....okay rant over......
So anyway making my way back to my point.....this Doctor, his wife and the others that work there are like the salt of the earth, not that they are like overly religious or anything, you can talk to them about anything and I have, after about 20 sessions and the fact that I am back to walking, I can wear some shoes, even my fancy flip flops (whole other post there) and I am cutting back on my nerve blocking medication.......fully speaks for their dedication......and the fact that my Neurosurgeon said it could take a year or longer to see results.......Yeah blow it out your ear.......
So now that you have sat through this long ass post, back to my mail, I open the envelope and it's a thank you card....kind of perplexed over the whole Thank You thing, I open the card and it says,
"First and foremost I just wanted to thank both of you for true sacrifice that you have endured to ensure the safety of my family. I can only imagine how difficult it has been."................."I also wanted to thank you for allowing me to work on you. Your trust is the highest compliment you could ever give me. I hope I was able to help with your recovery! Only Good things ahead!!!!!"
The first part of his letter brought tears to my eyes.....he and his wife are very special people, the kind God puts in your path for a reason......I'd have never had any reason for meeting them other then this injury.....so I go with God's plan and I was very humbled by the fact that he said he hoped he had helped with my recovery, he is my recovery......yes my Neurosurgeon fixed my back problem, with a long recovery behind it, but he walked away from the other issues I suffered, when faced with the problem I was the one that found the answers, did the research, found the Doctor who would become my friend, because in the end isn't that what friends do, they say "THANKS" I should be the one thanking him...........
And so I spent my day today with my children and my husband sorting through years of stuff.....my husband calls it junk because he'd just assume make the cash at our yard sale.....(we did one in El Paso and made over $1200.00) but that only happened because I got rid of a bunch of german furniture, don't plan on that this time Smokey!
So our trip home was good, a nice gentleman came up to my husband and thanked him for his service (my husband was on official orders so he traveled in uniform) and then he paid for our dinner at the airport.......it was our second change of planes so we had some time to sit down......now here's were it gets really emotional for me.....first we had to change airlines from American to Delta......we were in the WAY back of the aircraft....the steward came back and said that they thought they may have 4 seats in business class available and if so they were going to move us up, not just because I was in a back brace for travel, but because of my husband's service.......well unfortunately it did not turn out that way, but just before they closed the door, he came back and told me that at woman in business class wanted to give her seat to me.....I did not understand why and I argued no, but my husband forced the point.......so when I saw her, I thanked her and she said that when she flies she always flies first or business class and if a soldier is on board she gives him/her her seat, but since I was flying with him, she gave it to me.......I thanked her immensely and went and sat down for our last flight which was about an hour and a half. It turns out that her son is a Captain in Iraq, my husband spoke to her during the flight.........so we debark at our destination and we are waiting for my husband's bag and yep it's missing........stuck in Atlanta......I hate that it was stuck there, but I am glad it wasn't mine, I mean, everything I own was in that bag.......it arrived today at about 4pm........and the guy was all confused, he could not figure out how to get on base.......figures.
Anyway, we are so ready to move to our new home......but I am so beat I'm lucky I'm able to type this at all and have it make sense. Good thing blogger has spell check, otherwise, this might not make any sense at all......