Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 25, 2010

Gee… Thanks 103rd

369 days until my husband’s home for good, and I won’t have to worry about any stinking badges passes.
Yesterday my husband called and said he had good news and bad news. Usually when he calls and says this, he only has bad news, a pattern which held with this call. I’ve told him to stop calling and saying the good news/bad news thing.
Basically, some twit in administration decided that my husband needed to do something he has been deferred on until after his pass, NOW. This thing had the capability to very much mess up his plans to come home for his pass.

NOTE TO THE 103rd: YOU HAVE HIM FOR 400 DAYS. LEAVE HIS VERY VERY SHORT PASS ALONE. That time is MY TIME. Don’t mess with my time! I get him for a very short few days, you get him for over a year. Do you realize how awful you make the whole unit look when you do something that can mess up the pass? No, I doubt you do. I don’t know, maybe you don’t have a family, but maybe you could even begin to try understand the far reaching effects your stupid edict can have. Maybe, just maybe you will think next time. (Note, the item isn’t a training related one. It is one which can be very quickly and efficiently handled once my husband returns from his pass. That this was brought up before the pass was just sheer stupidity.) It’s a really great way to treat your “family” members isn’t it? Yes, that’s just how a family treats each other, sending plans into chaos because of a stupid need to get a simply remedied box checked off, now.

Note for the future, don’t even screw with R&R. Just DON’T. START PLANNING IT NOW, so that when the time comes it can be done in an orderly and efficient, and fair manner. If all the senior officers and NCO’s have Christmas home, and the lower ranking officers and enlisted don’t that very much shows where your true loyalties lie, and very much debunks the myth that this unit is a “family.” Yes, I do plan on throwing that declaration back at the unit’s face every time something like this happens. Again, this is not how a real family treats the other family members, and calling a unit a family very much cheapens the definition of a family. Maybe if I saw that this unit’s leadership was treating those they oversee in some semblance of the way a family treats the other’s I’d stop harping on it, but so far, I just am not seeing it.

Basically I spent 12 hours in an anxiety attack thanks to this pin headed decision. There is a lot I am emotionally prepared for, but this wasn’t it. I’m emotionally ready, maybe, for my husband to go to Iraq. I’m emotionally ready for the craptastic communication we will deal with. Having a longed for pass messed with, with all the financial implications that went along with it wasn’t one of the things I even thought I would need to prepare for. I mean had the pass been canceled, we would be out the $450 for my husband’s airfare, the $800 my airfare to Texas would have cost, a rental car, etc etc etc.

Thankfully this appears to be resolved in a positive manner. I’m only hoping there won’t be any more hiccups between now and when my husband gets on the plane to come home for his pass. Oh, and 103rd don’t even bother calling him. I will hang up on you. Again, this is our family’s time together. You get to take him for over a year. Leave us alone on this pass.

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 24, 2010

Just claiming my blog on

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Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 24, 2010

Get on the Merry-Go-Round

370 days until I get off this Merry-Go-Round.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am on a demented Merry Go Round, one I really just want to get off of.  Sometimes I’m feeling ok, like I can handle this.  Then, moments later, I just want to sit and cry.  It’s frustrating to have to work myself out of that pit of despair to a place where I am emotionally doing ok then have it all knocked down by a word, a song, some silly thing.  Lather rinse repeat.

Yesterday at church several well meaning ladies wanted to talk to me about my husband being gone.  Frankly, I didn’t want to talk about it.  My emotions are very hard to control now, and  tears very easily surface.  I know the ladies were just being polite, and that they really did not want me to start bawling.  I’m afraid I came off as rude, which was not my intention, but I just wanted to move from one room to another.  When I got to the class, a woman who’s husband was deployed several years ago sat next to me.  I heard her start, and I said “Just don’t ask.”  She patted my back, squeezed my hand, and told me she understood.  And I know she did.  Of course, I started crying, and she just let me cry without comment, just the gentle squeeze of her hand.  I so needed that.  Someone who would support me without asking anything of me.  (Yes, I’m crying as I type this.)

As is standard for reserve units before they leave the country, my husband gets a pass soon.  He’s coming home.  Oh, I am SO very looking forward to those days of us being together, but am also dreading what I know will come.  I will do my best to stay in the moment and enjoy our time together, not worrying about what I know will come.  He will get on a plane, leaving me standing in the airport crying.  Not long after he gets back, they leave for Iraq.  I don’t know when they leave, I guess he just disappears from the internet and cell phones and I don’t hear from him for days.  Gah, I’m dreading that. So for the people who know me in real life, please call me the week after my husband leaves, and tell me I have to come out for lunch, visits, or that you are having a crisis I need to help with.  Don’t take no for an answer, ok?

Did I mention I’ve “found Jesus”?  In my past history doing child welfare, it always seemed that clients would “find Jesus” and that should be enough to get their kids back.  Occasionally they would find the Prophet Mohamed or the Buddha, but usually it was Jesus they found. And I have found Jesus since my husband has left, as the Savior is the only source of true peace in my soul that I can find.   I’ve always believed, but I haven’t regularly attended church for years, haven’t cracked the Good Book in ages, haven’t really prayed in forever.  I am finding myself doing all those things now. I’m not meaning to be disrespectful, but I’ve seen many people “find Jesus” on a superficial level, only to loose Him again once the challenge is done.  That’s my worry, that I’m essentially using Jesus to get though this, then will drop it all once my husband gets home.  I will have to work on making this a true conversion, not just a superficial and temporary one.  I like to think this will continue, and I hope it will.  I’ve also been making my husband attend services while he is away, frankly he needs the respite from all things military for an hour a week.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start preaching or anything, just describing part of this journey that I am going through.

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 22, 2010

Tell me Whyyyyyy, Why, Whyyyyyy

373 days until until this kind of trouble is done. As of now, it has just begun.

Tonight I am addressing the “Why” for this blog.  Simply put, I saw that the 103rd ESC’s PAO has a blog, and I wanted a blog to tell my story, the story of those not on the grand adventure.  It’s the PAO’s job to spin the Army’s side of the story, and I felt the need to publish my side of the story.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done PR and marketing, I understand how the system works. I just wanted one voice out there telling a different version of this deployment.  I don’t see my blog as being confrontational to her blog, rather just telling the same story from a very different angle.  I  wanted to tell my story to anyone out there interested in reading it. I also read a lot of military wives blogs , which on the majority seemed to be unfailingly positive, and I just wanted a voice out there saying “Hey, this sucks.”  Sometimes, I felt that the attitude of a lot of military wife blogs is that being negative is a sin.  Now there are plenty of blogs out there who are snarky, but from my blog searching, deployments sure seemed to be sugar coated.

I recently watched an excellent movie Julie & Julia.  I highly recommend the movie.  The movie follows a woman named Julie as she blogs her way through cooking Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” .  Then it alternates to Julia Child’s life as she lived in Paris and how she came to learn to cook, and ultimately publish the cookbook.  In the movie, Julie mentions how blogging is a very narcissistic activity, where the writer is the center of the universe.  I can agree with that.  This is my tale, no one else’s. Other wives may have an entirely different experience.  This isn’t my husband’s story either, although he will be mentioned, and I love him dearly.  This is my story, my telling of this year of separation. And yes, my husband knows about my blog, has read it, and he supports my blogging.

In addition to my story,  (since I ordered a crap load of them off of Amazon) I have decided to begin reviewing books directed at those going through a military deployment.  First up is Confessions of a Military Wife.  Hopefully this will be something interesting to my readers, who so far are number 25 a day on wordpress, and I have no idea how many people read my blog on the Des Moines Register site.

I’ve blogged before, and I found it to be a great release of emotions.  I know that I have poured my pain into earlier postings.   My last blog was a known blog, meaning I published identifying information, pictures and the like.  This blog will remain under a pen name until my husband is home.  I think the reasons for that decision are obvious.  It’s not like I’ve been the biggest cheerleader to the leadership of this unit.  I plan on expressing the joys and frustrations of this deployment, as well as confronting Army stupidity and failure, such as the previously discussed failure to communicate to soldiers how to actually get their mail.

How am I doing today?  Today’s been a B- kind of day.  I went out with a friend to do work, and we had lunch while we were out.  We tried a new to us Chinese restaurant, and it was yummy.  I had a craptastic morning because I didn’t want to get up, so I ended up having my mom take Poppet tonight.  People keep telling me I’m doing too much, and need to ask for help, so I asked for help, and Poppet had a lovely time with my mother and grandparents eating at a buffet.

Tonight I got to Skype with my husband.  It was wonderful to see him.  I love hearing his voice and seeing his smile.  There is something wonderful about being able to see and hear a loved one as they laugh.  He’s worried about an assessment, so I tried to calm his nerves and gave him encouragement.

So that’s the why of this blog.  Basically, I think I have a story to tell, and thanks to the internet, sites that host my blog, and the First Amendment and the soldiers that defend our freedoms, I can tell my story.

I’m just going to add one little thing.  I love comments.

FYI: The title and countdown line come from one of my favorite songs “Why” by Annie Lennox.  I’m not suicidal or anything like that, and my husband and I did not have a fight.  This song just came up on my iPod, and I felt the WHYYYYY fit  my topic of today.

374 days until I get to have my husband home for good.

I’ve had a hard couple of days.  It has also been hard to find the time to log on and type out a blog entry.  So here goes a wrap up of my last couple of days.

Sunday morning I woke up from one of those dreams which seems so real you forget you are dreaming.  I dreamed my husband was home for good and I was hugging him tightly.  I felt so empty inside for the rest of the day. Went to church, they sang Onward Christian Soldiers, I laughed at the song.

Monday my mom happened to call when I was extremely stressed.  I had spent the day fighting with Apple, Verizon, and 2 separate provider agencies, was trying in vain to print out some paperwork I needed for Verizon, and couldn’t get the driver to download.  I kept downloading PDF’s. My tower crashed right after my husband left, and I had failed to set up printing on my new laptop.  While doing this, Poppet dropped a glass and so we now had glass all over the kitchen.  I also was upset because I missed an important thing at Poppet’s school because no one told me about it. So my mom calls in the middle of all this.  She tells me to put on a Dora DVD, clean up the glass, and call her back.  While cleaning up the glass, I remembered that Windows 7 has an add a printer tool, which got my computer printing in minutes.  (I’m 103rd Transfer Wife, and Windows 7 was my idea!).  So by the time I called her back the problem was resolved.  She still insisted I come up and spend the night.  We assembled Poppet’s out door playhouse I bought for her birthday.

Tuesday I was lazy. Did some cleaning and shopping.

Wednesday I got some actual work done, and saw my therapist.  It also was Poppet’s last day of pre-school, something Poppet will be very sad not to have.  My therapist pointed out that I was being very negative about this deployment, and suggested I need an attitude adjustment.  I mean she said it in a more therapisty way, but in essence that was the gist of my session.  I’m mad at everyone, lashing out, pushing everyone away, and being very negative.  So I’m going to try to be more positive, and to let go of the anger before I say or do something to damage important relationships, like with my husband, mom, or daughter.  I’m not exactly sure how to release all my anger, it’s never been an easy thing to me.

I had to come up with a list of positives from this deployment so far.  I had to come up with 5.  Some are silly, but here’s my list.

  1. I have cleared the Netflix queue of all war movies.  So when a Netflix arrives in the box, I know it’s something I want to see.
  2. I know the Diet Coke I put in the fridge will still be there and cold when I go and get it.
  3. There is no one to flush the toilet when I am showering.
  4. I got a new dress to welcome my husband home in for his 4 day pass.
  5. Because we switched to Verizon, (they have skype on the phones and the best international plan) I’m getting an Droid Incredible.

Silly list, but it worked.

I can’t promise to always, or even most of the time, to be positive, but I am going to try being more positive.

I’m really struggling with how long this deployment is.  It seems impossibly long.  I also can see that my husband’s unit is scheduled to come home 6 months before the full pullout of the United States from Iraq.  Supposedly, they are one of  the last units going to Iraq. I really can’t see them coming home on time.   From the General’s statement at the farewell ceremony, he said their mission was to get the rest of the soldiers and their stuff home from Iraq.  I mean do the math. If the mission isn’t finished, and full pull out isn’t planned until December 2011, and it seems from other news articles the pull out is slightly behind and looks to get even more behind with concerns that they won’t meet the August 2010 deadline for getting the combat troops out, how on earth can I expect my husband to be allowed to come home when his 400 days are up?  I guess I can totally see the Army extending them until December 2011, rather than swapping them out.  Frankly, no matter what the Army says in press releases and the LIP service given to families at the farewell, I don’t think the Army or this unit gives a rats ass about families or the hard times they go through.  I can very much see them saying, just leave them there, it’s much easier to extend them for 7 months rather than swap them out.   Yeah, I don’t like what the tea leaves are telling me.  Not one bit.

And there just went my being positive.  See I told you this was going to be hard for me.

A unit came home this week from Iraq.  They were on a 9 month deployment.  Oh, I am so jealous! 6 or 9 months seems so much more do-able than the 15 months this will end up being when all the trainings are added in.  Add to that the possible extension….

Deep breath.  I’m supposed to be positive.  I can’t do anything about the length of time, any involuntary extension, or my worries surrounding the homecoming ceremony.  (I mean the farewell was SO wonderful, I can’t help but have high hopes for the homecoming /sarcasm)

So I’m totally failing at being positive right now, so I’m stopping posting.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll do a better job.  See, that’s positive!

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 14, 2010

So I guess that’s why they call it….

380 days until I have someone else to put Poppet to bed.

I went to lunch yesterday with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.  She told me I looked great, and asked which diet I was doing.  I told her it is the “my husband’s deployed and I’m stressed diet.” I haven’t stepped on a scale, but I have lost weight.

Simply having my husband gone is a stress.  My body is reacting.  I find myself nauseated all the time.  I’m losing weight because I have no appetite. Portion control has always been something I’ve struggled with.  Now, I find myself eating half of what I usually would.  I’m making myself eat what I can, but if I eat too much, I find myself feeling like I need to vomit.  I’m also thinking it might be time for the Activia challenge, if you get my drift.  I know this is how my body reacts to stress. In the past I’ve had medical workups showing there is nothing wrong with me physically, just emotionally.  I know this is one way I react to stress, but it doesn’t make the dry heaves any better.

I’m finding I’m pretty mad at America.  I hate the Army.  Oh, what I’d say to George W. Bush if I got the chance.  All the yellow ribbons on the cars of people who don’t have a loved one gone and who haven’t been through this make me mad. I’m feeling very unpatriotic right now.  Yesterday “God Bless America” came over the speakers at the mall.  I just rolled my eyes and walked away.  Usually that song gets me all teary. It’s a song that in my mind is irrevocably tied to 9-11.  Yesterday, it just annoyed me.

I guess I’m starting to adjust to him being gone. I guess.  I guess that’s why they call it the blues.  Time on my hands could be time spent with you.  Laughing like children. Living like lovers, rolling like thunder under the covers.  And I guess that’s why they call it the blues.

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 12, 2010

Blog Block

382 days left until my husband is back where he belongs, with his wife and daughter.

I’m having blog block today.  I just don’t feel like I have much to say today. Poppet turns 4 this week.  This is now the second birthday, in a row, that my husband will miss.  As his order’s extend through May next year, it means he’ll miss  her fifth birthday as well.  Our anniversary happens to fall during his four day pass, so he won’t miss that. He was home for it last year as well.   However, he is missing his baby girl’s birthday again. I don’t remember where he was last year, likely AT or something like that.  He was on military orders.   He had to leave for an 8 week military school 4 days after she got out of the NICU.  He left for a 6 month school when she was a year  old.  With AT’s and other trainings, he’s missed a year of her life at this point.  This will make it 2 and a half years of her life he will have missed.  As she turns 5 next year, that will mean when he gets home, he will have missed half her life.  That makes me sad.

I’m taking her out for some fun, trying to make it a special day for her.  I know she’s clueless about it being her birthday.  We are having her birthday party while her daddy is home on the pass.  Her birthday present is still in the mail, so she won’t even have that.  Hopefully she has a lot of fun going to Build A Bear and out to a meal with her mom, grandma, and aunt.

I assembled a care package for my husband today.  I’ll get it out to him tomorrow.

I’ve been busy with work.  That’s a good thing I guess.

I’ve never been big on house cleaning.  However, I’m all the sudden obsessed with having the house spotless when my husband comes home on leave.  I mean, he knows I’m not the best housekeeper.  I guess I want to somehow prove to him I can do this, and having a clean house for him to see would be evidence that I am coping.

Yesterday was a no Xanax day.  Today won’t be.

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 11, 2010

I love my husband

383 days until I’m with my love full time.

Today a wonderful surprise showed up on my door step. 2 dozen red roses.

I love this man.

Forgot to post the pictures. Whoops!

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 10, 2010

Another day, another …

384 more days of longing.

So we’ve had a mail problem so far.

I bet all the military families out there can guess what the next problem we’ve had.  Dun Dun Dun!  What do we have for them Bob?  A new car?  Nope, pay errors.

I’ve taken this surprisingly well.  Really.  We’ve had pay errors in the past which have sent my blood pressure into the 300’s.  This time, I’ve been rather meh about them.  I expected it.  How I discovered it was I logged on to check my husband’s LES so I could figure out the amount for our church offering, and whamo, there’s the pay error in all it’s glory, just sitting there going, yeah, somehow the Army’s taken over a thousand dollars out of your check.

I talked to my husband and he will do a pay inquiry to get this resolved. I will continue to monitor the LES forms.

Now all we need is a problem with TriCare, and we will have the trifecta of Army perfection.  /sarcasm.

Before my husband left, he and my mom went shopping for “secrets.” Secrets I ended up transferring the amount from our account to my mom’s account to pay for.  I have told both of them that next time they do secrets, they need to do it without me knowing.  Well I got one of my secrets yesterday, for Mother’s Day.

And I love it.

He told me he picked them out.

The first one is called Promise. Hold dear the promise of love
The second one is called Angel Love So happy to love and be loved

I really love them. I have them sitting on my dresser. The figurine of the couple is very meaningful to me. I want to hug him like that right now. I look forward to hugging him like that when he comes home. It is the promise that love will still be there.

I’ve struggled this weekend with figuring out how to have a life without him for a year, yet have room for him when he comes home. I had some busy days this weekend with a lot of manual labor and it felt good. Afterward, I felt guilty, as if doing something productive and enjoyable was somehow meaning I was moving on. I thought of him CONSTANTLY over the weekend.

How does one do that? I have to leave the next 1 year and 18 days without him. How do I not spend those days in misery, but still have room for him when he comes home? How does one adjust to the separation and then the reunion? To quote a very cheesy Michael Bolton song:

Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I’ve been lovin’ you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I’ve been livin’ for is gone?

I’m honestly asking the question.  How do I do everything I have to do for the next 384 days and still need him?  How do I do all the parenting for the next 384 days and still have Poppet love him and need him to be her father?  How do I support him through the trials and hardship that the next 384 days place on him?   How do I do this overwhelming task? How do I keep my life going, but still have room for him in my life when this deployment is done?

Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 7, 2010

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

A Toast for all my comrades at home, those of us blessed to love a soldier.

Here’s to you, the one who waits, no matter the distance, no matter the time.
Here’s to you, the one who fights your own battle at home, between the tears and sleepless nights.

Here’s to you, the one who will never give up, even when everything around you seems to be falling down.

And here’s to you, because while people may think they know how tough it is to be a hero, no one but us will ever know how tough it is to love one…

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