Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oh the Army...

I am having an "I hate the Army week" so instead of calling all my friends and family and telling you all individually why I am irritated, I will just write it out. It saves you an earful and saves me time and getting all worked up over and over again. 

Basically, I like the Army most of the time. The benefits are good, the stability is really good, the housing is good, the hours are good sometimes (REALLY bad sometimes), the pay is workable, the promotions and raises are consistent, and the healthcare is decent. But, the obvious really big downfall are the deployments and/or separations. My husband returned from a 6 month deployment at the end of April. We were so excited that he'd be home and would have the summer to spend with us. We are very aware that he will likely deploy again this October for another 6 months, so at best, he will be home for 5 1/2 months this year (which is called his "dwell" time...and SHOULD be equal to the time he was deployed). 

But because the Army has needs and can't really focus on the individual, my hubby has been assigned to leave for 2 weeks at the end of the month. He will be assisting another unit with some training and will not be able to return home and will likely not get to call me much - if at all.  This stinks. But what stinks more is that he was most likely going to have to do this again in July and maybe even August. Uggg. So, he decided that if he was going to be gone for weeks at a time "helping" other soldiers, he would rather be gone for weeks at a time furthering his own career. (Going to one of the Army's "schools" overrides being assigned to help out in other units.) So, he has decided to go to Jump School in July where he will learn to "jump" out of airplanes and parachute down to the ground.  I do think this is the way better option because he will be doing something for his career that will hopefully help him on down the road with promotions and job assignments. And, as long as he jumps 4 times a year, there is a pay incentive as well! Anyway, the downside is that Jump school is 3 weeks long. So, now we're up to him being gone 5 weeks this summer. :-(

THEN when it gets closer to time for him to deploy, he will have PMT (Pre Mission Training) which will keep him away for another couple weeks...last year it was 2 weeks away.  Lastly, he will deploy in October and not return home until mid-Spring of 2010. So although his "dwell" time should have been 6 months - how long he was gone last deployment - it is only 5 1/2 months. And of those 5 1/2 months, he will be gone for 5 weeks this summer and probably 2 weeks in the early Fall (7 weeks total!). So, this is why I am having an "I hate the Army week." This cycle will likely continue as long as we are stationed here. :-(

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