Thursday, January 23, 2014

MILITARY LIFE

Some of you already know this, but I figured we'd make the announcement blog and Facebook official.

Jeff is joining the Army, active duty. That means (for people like me who have no concept of military terminology) that he is going to be working full-time for the military. It also means a lot of other things for our family (really great benefits!), but the main thing we were going to announce is a M-O-V-E for our family outside of Montana for at least three years. We say three years because Jeff and I decided (in August) we would make this decision together and give it a three year trial run (three years is how long his first military contract term will be). Jeff really likes the work he has done with the military so far and wants to try and make a solid career out of this experience. From my angle, I finally see my husband passionate and excited about something and of course I want to support him. After our three year commitment is up, we would then decide whether we liked the military life and the adventure and benefits it brought to our family and sign up again for four more years OR if we didn't like it we would transition out and move back to Montana where Jeff would probably have a good chance of getting a job.

Big upheaval for our family, huh?

So we've been holding on to this portion of the news for quite some time now, only telling close family and friends. We didn't want to make a BIG announcement until we had concrete information. With the military it is really hard to get the information set in stone, they can tell you one thing on Monday and have completely reversed that decision on Tuesday. That's how it is.

Jeff finally, FINALLY got his orders on Tuesday. These are his orders for BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course) training, which he leaves for on Monday and will be gone until the end of May. Along with these orders he also got his follow through assignments (I probably missed the mark in military terminology there) for his next post, where his first job would be.

Let me set the scene for you a little:
I'm home from work eating lunch when he gets the call from his Major who has this information. We wait, holding our breaths, desperately wanting to know. The Major reads off "KS", and tells us we are going to be moving to Kansas. Ok. Kansas. Not my first choice, it was our third choice. I don't really like tornadoes, but whatever we will make everything work and treat it like an adventure.

So Jeff and I sit down together, he's still talking to his Major and I'm online madly looking up Ft. Riley, housing choices, schools on base, schools off base, plane ticket prices to Phoenix and Montana, etc.

When all of the sudden...

Jeff goes quiet. He gets up and goes outside.

He comes back in a little later and he's crying.

Turns out the Major read Jeff's assignments wrong.

He is actually getting deployed to South Korea for a year. He leaves in June.

Family is not allowed to go because it is considered a war-zone where the US is there to keep the peace between North and South Korea in neutral territory on the border of the two countries.

Who here is shocked???

Yeah, we were. That was about as far from anything we could have imagined happening for our family. We were upset, I had a small panic attack, we called our parents and they cried with us. Then we got over the shock and started talking. We're still talking and talking and talking about everything this means for our family and what we're going to do.

We don't really know what we're going to do yet. That's still in the planning process. We can't go with him, so do we stay? Do we go somewhere else? Do I work? Do I not work? What is best for our children? Do we stay in Helena? Do we move to Great Falls? Do we move to Phoenix? Do we move somewhere else? Would I be okay without any help (probably, but I might go insane)?

I don't know.

For now we are just moving forward and trying to soak up the time we will get together as a family.
There is a slim chance the orders won't hold. Someone volunteers to take Jeff's spot on that deployment or maybe the company out there decides they don't want him. From what we've been told, that isn't very likely and it would look bad on Jeff's military record.

So we're moving forward. That's really all we can do.
Yeah, wow. We're still kind of in shock.

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