Huffington Post Idiot

 Well, David Wood has officially been put on my doo-doo list.  He has called the military lifestyle and benefits “lavish”.  Really?!?  What in the hell is this guy smoking?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/defense-budget-cuts_n_2584099.html

He says that military bases, housing, support services, family counseling, and others are considered lavish.  I guess he forgot all about the hardships that the military and their families endure.  What about the deployments?  What about never knowing if your spouse will come home?  There are no soldiers getting pampered during long ass deployments.  Maybe he forgot to look at the pay charts…they are listed online for all to see.  I guess he doesn’t know about all the training and school either.  Yea, that’s more time away from family.

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Housing on post ain’t that extravagant.  Where did he get that shit from?  Support services and family counseling…those are part of a lavish lifestyle???  Has this idiot ever endured a deployment?  Has he had to leave his family for 12 months?  Has he had to see the horrible sights of war that no soldier can ever forget?  This guy is a real piece of work.  I understand he has covered certain conflicts since 1970 and I am not saying that is easy…but trust me…this idiot makes a lot more money than an active duty soldier.  So, who is living a more lavish lifestyle?

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Way to go Wood!!!  Cramming your own foot so far down your throat has been amusing.  I can only hope…with your “lavish life”, all your money, your cute awards, your little important inner circle of people, and all the other life riches…you gain a more accurate description of the military lifestyle and benefits.

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Deployment…what to say to and/or do for your soldier

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about deployments lately.  What to say or do for the soldier before he leaves seems to be two most asked questions.  So here goes…

What to do for your soldier before he deploys?….Look, the best way to approach this is to try to put yourself in his shoes.  Look at where he is headed, how his life will change, the “normal” things he won’t have access to anymore, the environment, not seeing you or any other family members for a long time…..the list goes on and on.  He won’t be able to come home and take his boots off.  He doesn’t get a cold beer in the evenings.  He may have a can of coca cola but no ice.  He probably has to walk a little ways to get to the bathroom, not to mention in complete uniform no matter what time of day it is.  No comforts that we take for granted…no heating and air control, no comfy bed, lousy food, no long hot showers, etc.  So, what do you do for him before he deploys???  Make him as comfortable as possible.  If he wants to spend the weekend kicked back watching movies and taking naps, tell him to go for it!  Eat out at his favorite places.  Go on little weekend trips.  Take tons of pictures!  Have cookouts on the weekends too so him and his buddies can sit back and relax.  Keep in mind that this is no time to be selfish.  He won’t have all these freedoms for a year.  You will.

What to say to him?…My best advice to is to reassure him that you love him.  Tell him that you will be thinking of him each and everyday.  Make plans to send him care packages full of goodies.  Let him know you will be right here when he gets back.  Don’t talk about the dangers he will face.  Don’t dwell on the time apart.  He probably won’t want to talk about those things.  If he wants to talk about that stuff he will, but don’t force it.  Write a letter and sneak it in his bag too.  And make sure to write letters during the deployment too.  A handwritten letter holds a lot more than a phone call.  Reassure him that you and the family will be ok.  It’s important that he not worry about his home and family while he’s gone.  He’s gonna have so much on his mind and will need to stay focused.

All in all, just live in the moment.  Have fun.  Don’t stress too much (I know that’s hard as hell to do).  This is his job.  Deployments are rough but they do end.  Tell him how you feel and let him know how important he is.  Take the time to send him things that remind him of home.  Don’t bog him down with drama from home.  He calls or gets online to escape the deployment.  Those few minutes of a phone call or online chat are his little vacations.  Make him laugh and reassure him that things are alright.

Drama among Military Wives…housing inspections

Ok, last week I saw a post concerning housing inspections on and off post.  The woman said that her husband had informed her that there was an incident within his unit that required a housing inspection due to health and welfare reasons.  So, basically, instead of inspecting that one soldier’s home, the entire unit was to prepare for inspections.  She was a bit upset about this.  She said she didn’t want them coming in and looking through their stuff and claimed it is an invasion of privacy.  Now…there were SEVERAL responses to this post.  Some said that inspections off post could take place.  Some said the off post inspections weren’t legal without a search warrant.  And some said it really doesn’t matter either way.  The official regulation was brought into the matter and still there was a thickness in the air about this subject.

Now you know I’m gonna throw in my two cents worth on this one!!!

First… an active duty soldier gives up certain rights when he joins the Army.  That is a fact.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to agree with it.  But as the spouse, you DO have to grit your teeth on some things and just realize it’s the way things are.  Like it or not you married into this type of lifestyle and you have the choice to get out of it.  I do not care one way or the other what the regulation says on this particular matter.  I would just roll with it!  It’s not that huge of a deal!  They just take a look around, from what I have been told, to be sure the living conditions are suitable.

Second thing… one of the responsibilities when leading a unit is the health and welfare of the soldiers.  The Commander of a unit does not just tend to one soldier when there is a complaint or a situation that is brought to light.  He/She looks out for the unit as a whole.  Every soldier’s health and welfare should be a priority.  I’m not saying everything is as it should be or that everything is perfect…believe me.  But this one incident involving the welfare of a soldier could lead to 4 more incidents.  Upon doing the inspections 4 more homes may be found that should be addressed.  And think about the possible children in those homes.  Had the inspections not been done, those children would have suffered longer do to improper living conditions.  At least that’s the way I look at it.

Third thing… keep your damn house cleaned!!!  If you are raising hell about chain of command doing searches you either live in filth or have something to hide.  JUST MY OPINION!  And I don’t wanna hear the excuses either.  You may work a full-time job and have three kids, but your house can still stay in decent enough order.  You could have a friend help out.  You could give your children a chore list so that their toys and dirty clothes stay picked up.  Hell, there are several cleaning services offered around that have affordable prices.  There is really no excuse for your home to be in such bad condition that you fear inspection.

Last but not least…a lot of spouses need to keep in mind that they are SPOUSES…You are NOT a soldier, you are a spouse.  You don’t get a say in the matter.  You didn’t raise your hand and take the oath.  You don’t wear the uniform.  You don’t serve in the Army.  His chain of command is not yours!  They don’t care if you agree or disagree with rules and regulations.  The job of an Army wife is difficult, trust me.  You are the glue at home and you deal with so much crap on a daily basis and this life would make most civilians go insane.  But you are not the soldier.  Please keep that in mind.

With all that said…I’m not saying this woman lives in filth or that she has something to hide.  I do, however, think most people who complain about this issue have dirty houses or have things to hide.  She basically stated that the invasion of privacy was her issue.  My advice to her, although she may not want it!, is to just let them take a look around.  It’s really not a big deal.  I highly doubt they will begin going through your things and turning over furniture.

Counting down his return…

Ahhh…nearing the end of another deployment!  I am sooo ready for this deployment to be over!  I am in that “hurry up and wait” stage…

I think a lot of the wives go through the “nesting” phase.  That’s where I am…once again!  I have spent the last few weeks getting all the things he likes.  I’ve made sure to get all his favorite foods and drinks.  I’ve gotten new shirts and jeans for him too.  Carpets have been cleaned and the house has been put back in that “OCD order”!  Everything has its place!  Haha  I have all his presents from Christmas laid out…yes, he will still have a Christmas!  I sent gifts to him and made sure he has tons to open at home too.  Our daughter is getting so excited!  She can’t wait to rip into presents with Daddy!  Our daughter has already found her “welcome home Daddy” dress and keeps it hanging on her bedroom door.

I can’t wait to have him home and have our lil’ family back together.  It’s the little things I miss the most…Saturday nights, breakfast together, boots in the floor, washing ACU’s (yes, I have actually missed seeing them in the laundry!), the sound of the front door opening in the evening knowing it’s him home from work, doing the “guy” stuff like camping and fishing, watching movies together…WAKING UP NEXT TO HIM!

Adjusting to new routine after deployment

The adjustment can be smooth and easy or difficult and stressful.  Try to keep in mind, even though you have been dealing with the ups and downs back home, that your soldier has been deployed for a year or more.  Understand that the things we tend to take for granted are the very “luxuries” he has been completely without.  You have been able to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom…he has had to make sure he was in full uniform and I can’t imagine how far some had to walk to get to a porta potty.  You could fix something to drink, anything you want, with ice!  He hasn’t been able to have a glass of coca-cola with ice in a really long time!  Those simple things make a big difference.  And on top of not having those things, he has been in a war zone…aka HELL!  Please, please try not to expect so much!

Here are a few tid bits of advice for the soldiers via Military.com

Make time for your family. Hold off on visits to relatives and limit time with friends until you’ve settled into a comfortable routine at home.  Take time to talk with your spouse or partner. After a long absence, you need to get to know each other again. You’ve both had new experiences that may have changed your priorities and your ideas about roles in the marriage and the family. Talking now can help you lay the foundation for a newly strengthened relationship.  Take time to understand how the family has changed while you’ve been gone. Don’t charge in with your own way of getting things done. Notice how your spouse is dealing with your children’s discipline, for example, and restrain yourself from taking over with a tougher or looser approach.  Spend time alone with each member of your family. Think of things to do with your children that you each enjoy and that will give you time to talk and have fun together in a relaxed way.

Don’t leave to visit relatives right away.  You, as a family, need to spend alone time together.  It is good for the soldier to be able to spend time with his kid(s).  This alone time means so much to both.  Your husband will need this time to adjust, to get to know his child(ren)’s new interests, to talk with you, and to sit back and relax.  Visiting relatives and friends should come at a later date.  Taking time to talk with your husband is very important.  My advice…do not ask so many questions.  He will tell you whatever he needs to when he is comfortable.  Overwhelming him with questions may seem more like an interrogation.

Allow time for rest and relaxation.  Plans and vacation time will come!  Making immediate plans is very stressful and doesn’t allow for any “down-time”.  Now I know you may be saying to yourself, “Where the hell is my down-time?”.  But we are the wives and our job is to be the glue that holds it all together.  Your relaxing time will come soon.  Before you and your husband plan to visit relatives, try to take a night or two for yourselves, if you can.

Continue doing your normal routine when it comes to household work.  Don’t expect him to immediately take out the trash, deal with the upkeep of the pets, household projects, etc.  Some husbands want to immediately do these things and some don’t.  Pay attention to him and talk.  Patience and good communication are the key!

His sleep pattern and schedule may be totally off also.  Let him sleep late, go to bed early, or both.

I want to mention PTSD as well.  PTSD can be easy to spot or very well camouflaged.  Pay attention to his temperament.  Watch his moods and see how he handles the new routine.  If you feel there is an issue, discuss it with him.  Like I said earlier, communication is the key.  There are also people you can call for help.  Visiting your soldier support center on post is a good place to start.  They have several informational packets that can help you as well as numbers to call for assistance.

With all that said, try to enjoy your time once he comes home!!!  Relax, have fun, cook together, have a drink or two, dance in the kitchen, etc!!! Decorate the house with lots of ribbon, flags and a banner.  Let the kids make “daddy signs” and hang them on the walls!

OPSEC

I had to share this!  A friend of mine borrowed this and I thought it was kinda cute.

In case you are wondering what OPSEC is…(OPerations SECurity)  Determining what information is publicly  available in the normal course of operations that can be used by a competitor or  enemy to its advantage.  OPSEC is a common military practice that is also  applied to civilian projects such as the development of new products and technologies.

So, to help you remember how to respect the rules of OPSEC….

I am Sam. Sam I am. Do you like OPSEC and ham? I do not get it, Sam I am. I do not get OPSEC and ham. We must use it here and there. We must use it everywhere. You CAN share it in a car. But you CANNOT use it in a bar. … You CANNOT share it in a text. You CANNOT share it at the NEX. You CAN say it in your house, but should NOT tell a random spouse. You CAN say it in the shower. But do NOT go sharing at happy hour. DO NOT make the Ombudsman sweat. DO NOT post it on the internet. You CANNOT share it in a tweet. That would not be very sweet. Beware of Facebook and Myspace too. It’s tempting to let your feelings through. You CANNOT tell it to a friend. NOT even at the very end. It is a privilege to know a date. DO NOT tell ANYONE or they may be late! Oh, I get it, Sam I am! Now I get OPSEC and ham! I will not tell anyone, I will keep hushed until they’re done! I will not tell him or her, I will not tell my dog with fur. I will not tell my child’s teacher, I will not tell any creature. Thank you, THANK YOU, Sam I am. Thank you for clearing up OPSEC and Ham!
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