Sunday, November 6, 2011

Maybe Sal IS right... AKA Mary's ramble du jour

So, Sal speaks this gibberish about the "R" word..You know, RETIREMENT!! It scares the bajeebers out of me. Why? because this has been our life for 23 years, I was also an Army brat. This crazy and unpredictable life we live is SOOO normal for me that being *GULP* civilian, scares me to death.. For 23 years we have been told where to go, where to live, when we will be apart, where Sal needs to be each second, how we should behave, how long our grass should be EVEN special places to do our shopping that ONLY military can use. Our soldiers can get into trouble if WE miss Dr Appts, are no shows to other things, etc.. Its a WHOLE different world and a world that I love.. This life has also given us stability-YES, I said stability. We ALWAYS know what is expected and our topsy turvy, curve ball thrown life IS INDEED our normal.
That being said, I have been reading articles and opinions on various FB pages, etc all the whining and complaining about this life. There is indeed a difference in the "NEW ARMY" vs the old. I miss the old. I see it with different eyes than Sal, but he is worried about this new Army. Back in the day (didn't ever think I would get to use that term-haha) When a soldier joined the Army it was typically his/her patriotic duty and/or for the challenge and focus. Soldiers came into the Army and understood by graduation of BASIC that they were now in a whole different world and when someone said jump, you jumped-no questions, no comments. Possibly because of the way OUR generation was raised. We were EXPECTED to behave, use manners, never call an adult by their first name,etc.. Call us sheep if you will, but I see our generation as wonderful and with a strong work ethic. Most of us in the 80s HAD to have a job after school, no ifs ands or buts about it. Sal had a FULL time job AND went to school, as did most kids our age. The new generation(our children will vouch for this) are and were SPOILED(not everyone, but it is pretty typical) Our 6 kids didnt go without a thing, they had a parent home 24/7 and got anything and everything.. Not a good thing, LOL. Our Army is now kinder and gentler and with some of that is really wonderful. They have REALLY stepped it up for military families to have a comfortable exsistance. For other things, I think it really has caused more issues... They keep giving and giving and some people just want more or notice what they AREN'T getting.
So, why might Sal be right? Well, because if he doesnt retire-I MAY lose my mind on some spouses. Yes, deployments and separations indeed suck. Suck beyond suckness, but the Army and military DEFEND this country, so those things will happen. Im not complaining about before or during a deployment. We can all and are entitled to have our pity party, we need it and deserve it.. Im speaking of the ones that are just never happy with a thing.. Those, need to speak with their military member and discuss whether this life is for them. I've spoken to MANY soldiers and family members that have been in the military for many years and they have the same opinion. We are losing great NCOs daily because of this. And then there are those that refuse to retire*cough SAL cough* who just wont go, because they worry about future leadership. Daddy, its time to go :)
This life has been truly amazing for us. We have met great and dear friends who are really part of our family more than friends, we have seen amazing places like Italy, Germany, etc.. Our kids have learned to appreciate the time we have with each other and have also learned to move on very quickly. I've learned to be strong, even when I didnt think I had it in me. Sal has watched young soldiers turn into great leaders. We have also said goodbye forever to many amazing people due to war AND peace time. So to future spouses in the military, it goes by fast so try and enjoy what is offered. Be strong and change things that need to be changed, not by whining or boohooing, but by throwing yourself into it and be part of the solution not part of the problem... Mazel!