Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Roman

I don't think I've shared what's going on with Roman, except privately with people in our lives. Roman has a lot of worries and anxiety and we are not sure why. It causes him to have major meltdowns over things that most of us would find trivial. He as he is getting older also shows signs of depression, to where he could go a few days even without eating- just sleeps. Roman also doesn't like loud noises or crowds and has to know exactly what we are doing, to the hour. Roman has no problems in school and is super smart, has friends and usually is just fine day to day. He has a wonderful teacher that can tell when he is overwhelmed and deals with him accordingly. The people in his private life are also very understanding about Roman and are nothing but awesome with him, and I'm thankful for them all. Romans inner circle is very small and that's how he likes it. So today brings us to a neuropsychiatric appt. where we are trying to determine if its neuro due to some birth and some newborn issues, so friends that is where we are at. Thank you for the love and support

Friday, March 15, 2013

My bucket list

There are so many things I'd like to do before I leave the Earth, I know I won't hit them all-but it should be fun to try, right? What is on your bucket list?

1-Visit Scotland
2-Visit England
3-Walk around in the rain in Paris
4-Celebrate NYE in NYC
5-Ride a gondola in Italy
6-Sleep in!!!
7-Sit on a deserted beach and watch the ocean float by
8-Catch a Salmon
9-Take a road trip across the US for no reason at all, and stop at out of the way places
10-Sleep in!!! ( I am hoping if I put this on the list more than once, it will happen-haha)
11-Survive another round of teenage years
12-Design my dream house
13-Live in my dream house
14-Go on a police ride along
15-Have frozen hot chocolate in NYC
16-Get my nose pierced

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The "Lavish" Life

My head has many crazy thoughts about the recent article I read regarding the lavish spending and the lavish lifestyle that military families live-This my friends is so far from the truth. The Author talks about so many things that I truly believe he didn't research. I am so irritated by his writings because bottom line, it isn't true for most of what he talks about. From his writings, he makes us sound like we are rolling in the dough and live in massive houses, get medical care and practically free groceries. What he doesn't speak about is the sacrifices that the military and their families make each and everyday. Only 1% of the population is even in the Armed Forces! These brave men and women DEFEND this country. These brave Americans lay their lives on the line and those that "survive it" come back changed people (not bad, just changed) Does this man know that my husband has listened to soldiers dying over the radio in an attack? Does he know that my husband has had to see HORRIFIC things, even holding onto someone in their last moments? He has watched soldiers do brave things to save others and risking their own lives and not even blink an eye to do it. My husband is no different than any other battle hardened soldier in what he has done or seen. I bet this author doesn't jump out of his skin when someone drops a tray or at the pop of a balloon or flinches going under a bridge. He should really do more research in making these budget cuts sound like they are going to save our economy, to which they will not. Should EVERYONE tighten their belts, including the military-Absolutely, but do NOT insinuate that we are living some crazy Trump like exsistance because Sir, we are not.. I can only speak for my family, because every military familys' story is different but this is ours.


My husband joined the Army at 18 years old-just a child really. Sal had a new wife and a baby on the way, he was making our lives better while serving the nation he loves. When he joined the Army in 1989 his base pay was 700.00 a month, he made more bagging groceries in High school than he did his first 2 years in the Army. We were given a housing allowance, medical benefits to which I am greatful for, they provided us a safety net. Sal deployed in 1990 to Iraq for Desert Storm, I was in limbo staying with family and had another baby, at this point he was making a tiny bit more money. We had VERY limited contact while he was downrange, as there wasn't  the technology there is today. Fast forward many years and more deployments to today.. My husband is an E8 with 24 years in (pretty normal in his MOS, unlike the 10 years you put in your article... Anyway, last week was the last college class he will take until we can figure out how to budget it so he can finish his 2nd degree, which BTW, he is just  nearly there, but with the suspension of Tuition assistance, who knows when he will get to finish really. It's a shame that one of his lavish benefits is non exsistant currently, I mean, he has only proudly served this country, sacrificed family time for it, missed out on births (yes, I said births) to help this country and he continues to make family sacrifices for the Military and the country as do we by supporting him and making sure he knows that we understand and support him. He could just say ahh, soldiers can take care of themselves, no sweat off my back-I am getting paid regardless, but he doesn't, he goes in and does an exceptional job in taking care of them and our community. All he asks for in return is the respect from his country and to be treated fairly by this government and it's people. He pays taxes, LORD do we pay taxes for what? To support some that are on welfare as a job? But he can't finish his degree and now by your article you make it sound like we are lavish and wasteful. Did you know that housing allowance is based on rank and zip code and that it fluctuates year to year and sometimes even goes down? I didn't notice that in your article. I also didnt notice you mention that our commissaries buy at cost and sell that way and charge a surcharge to cover pay, and other expenses and that the people that bag our groceries don't even get a wage, they earn tips-Most of whom are retirees or students trying to supplement their "Lavish" income.  There is NOTHING lavish about my life and the lives of other military families. It isn't lavish to wipe the tears of your child saying goodbye to their parent for a year, or listening to a 17 year old son cry himself to sleep because he just misses his dad or being a "single" parent cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night because not 1, 2 or 3 but 6 kids have the stomach flu and I am here with them alone, it is not lavish to figure out your budget so that you make sure there is enough for yearbooks, sports, clothes and food so that your soldier isn't worried about you while he/she is downrange. It isn't lavish to wait 2-3 weeks for a medical appt, or wait 2.5 hours for prescriptions to be filled. Military and their families deserve to be taken care of, there is nothing lavish about that.

I wish the Author would have actually interviewed several military families to see and hear their individual stories. There are people who join later in life and give up very lucrative careers to serve this country and there are kids who join because they are promised a better life, a life that will give them goals and a future and an education, but why should they join now? We have military members downrange, having to buy some of their own equipment, paying for part of their meals-so that "exta" deployment money isn't even an extra amount of money for them and their families anymore. The good thing about Service Members and their families is they will keep their heads held high and bounce back after all of these cuts to our lives.. I do however wish that those that keep cutting our budgets, try and cut theirs as well. Congress cannot continue to live THEIR Lavish lifestyles while the rest of the country has to make sacrifies and tighten their belts-Its not fair. They work for us as a country and when people slack, they get fired.. So maybe next election the votes will clean it out..

Thursday, March 7, 2013

15 months.....

So, today while driving home I suddenly realized that in 15 months we could be starting a new adventure due to Sal retiring, as I was driving I was thinking about how our lives have been for the past 24 plus years and a million memories came flooding through my brain and my eyes started to tear up.
  It is bittersweet to me, I have learned SO much from this life we chose to live. There have been good times and bad and MANY lessons learned. Living in the military bubble has not always made for an easy life or easy marriage-there have been big mountains to climb, dissapointments, surprises, excitement, sadness, loss, gifts and a million pride filled moments.

When Sal joined the Army, he had no intention of staying past the 4 years he had signed up for, it was "supposed" to be temporary, just a step into his career field while serving his country. Sal didn't come from a military family and while I did, I was relieved that it wasn't going to be "forever". My dream was to do this for a few years, move to Flagstaff Arizona and build our dream cabin and raise our 10 kids-hahha, seriously. We even bought cabin plans, knew where we wanted to buy our little plot of land, but it wasn't meant to be. The Army showed my then teenage husband what responsibility, loyalty, compassion, pride, integrity and honor meant and once that bug bit, there was no turning back. Reinlistment after reinlistment happened and before we knew it, he was reinlisting indefinately and put him to 20 years of service-Hahahah, not really 20 as he now hit 24 years and still hasn't retired.. Honestly, we love this life. We have met so many AMAZING people that we are proud to call family. We have learned to adapt and roll with the punches and that just when you have things "figured" out, the Army changes it, not always a bad thing. I look at the fast changes as this is where we are meant to be and do, so we roll.

Things I will really miss are the friendships made. In this life you make friends REALLY quickly. You jump in all the way, or you dry up. Not always do you meet friends for life, sometimes you meet friends for now, or you quickly realize that this person isn't meant to be your friend. Our children, Our PRECIOUS "brats" also have to jump into the friendship pool super quickly and adapt to a new surrounding, new fashion, styles, lifestyles, whats cool at the new place and find your niche in a clique  and prove yourself YET AGAIN, that you have what it takes to play for a team at the new school. "Brats" also miss sporting seasons because a PCS happens and throws ithe timing out of wack.. It isn't always fun and if they move to a "non military town", you feel like an idiot and not in the loop of the town kids-It's hard for them, but they are brave and good and proud and fight through it and come out a super star-usually. Our children also have to say goodbyes to their dear friends and hope and pray that their mom and dad PCS to where we are going, it does happen sometimes!!! Oh Happy Days, when that happens!!!

I will also miss the safety net of this life, its consistantly inconsistant and you expect the unexpected, it's our normal.  I will miss running into the commissary thinking it will be a quick trip and running into 15 people and chit chatting, having some gossip, giving a hug to a spouse who is having a crappy day and hasn't heard from their soldier in 2 weeks. I will miss watching soldiers do PT in formation in the mornings and hearing the roar of the cadence they sing and the pride in their voices. I will miss hearing "yes ma'am, no ma'am" and hearing children NEVER call an adult by their first name, but always saying Miss Cathy, or Mr Shawn, even when the "brats" are in their 20's.

I will really miss all the little things that really aren't so little when you think about it. I am scared to live in a neighborhood that is "regular" I love seeing Rank and Names and Units on the front of the houses on post, I will miss seeing the welcome home daddy/mommy signs all over the place. I will miss the slow drive of the MP car keeping watch over our street and the wave and smile from the MP in the car. I will miss the crazy street names we have seen on over the years- Artillery Road, SGM Christian Fleetwood St, Patriot Parkway, etc. I will truly miss this bubble.

There are things I wont miss too... I wont miss deployments, separations, missed holidays, dinners, bdays and anniversaries. I will NOT miss the middle of the night phone calls, or the holding of breath when the doorbell rings and my soldiers is not home. It will be nice to be around family and friends that aren't military. We love our families and being away from them has always been our biggest struggle. Its hard not being able to just jump in the car and go help them when they need it or missing the birth of new nieces and nephews and grandchildren.

Sal is excited to retire, while the Army and MP CORPS have been a HUGE part of his life, he ready to hand over the reigns to the new crop and watch and see them grow and develop into great NCOs and leaders. I think the last day Sal puts on his ACU's and his training cap, will be a very hard time for him and I am thinking a few tears will be shed- from him!!

“Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way.”
George S. Patton Jr., Patton Principles