Saturday, June 5, 2010

The USAF: Reflections

Looking at my blog, I guess I really don't blog about the Air Force much. I probably should. After all it's a major part of our lives...and often a frustrating one...and blogging is one of my main sources for venting my frustrations.

 I guess maybe it doesn't come up much because I don't think about it often. It's a part of our lives, but not a part that defines us. Or at least, I don't think about it that way. The first time Michael was gone, I blogged all the time on my MySpace. I needed it! I felt so alone, even though I was still in Ohio and family was close by. 
This past year when Michael deployed I didn't blog about it much at all. I couldn't. First off, it hurt too much. I didn't want to blog about how much I missed him over and over again. I didn't want to sound like I was whining. But I did miss him! Every second of every day. Secondly, I was busy! I was lucky to have some great friends and "framily" who kept me on the go so that I couldn't sit and mope too often. I was also the busy Mommy of our son, Parker. By the time I got him to bed most nights I was too tired to do much more than send loving e-mails to my husband and then crash in preparation for doing it all over again the next day.

And, I missed him too much to really talk about it. I didn't want to talk about how every new milestone Parker was experiencing brought me so much joy...and so much pain, because my partner in life wasn't there to share it with me. My family wasn't even there to share it with me. I took video, thousands of pictures, but when it came right down to it at the end of the day I was alone in all these happiest of moments.

Right now my feelings towards the military are angry ones. Not the entire military in general, but specific people on this base. People are screwing up big time, and my husband is the one suffering. It's not right and it's not fair. If Michael doesn't do his job right people would die. Simple as that. Because of that, even the smallest mistake can result in people getting into a lot of trouble. Apparently this is not a base wide thing though, because multiple people have been screwing up big time lately, and it's all coming back to bite Michael in the ass...but no one else. No one has got paperwork, no one has lost a stripe...but all their screw ups are having negative effects on MY husband's career.

He's supposed to be testing for Staff this year. In fact, most of his shop that is eligible has already tested. Michael, like everyone else, should have received his testing materials back in January. It is now June, and we are still waiting. He can't get a test date until he has his materials, so we don't even know if he will be testing this year at this point. He's gone up the chain of command as he is supposed to, desperately searching for someone to do their jobs and get him his materials. He's been told twice that they are being rushed, meaning he should have them within a week...but still no materials. Even if he does test this year, it won't be until everyone else is getting their results at this point, meaning that even if he out scores everyone, he'll still be one of the last to sew on rank. (Everyone who passes doesn't sew on at the same time. They stagger when people get to rank up based on time in grade, time in service, and scores.) 

This isn't right or fair!!!

I am the last person to toil under the pretense that this life is a fair one, but I am confused as to how it always seems to be my husband getting screwed over. Most people have told him that he'll just nest next big deal...except it is a big deal! Michael isn't 21 waiting to put on Staff. He joined later in life, so another year, for him, is a much bigger deal that it would be to someone in their early 20s waiting to test. 

It's been suggested to me that I go in and complain. After all,  I do not have to follow the same chains of command he does. Strictly speaking, their rank means nothing to a civilian. I have the deepest respect for everyone in the military, but I am not bound by the same rules my husband is as far as talking to people. I could go directly to the base commander if there was a big enough problem going on...something my husband could not do. I don't want to have to do that though. While it would help get his materials, it also might hurt his career and reputation on this base, which is obviously not my goal. I am just so frustrated that it is apparently OK for some people not to do their jobs on this base! They can just continue to ignore their duties and get away with it completely. It makes me all kinds of mad! 

I didn't really mean for this to turn into a rant...but I guess I must have needed it. Please don't get the impression that I don't love the military. I do. I am proud of my husband for what he does and am proud to say that he is a member of the United States Air Force. Any military wife that tells you that she isn't sometimes frustrated by the military is blowing smoke up your rump though. :0)


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