I had heard the expression "hurry up and wait" many times prior to life in the Army but I must admit I never had true appreciation for the phrase. When you are associated with the military, as a soldier or family member, your life will be a never-ending cycle of hurry, hurry...wait. My husband likes to use another military-ism "15 minutes early is early, 5 minutes early is on time, and on time you're late." It would seem the Army has an obsession with time. While I more than appreciate the need to have everyone where they need to be at the exact time they need to be there, it would help if the military ever saw fit to extend the same courtesy to its families. It is probably obvious by now that something is bothering me and has inspired this post.
My husband has been on a combat deployment for 7 months and while we decided we'd like to take R&R in February 2011 before he even deployed last June, it is now late January and he still doesn't have approved leave dates. He has been acting Commander lately (Commander has been on his R&R leave) and is checking frequently, but no news. I love the Army, I really do. I love the opportunities, the adventure and the sense of family you find with so many amazing people, but most of all I love knowing my husband is doing something worthwhile that makes a real difference in the world and that I have a very large role in that too. However, on days like today the Army plain ticks me off! I have a job, and a life, and commitments, and would it be so darn unreasonable to ask the Army to give us just the littlest bit of notice? Apparently they think so. See, that's lesson one I learned about being a military spouse: the Army either assumes you have no life/job/commitments of your own and/or they frankly do not care if you do. PCS, training, deployment, heck even working hours and night and weekend events are planned without the least consideration to military families.
Now, in fairness I must admit they are right. I will drop absolutely everything and go see my husband the moment they say I can. I will move where and when they tell me to. I will make dinner at 9:30 at night and deliver to my husband’s office when he cannot leave. I will quit jobs. I will say goodbye to friends and make new ones, knowing all along I’ll soon say goodbye to them too. I will live my life at the will and whim of the Army. I will do it because I love my husband and I love my country. Today I just would like to point out that the Army’s lack of notice to families makes things a little harder than they need to be. We sacrifice a lot so that our soldiers can serve our country. I wish the Army could be a little more courteous to us.