USS Harry S. Truman 2013

USS Harry S. Truman 2013
waiting for his ship to come in…

Feb 12, 2013

Deja Vu...

For days now I have been wanting to post, but with all that has happened here recently that has created much stress I kept hoping I would be able to brush it off and have positive things to say.  Hasn't happened yet so I'm just going to tell y'all what happened and try my best to "purge it" and move on.

The hubs is back!


they all got off the ship with hardly any bags, thinking they would only be in town a couple of days! 

Yes, our country has trained these people and sent our lives into upheaval for a year of anticipation and getting emotionally ready (and we were!), but now has decided it cannot pay them or pay for any part of the deployment.  We can thank sequestration for that.

It was an odd thing, having him leave on deployment only to get a call "come get me, I'm baaaaack!".  It was so sudden it was absolutely unreal in a world so structured as the military life.  The ship had not yet crossed "the pond", so was scheduled for what would equate to a 4 day liberty port here for a really quick visit and then it was off to cross the Atlantic.  When the ship pulled in it was obvious that it was only a stop for a couple of days, as all the jets were still on the deck (those have to be flown off while the ship is out to sea if they remain in port), and the hubs came down the pier with only a small backpack, having left everything else onboard.  Day 3 of the 4 day visit we got the call - no deployment, government can't afford to send in the replacements... (yes, there is another ship that now cannot come home as scheduled because of this!).

Some might wonder why this isn't as happy an occasion as it would seem, so I will try to sum it up the best I can.  For 6-9 months before deployment even starts we tiptoe around not getting "involved" in any big projects for fear of not completing them, they are gone most of the year preceding on little 4-6 week long trips so it is very stressful on the kids, even more so than deployment, and we actually start counting down the days until they leave for good, so we can start counting down the homecoming!  We have to spend hundreds of dollars on specialized military uniforms and gear (it's 120º literally over there, and they have to work in full gear on a hot flight deck so items wear thin quickly with sweat).  People buy nicer gifts than usual at Christmas or birthdays and spend money to get home to see their families and it's okay, because we know that the extra combat pay they get on deployment will pay them off quickly, after all in the military that old saying about death and taxes is actually deployment and taxes, they are always certain.  Not anymore.  We actually have it good - there are many sailors who gave up their apartments and moved their families back home, and now what do they do?  There is actually an emergency housing situation here now, many, many sailors with no place to live, no cars since they are stored in other states, those single parents that sent their kids to live with the grandparents during deployment... it's a big mess.  

Our country has now gone from our standard "always 2 aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf" to ONE.  This actually causes loss of sleep in a military family.  The carrier that is over there cannot come home now due to sequestration cuts, think of those families who have been waiting almost a year and are now being told deployment is being extended "indefinitely".  

So, while I'm am happy to have the hubs back, maybe you can understand just a little of why it is so complicated.  Add to that the fact that deployment wasn't "cancelled"... they must remain at the ready, so more small trips (called workups), not knowing when he will go next, and whether they can even pay him the extra combat and hazardous duty pay he is entitled to when he is over there.  We try not to show the stress around the kids, because they are just happy as clams to have daddy back, but we have so much to think about these days.  Also difficult is the fact that most of America has no idea how seriously this affects our nation's readiness or even knows or cares about sequestration.  

Not very exciting as it hadn't even been a month, but it's a homecoming video just the same...



Funny thing is, the hubs had to leave again last night.  They have to take the ship out to sea far enough to get all those jets off the deck and then return.  I sure wouldn't want to be the Commanding Officer of the ship right now, this situation is just unheard of in the Navy and I bet he is spittin' mad!  Friggin' government, and that's all I'm going to say that is negative.  I'm brushing myself off and going to make a new budget for our family, one without his duty pay.  Maybe Congress could take a cue from us little people and do the same.

Sooooooooo, how are you all?!  I am going to be honest and say I am 30 blogs behind in my Reader but tonight's the night, I'm going to eat chocolate and catch up!  I haven't even planned my spring garden yet, but it's a good thing since it looks like there will be an extra mouth to feed this summer and winter so I would have had to have a do-over anyway!  I miss you all but was really hoping to be more upbeat about all this, but I will next time since I got my rant out of the way.  Thanks for reading, I'm very lucky to have the blog as a coping mechanism and outlet, and I appreciate each one of you that follows our mis adventures!

30 comments:

  1. Oh, Erin, what a mess! The only thing I can think to do to help you out is to continue with my blogger's block. That gives you one less to have to catch up on :-) Hugs...you'll get through this, 'cause you're superwoman.

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    1. LOL Gran, I look forward to your posts, even if I have to catch up!

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  2. I can't even begin to feel your frustration. Glad he's home but now you have to rearrange all your plans & thoughts. Deep breaths may help a bit.

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    1. DFW, I've been doing a lot of deep breathing lately!

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  3. Erin, How awful! Living in limbo land is the worst ever. And I'm dreadfully afraid for my country. We seem determined to run as a herd right off the nearest cliff. I wish people would wake up and see the reality behind all the smoke and mirrors both parties like to put out there. I hope you can enjoy your gardening. I know in part you do it to feed your family but for me it is also great therapy. And Annie's Granny, I'm a blog lurker and I read your posts too and hope you get over your writers block soon. Both of you ladies have been a great inspiration to me!

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    1. Carolyne, thanks for reading! You hit it right, I'm afraid and downright uneasy about our country. Yes, I will definitely use the garden as some therapy this year, I'll need it since I'm sure hubby will get called to go later this summer, since we all know the government will somehow manage to "kick the can" further down the road and fund the deployment eventually instead of taking a hard look at the other ridiculous programs they could cut. Darn, there I go ranting again LOL! And yes, Granny is awesome!

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  4. Man, that really sucks. I'll never understand the military family & it's behind-the-scenes goings-on, but I do thank you for sharing as it does open my mind to how "you guys" manage to survive (albeit with less & less pay, it seems...what a great "thanks" for sacrifices you make while the dimwhitdipshits in power sit back & play with our men/women/money)
    But thanks for letting us know that you're still there and kicking. Rant and vent away!

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    1. Carolyn, we sure had a few conversations over the past week about just how much more we could take! I'm as hardy a military spouse as they come but this stuff now is so scary, and now with North Korea's shenanigans... ugh! Better go plant something :) Like the blog says... Garden Now, THINK LATER!

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  5. Oh, Erin, I cannot imagine the emotional turmoil this has put you through. Your life is not your own and how military families remain sane is a wonder. You have to be so strong. Hugs to you all. I don't know what else to say.

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    1. Mama Pea, I can't tell you how many times the words "North Dakota" has come up lately in regards to leaving this all behind, but we are determined to stick it out for that medical and retirement package now that we are on the downward slope, that is IF they don't take that away too. It's not the military, they have been warning Congress for years about this, just so tired of the political "process" of kicking the can and not ever solving anything. I have kids that are more responsible. I hope you are surviving the big snow storm.. I'll be checking in tonight!

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  6. I am so sorry. I have had David get ready to go twice in the last year and then they both got called off the day before he was scheduled to leave. It was very hard on the kids. We are now in the countdown to his next deployment and I just pray it is not canceled. He needs to go. He is ready. And most people do not understand that.

    I hope your life returns to normal soon and that the government figures out what the military is doing - before we all go crazy!

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    1. Christy, that's the worst part isn't it? The kids... they just don't have the ability to deal with it all, they do so well when we help them prepare for it but when the rug gets yanked from us it's hard. I know exactly what you mean, it's time to go. They train for such extended periods to get ready and even though at times they might get tired of it, they didn't join the military to sit around on the couch did they? They want and need to do their jobs. I hope yours goes well and safely for him and no homefront disasters for you! We have to stick together :)

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  7. Erin, Thank you so much for writing this post to explain to us a little of the 'behind-the-scenes'. (I pop over to visit from Mama Pea's and think of you whenever we eat our oven-dried grape tomatoes on our homemade pizzas... thank you again for that post!!)

    When we watched the news reporting on the ship going back to port, I wondered if it affected your family. My husband is retired AF officer, though we married after his retirement... my husband's son is retired recon marine who did his 4 years.... both say the military of today, is so different than the military they served in. I won't say more, but we are VERY concerned about the state of our military and our country. There are things we speak of today and worry about today, that I NEVER thought I'd even think about in my lifetime. Hang in there.

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    1. Lisa, ha! That tomato idea was born out of pure necessity, I was drowning in those little things! Just the other day I made a big batch of hummus with the dried tomatoes and it was delish. We are all right to be concerned about our country more than ever. I hate that other less free countries are watching us and probably laughing. Never thought I'd see the day either.

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  8. Oh Erin... I can't even imagine how stressful this must be for the hubby and you (and I bet the kids feel it too). I am so proud of your can-do attitude. To bad our politicians don't follow suit... anyway, hang in there!

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    1. Ruth, we will get through it - just have to redo the budget and keep a close eye on how the kids are coping with it all.

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  9. I am absolutely speechless that they can do that to their military people. I can only imagine how frustrating and upsetting the whole thing is for all of you. The good thing is that DH is home now, well kind of. Since it's one of those things you can't do anything about try to concentrate on the things you can do something about. Get planning your garden and do the things you love to do.

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    1. Oh and DH means "dear husband" in case I confused you with that abbreviation.

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    2. Sparkless, I am happy to have him home, but honestly he is pretty antsy about it all, I can tell he is pretty disappointed. His department got high marks for readiness and he has really worked hard for them to get to this level, they were ready!

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  10. Oh, Erin. What a cluster. Thank you for sharing and I get exactly why this is stressful and difficult. How freaking scary for the safety of our nation.

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    1. I used to blog as Sis B, not sure if you remember me. Life swept me away for awhile and I finally started writing again. I've been lurking all these years. Sorry about that. :) Hi again!

      I have a large group of military FB friends. They are reading your words and agreeing. Thank you for spelling this out so clearly. We are encouraging everyone to contact their congresspeople, but I'm not sure what else the average person can do. If you have any further ideas, let me know.

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    2. Megan! Of course I remember you - I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. I'm glad you are blogging again, you are such an honest and refreshing blogger and in spite of so much crap life has dealt you, you are always willing to share. For some of us just knowing others out there dealing with life's adversities too gives us strength! You, unfortunately, have been dealt with more than your fair share and I hope your hubs & kids are doing okay, I will be checking in soon now that you are writing again. Thanks for the props on attempting to explain this deployment craziness, so many people don't understand why we don't jump for joy in this instance, the true meaning of "it's complicated" LOL... It definitely helped to at least attempt to purge it here, we all have to get past this stuff or it just builds and builds. Much love and hugs your way!

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  11. I am happy for you and the boys that hubby is back home, but I do wish it was under different circumstances. What a mess, I still can't really believe they would just cancel the deployment like that... Wishing you lots of strength to make it through the rest of his active duty service!!

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  12. Anke, thanks! Just a few more years I keep repeating :) I sure have loved every minute of this crazy military life but there are times that I just want to scream, this is one of them!

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  13. You are so right - most of us have no idea what goes on with ALL the people in our military. I am as disgusted as you with the shenanigans of both parties, both houses, all branches of this government. It used to be governed for the people, now it's in spite of us. I hope they wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late. You are nothing, if not resilient, and you should never mind ranting to us. For crying out loud, you REALLY have something to rant about! Looking forward to your garden plans - you are an inspiration!

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    1. Susan, it is definitely frustrating. I feel badly for those families that have loved ones deployed that are now extended, I just hope they know I'd be happy to take over as the singe military spouse if I could!

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  14. Erin, THANKS SO MUCH for letting us know what has happened. My first reaction was YAY, then I got to the reason why he came back so soon. Forget the ship captain, I'M spittin' mad. That on top of hearing that some of the servicepeople in Afghanistan aren't being fed hot breakfasts due to the drawdown there. Grrrrrr. Personally, I think anyone who puts their life on the line for their country ought to be first in line for being treated with honor and care. You better believe my congresspeople are gonna hear from me. Don't know if it'll do any good; it doesn't seem like any of them care to listen to their constituents any more. Is there some way I can help out more directly?

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    1. Chipmunk, you are so kind to offer to help! We will get through it fine, as long as I know I have so many kind friends and fellow spouses to lean on we can do most anything :) It really saddens me to hear about our troops on the ground going without proper food or gear, most of us Americans would gladly have our tax dollars helping them out! I too have written my Congressman and joined countless petitions to get our government to just do SOMETHING! Alas, deaf ears. i was so mad the other day when the President announced proudly the date our forces would be leaving Afghanistan - is he kidding? They have now marked the date on the calendar and can commence their craziness the day after that, and all our troops' hard work will be for naught. Ugh.

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  15. Can't have no taxes and maintain our military. Personally, I vote for the military. Money spent on defense comes back many times over.

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