Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Thu, Sep. 28th (2006) at 09:27
I was looking for a cheaper deployment bracelet on etsy.com *i really really really want one, but dont wan tot spend $40 - anyone know where i can get one? - and came across this! I love it.. they are $21 shipped. Just figured I'd pass it along for anyone who might be looking for something similiar.
Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Sun, Sep. 24th (2006) at 21:29
Posted by rvos on Sun, Sep. 24th (2006) at 10:57
Just joined up here...wanted to say hello to everyone and that I look forward to reading more from this community!( A wee bit more info about me if you're interested in reading my background & why I joined.Collapse )
Posted by nilo on Thu, Sep. 21st (2006) at 12:09
Current Mood: angry
I have a friend, Adriana, who has been feeling really badly for quite some time. With her husband deployed (he's in my husband's unit) and a teenager and a two-year old at home, well, she's been too busy to take care of her. But, last week, she ended up in the ER. They think there might be several things going on - the worst thing being something wrong with her liver. Which makes no sense because she really doesn't drink at all. But cancer runs in her family. In any case, they are taking stomach and liver biopsies on Tuesday. Our best friend, and FRG leader, is out of town and the only other people Adriana knows work. I'll be taking her to the hospital (with my own baby) and staying there during surgery (general anesthesia) and then taking her home and staying with her (or having her stay with me) for 24 hours to make sure she's breathing and all that.
And the CDC can't squeeze her two-year-old in. They're full. They're sorry but, really, full is full and it's her problem. "Your child is not our responsibility - he's yours. And you shouldn't make plans until you know there's room for him here."
She just called me, in tears, to tell me this.
So I've made a few calls - to Family Assistance and Rear D. Rear D, in particular, was red-hot mad. I think a few heads are going to roll on this.
Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Wed, Sep. 20th (2006) at 08:04
24 hours and counting...
Posted by nilo on Fri, Sep. 8th (2006) at 00:15
Current Mood: full
In my personal journal tonight, I was discussing our brigade's increased amount of respite childcare.
Family members with deployed spouses are entitled to 8 hours of childcare every two weeks. But it was really hard to get into because they fill up fast and can only be booked two weeks or less in advance. So I never used this during the 12 months of the original deployment.
Upon the extension of our brigade, more childcare workers were sent up here from other posts. Families impacted by this extension now have free childcare (which does not count toward the regular 8 hours) Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-10 and every-other-Saturday (alternating afternoons and evenings). Best of all, there's no cap on the number of kids they take. In other words, they will never be "full"!
I have no idea if the Respite Care is universal on all posts/bases or not. But it's certainly worth a call to your Child Youth Services office, if any of you are interested.
Tonight was Charlie's first night in childcare.
I went out to dinner (and wine!) with two other wives. Charlie is almost 9 months old. She's been to childcare a few times for various meetings pertaining to the extension and once for church, but it was always morning/afternoon. And she's always been fine. Tonight, well, I guess not so fine. We're trying again tomorrow so I can go to the gym with the same ladies I went to dinner with; we need to work off those calories!
Posted by nilo on Tue, Aug. 29th (2006) at 22:24
Current Mood: uncomfortable
I was talking to another spouse from Fort Wainwright today.
Somehow, her husband's unit has had numerous opportunities to have video teleconferences with their spouses and kids. My husband's unit has not been so lucky. Further, she and her husband webcam almost every day. My husband and I do not. Because it's not strictly regulation and he's a stickler for stuff like that.
So I've not seen him since August 12, 2005, except for his two-week leave. And he's not seen Charlie since she was three days old. He's seen pictures. But he's not heard her or seen her wiggle or watch a smile or laugh emerge.
Anyway, my friend went to the local university for her teleconference with her husband on Friday - about 2:00 PM. Which was 2:00 AM for him. And he missed it.
She was livid.
OK, my first emotion would have been fear. Once I knew he was safe, then I might have felt annoyed. But I think I also would have realized that he's in Baghdad to do whatever he's supposed to be doing - not teleconferencing with me.
She later found out that, after working 40 hours, he'd fallen asleep and slept through his alarm. At which point she was even more livid. And she told their child what a selfish jerk he is.
OK, the child is 18 months, so I'm not thinking this was helpful. Nor was it harmful to the child, but still, I found it appalling.
So now she's refusing to take his calls. She wants him to wallow some more. He's already sent flowers. But that's not enough.
I'm just sickened by her priorities on this.
And I know she called me because she wants me to feel sorry for her.
And I want to support the wives and families up here, but I just can't seem to summon up the energy to agree with her about what a jerk he was to sleep after being on mission 40 hours.
Posted by nilo on Sat, Aug. 26th (2006) at 23:31
Current Mood: pleased
My mom flew up on Thursday night, late. She watched Charlie all day yesterday and I was able to get my hair done and run a few errands.
The reason Mom came up, though, was to share today with Charlie, Emmy and me.
This morning, the friends and families of the 172nd SBCT had a tea at a local church. The event was sponsored primarily by a sweet (single), cute orthodontist who moved up here three years ago from Mississippi. He had three appointments with 172nd wives the day after we found out about the extended deployment.
He decided he wanted to try to help out. So he put together this amazing tea. There were caterers who prepared the beverages and finger sandwiches. Church ladies prepared an amazing buffet of desserts. And Ellie Kay, an Air Force aviator's wife and motivational speaker, flew up to speak with us.
It was supposed to be an afternoon event. But on Tuesday we found out that the Secretary of Defense was coming up and would be speaking to the 172nd families in the afternoon. So the tea was pushed up to this morning.
It was just an amazing day. The tea was wonderful.
And then off we went to post to see Mr. Rumsfeld.
Please know that I didn't have much desire to see Mr. Rumsfeld. But I did want to see the Secretary of Defense - if that makes any sense. I don't care much for the man, but I do respect the office.
And you know what? He was charming. He was not his prickly, snappy self that I've seen on TV so many times. Nor was he patronizing and all "hooah" - which, believe me, we really didn't want to hear either. But he was nice and funny and seemed to listen to what was being said. I'm still not a Republican, but it was a good presentation.
And the wives were respectful yet honest. And it did not turn into the Jerry Springer show as so many of our meetings have unfortunately become.
A very good day.
Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Thu, Aug. 24th (2006) at 19:38
Service members families and friends can get free packaging materials to send you good stuff (good info from our ombudsmans. The USPS has a program for military family members and friends to supply them with packaging materials to send packages to troops overseas, Sailors on ships, etc. If you call 1-800-610- 8734 and selectoption #1, then #1 again, ask them for the “Military pack.” They will send you eight boxes, tape, packaging materials and labels. They will also give you an I.D. number so if your supply runs low, you just call them up and they’ll send you more supplies. The materials take about four to 10 days to receive. Since most places charge you for the box, tape, filler, labels and everything else - this should help save some money.
Posted by nilo on Tue, Aug. 22nd (2006) at 22:33
Current Mood: shocked
Secretary of State Rumsfeld will be on post Saturday to talk to the family members of the 172SBCT. Whoa...
Rumors have been swirling for a few days that our troops are going to be sent home soon. So now, of course, the rumors are swirling that Rumsfeld is coming to announce this personally.
Rumsfeld may not be my favorite politician, but I've certainly never before been spoken to by a high ranking government official. So yeah, we'll be there - my 11-year-old daughter too.
Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Tue, Aug. 22nd (2006) at 20:47
The Army has selected Fort Sam Houston and 10 other posts to test a new program that offers military families more child care options. The program is also being tested at Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Meade, Md.; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; and Fort Detrick, Md. Through the Army Child Care in Your Neighborhood program, civilian agencies recruit child care centers and civilian providers from areas where military families work and live, then train them to meet Army standards. Army families using the program will be given a child care subsidy based on total family income and program fees.
Posted by nilo on Tue, Aug. 22nd (2006) at 13:38
Current Mood: happy
Isn't it great?!?!
Her website is: http://www.beadworkbysheree.com/
Posted by kungpaokitten on Tue, Aug. 22nd (2006) at 14:17
I was looking at the interest list of this community and was wondering if we should have a brainstorm to fanny it up a bit? I think a few good ones might be soldiers, OPSEC, babies, missions, ACUs, Helicopters, why am I drawing a blank now...
Ok now you go.
(if this is out of line please disregard)
Posted by jessica3306 on Fri, Aug. 18th (2006) at 14:35
I have an odd question. does anyone know of a baby bow/headband community or someone that makes them on LJ at all? I really want some for Gabrielle and I cant find them anywhere.
Posted by janinechan on Tue, Aug. 15th (2006) at 00:10
I know it took me a bit to get around to doing this, but in my defense, my c/s needed to be partially reopened, four months PP.
Duty Station: Lemoore, CA
Deployed? yep, should be over sometime in september
Relationship info: Well, my husband and I actually met because mutual friends of ours gave eachother IM information, after chatting and emailing for ever, we met, fireworks, yadda yadda, got pregnant, he joined the navy, got married and here we are.
Children: 1, Piper Akina, 4 months
My dad's retired USMC, and I am actually staying with my parents on an Air Force base in Japan(mom teaches here) while fighting with the asshats that work in housing on the base we are stationed at. Apparantly since my husband is deployed, we don't need housing. They've also told me a bunch of other gems, but, there's not much I can do halfway around the world.
Posted by kungpaokitten on Sat, Aug. 12th (2006) at 10:45
I missed my husband's call last night. He says he will likely not get another chance to call until Sunday night some time. I hate this feeling.
Its like stubbing your toe; you never remember the pain until you do it again. You remember that it hurts, but not exactly how badly.
Here's hoping for Sunday night then!
Posted by nilo on Fri, Aug. 11th (2006) at 20:21
Current Mood: worried
Charlie started crawling tonight! She'll be 8 months old on Sunday.
Between that and pulling to a stand, she's most proud of herself!
Although I am concerned because it appears she's considering a career as an exotic dancer...( Read more...Collapse )
We watched a friend's baby today. He's a little over 10 months. He's been formula fed since he was about ... 4 weeks old, I guess.
I know my friend is under stress - between the extended deployment and her leadership role in our wives' group and a baby and some personal health issues, this is a tough time.
But I'm concerned about something and have no idea what to do - if anything.
Her baby has always been on the small side. He was born early and didn't thrive immediately - which is why she started formula feeding. Her college degree is in Nutritional science. She's a little underweight herself. But she's started making comments about her son being "fat". First I thought she was just joking. He's a 10-month-old baby. So of course he's got plump cheeks.
But a few days ago she mentioned being extremely angry because the Child Development Center had given him some goldfish crackers. She didn't want him to have those because they're "empty calories" and he "has a poochy stomach anyway".
I was shocked and tried to gently point out that babies are supposed to have some padding. It wasn't well received.
Today she dropped him off around 11:00. She told me he'd had a bottle around 7:00 AM and she'd be back to get him by 2:00 PM - so I wouldn't need to feed him anything. She'd give him dinner later.
Needless to say, we DID feed him lunch when we fed Charlie.
But I'm really worried about him. Her husband is my husband's Company Commander. Although they both have the same rank. But still...
Posted by 1in8 on Thu, Aug. 10th (2006) at 10:56
Posted by nilo on Wed, Aug. 9th (2006) at 22:17
Current Mood: peaceful
... when I walk in and find this?( Bottom's Up!Collapse )
Crossposted to nilo
, and militarymamas
Posted by nilo on Wed, Aug. 9th (2006) at 19:15
Current Mood: cynical
It was almost two weeks ago that we found out our brigade would not be returning home in a few days as had been planned. They deployed August 14 last year and were due back around the same time. But, even as some of them were en route, the brigade was extended "indefinitely" - and were going to relocate out of Mosul.
Two weeks ago Thursday, I drove onto post to attend a meeting - just a few hours after having been told the news.
At that meeting, LTC P, himself just returned 48 hours before, strove to do his best to answer our questions and address our issues.
Many spouses asked where the brigade was going. The ironic thing is that it was already being blasted across the news that they were going to Baghdad. But LTC P told us not to listen to those rumors; that he knew the up-to-minute information. And that, if he knew, he would not be able to tell us. "But please know that I honestly do not know where they are going. At this point, it is still undetermined."
Today we attended a meeting of several ranking officers and NCOs sent out from DC. At that meeting, LTC P said, in passsing, "I was shocked when they ended up in Baghdad. The morning of our meeting, I'd been told it was to be Kuwait."
OK, I understand the need for OPSEC. I understand that it is dangerous for us to know in advance of troop movement. I'm fine with that.
Had he just said 13 days ago, at that meeting, "Yes, we do know where we are going, but I cannot release that information to you right now", I would have been fine with that.
Why the hell did he follow that with, "But please know that I honestly do not know where they are going. At this point, it is still undetermined."
So he lied to us. When he didn't have to. That's what gets me.
How the hell are we supposed to trust a damn thing he says now?
I can handle being told I can't know something.
But I have a very hard time keeping faith in someone who has lied - especially when there was no reason for it.
But the insanity continued.
Our brigade, their families, and the public at large were told that the reason our Stryker brigade was being extended and sent to Baghdad was because they were incredibly efficient during their 12 months in Mosul.
We know they are being sent to Baghdad to hopefully have the same sort of success quelling unrest.
Except apparently their Strykers were not sent down with them.
The brigade that replaced them in Mosul kept the Strykers.
One can only wonder, then, how incredibly efficient our Stryker brigade can continue to be without the damn Strykers!
Perhaps they were issued whistles and detention slips with which to attempt to curtail the disenchated populace.
Posted by 1in8 on Wed, Aug. 9th (2006) at 17:15
Well the flight leaves tomorrow at 12. This is really not easy, even though I know that he's going to be home in a month for a couple of weeks for leave and then he's back in Afghanistan for a 4-5 month stretch.
I know we're going to be ok, I just need to keep myself busy and not watch the news, right?
Posted by nilo on Wed, Aug. 9th (2006) at 00:50
Current Mood: sympathetic
I'm thinking about you tonight. I know Thursday is coming fast. We're here for you when you need us.
Posted by ellieb747 on Tue, Aug. 8th (2006) at 15:10
Current Mood: thankful
We are delighted that our Nilo has started this website for you all. It was devastating to learn that at the very last minute, his brigade would not be sent up after a year, but rather on to an even more frightening place than they had been before. It's wonderful, though, to see you all join up to help each other---we're proud of you all for reaching out.
The Norman Rockwell picture is a perfect intro--especially for the grandparents. Nilo's dad, Brent, served in the USCG from 1962-1968, flying helicopters search and rescue off the Oregon coast. When I was 5 months pregnant--with our only child--he was sent away on an icebreaker to the North Pole for 4-6 months. There was no email, 2 calls during the 5 months. He was able to get off the ship in Nome Alaska--not knowing if he was a father or not--and he was not. He came to Ohio where I was living with my parents, and we waited 2 more weeks--emergency leave now running out! Annette was finally and safely born, and Brent returned to OR 4 days later. At 2 wks, in 1964, Annette made her first airplane ride to get back to her dad. Two years later, Brent joined the airlines, and Nilo was raised with erratic schedules, offholiday holidays--so you can see she is flexible.
I am very proud of my own guy in uniform---he's 65 now, and I'm right behind him. We are very concerned with where the world is going, and what our country's place is in it. We were thrilled when Annette married Charles---we love him very much--and his family---and are so proud of his service to his country. He is a true patriot. We look forward to his return, as Emmy needs him, and Charlie needs him---and I think Annette does too! Good luck to you all--and be kind to the older parents. We all say things that occasionally come out wrong--but know that in our hearts, we want you all to be safely reunited with your guys! Ellie
PS I'm going to have both knees replaced so any suggestions on that gratefully appreciated!
Posted by jenni_goes_grrr on Tue, Aug. 8th (2006) at 09:09
My husband and I were driving through a neighborhood about a month ago and we saw a bunch of those blow up lawn decorations for the different holidays - santa for christmas, bunny for easter, pumpkin for halloween.. and all the ones inbetween and we were like "Wtf? Those are some lazy ass people" Then we saw the "WELCOME HOME" Banner and we realized what it was. Someone had gotten the characters from every holiday their loved one had missed while deployed and put them on the lawn. We drove by on the way home and you could also see the christmas tree up and lit - in the middle of July! It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen and I'd tear up everytime we drove by!
Posted by syntaxdarkness on Tue, Aug. 8th (2006) at 01:25
Current Location: Anchortowne.
Current Mood: awake
Name: Cat / Syntaxdarkness
Relationship Info: A little different then most. I'm Active Duty Air Force, My DH is a civilian. We meet here in Anchorage, AK in 2004, Married in 2006
Current Post: Elmendorf AFB, AK
Branch: Air Force
Deployed? A few times, yes. not with children though or while married. Going to be going back to AIT/Tech School/A-School shortly after my little man is born
Children: Dylan Jasen (Due 9-15-2006)
Posted by fkgirl on Mon, Aug. 7th (2006) at 21:34
Hi, I'm Chris. I have been a USAF wife for over 8 years now. My husband is currently deployed to Kandahar, Afganistan. We have 2 boys, Isaac 2 1/2, and Lucas 7. I have lived state side, I have lived overseas, I have lived by myself, and I have done all this and still love my husband with all my being.
Who would have really known that when we married our loves that, to a certain extent, we'd join our own brand of military too. We have all bonded and have comradery through the pain and trials of the military life, and share the goal of keeping our loved ones safe and to just get by another day. We know what we do, and we understand, when our family can really only imagine. We are the ones that give our men a reason to come home safe, and be extra watchful. We are the back bone of the military when you really think about it. Behind every strong military man is his even stronger woman. I'm proud to be here will you all and look forward to getting to know all of you.
Posted by nived32 on Tue, Aug. 8th (2006) at 00:19
Hello all! I'm new, so I thought I'd introduce myself:
Age: 24 (25 in a month)
DH was in the Marines for 6 years before he got out to go to school. Now, 4 years later he has decided that he's going back in to make a career out of it, so here we are now. We are not currently at a duty station because he's not turning in his paperwork until the end of September, but we will eventually be stationed somewhere soon (he's still got to go to MOS school). Oh, and we have a son J-Mac who is 10 1/2 months!
I look forward to meeting you all.
Posted by newreflections on Mon, Aug. 7th (2006) at 23:28
My boyfriend enlisted in the army about 2 years ago. He hasnt been deployed (And wont be I hope..) And we are expecting a son in September =]
I live in NH and he is right over the border in Mass.
He was just gone for his 2 week AT, and that was really tough. Ugh, I cant even imagine what so many of you are going through :(
Well thats our story, hope everyone is holding up ok!
Posted by nilo on Mon, Aug. 7th (2006) at 18:12
Current Mood: curious
My friend (and FRG leader) and I wrote this letter to Oprah the other night - after consuming a perhaps-excessive amount of sangria. We'll see if it gets any kind of response!
Dear Ms. Winfrey,
Please let us start by saying how very much we admire you. We've laughed with you and cried with you over the years.
However, neither of us have felt compelled to reach out to you until recently. Like you, we're both pretty strong and independent. We do what we can to support those around us and live our lives in positive ways.
Within the last two years, we both married Army men; Annette in July, 2004 and Ashley in December, 2004. Yes, we knew they were in the military. And we did know there was a war on terror going on. And yes, we knew that, for reasons not revealed to us, the Army thought we should live in Fairbanks, Alaska.
We're "can do" kind of women, Oprah. Besides, how bad could it really be?
So we married our men and relocated to the Arctic Interior. And got pregnant. And our husbands were sent to Mosul, Iraq for a year.
And we stayed in Fairbanks; where there's not even a Target, much less a MAC counter.
And we learned a lot. We learned that a Stryker is not a gun as Annette initially thought. It is, in fact, a large armored vehicle on wheels. And we learned that, although our husbands are the ones technically employed by the Army, being an Army wife is a job unto itself as well.
We learned that when it's any colder than -20, it really doesn't matter. -30, -40, -50, it's all the same; cold enough to kill you in minutes. But we cheer ourselves with the fact that it's a dry cold. We learned to get out of the house every day in winter during the few hours of daylight. We learned the importance of carrying blankets, shovels, and kitty litter in our vehicles after Annette slid off Ashley's driveway into a snowdrift. Twice. In the same day.
Both of us were lucky; our husbands were able to time their two-week furlough for when our babies were due. They both got to see and hold their babies for a few a days before heading back to Mosul.
We learned the importance of being there for each other. Sharing the laughter often means you don't have need for tears.
Until last week. When we learned our husbands would not be returning from Iraq in a few days as planned. Instead, the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team was being sent to Baghdad. Their deployment was being extended indefinitely.
Not much to laugh about in that.
Oprah, we were so close to seeing our husbands. And our babies were going to see their daddies for the first time since they were days old. And then it was gone.
Living in an extreme environment is hard. Living in an extreme environment pregnant or with small babies is harder. Doing so while our husbands are in combat is pretty darn hard.
But driving back home after our meeting when we were told our husbands weren't coming home anytime soon - passing the "Welcome Home" banners lining the fences - well, that was about the hardest thing we've done yet.
And yet we have it comparatively easy:
Our babies are healthy. Not all can say the same.
Our babies aren't old enough to know what's going on. We grieve for those who have to explain to 4, 5, or 17-year-olds that their parent isn't coming home as expected; for the children who put up the sign reading, "Welcome Home Mommy and Daddy".
Our husbands are healthy. Not all can say the same.
We know that the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team was extended because they perfomed so well in Mosul during the year they were deployed. We are proud of our soldiers. We understand this is their job and we support them.
But it's hard to be the ones left behind. It's made even harder by being left behind so very far away from family and friends in the lower 48.
We do the best we can to support our husbands in Iraq. And we do the best we can to parent our children and keep our households running in a challenging environment. We support the other wives - by being there at doctors' appointments, or babysitting, or bringing food (or really good wine) to each other.
And we made it to the finish line. Only to have the finish line then moved further down the road.
We're tired. And worried. And tired of being worried.
And it occurred to us that our husbands got leave.
But we didn't.
Oprah, we need a shopping day. A spa day. We need to go to lunch someplace where they don't have bear or reindeer meat on the menu. We need to go to an actual makeup counter - not just a spinning rack at Walmart. We need room service. We need a chance to be self-indulgent and needy. Just for a day or two.
An intermission between acts.
And then we can go back to plugging in our cars this winter. And being mother and father to our kids for who knows how much longer. And jumping when there's an unexpected knock on the door late at night - when we hope and pray not to see someone in uniform standing outside.
Thank you for listening.
Annette and Ashley
Posted by preachan_sidhe on Mon, Aug. 7th (2006) at 17:55
Relationship Info: Met my husband when he was in the AF. We struck up a friendship, he deployed for 6 months during which we wrote each other every day and we basically did the long distance thing for a year before he got out. He'd spent 8 years in the AF and wasn't able to get a civilian job afterwards so re-enlisted 2 years later into the Army.
Current Post: Fort Drum, NY
Children: William, age 5 and Alex, age 17 months.
Glad to be here. This looks like a fun community.