Friday, February 29, 2008

Read the comments.

Thanks to Lee Anne and Bette for pointing out The Military vs. Marriages.

The column made me a little sick to my stomach. I could all too well relate. And then I read the comments. Yuck.

Oh vey.

And so it begins.

Our FRG (family readiness group for you, Just Laura -- the new Army-official version of the family support group) has a new member. Well, sort of.

A new guy has joined the unit. He's kind of high up. His wife, after a few days in country, decided it was time for a new world order. She held a coffee for all of the wives whose husbands work for her husband and told them that they should come to her with all issues and problems. They should not, under any circumstance, contact the FRG, attend meetings or keep up with their FRG point of contact. The FRG could not help them. She could. Basically, she informed them that there is a new sheriff and people better get used to it or get the fuck out of town.

Honestly, where do people come up with this shit? How can they think for a second that it is a good idea?

So I spent my day calling a lot of really upset ladies to inform them that, no, we didn't kick them out of the FRG. No, there isn't a new pecking order. And yes, this new woman is off her fucking rocker. And since she won't take my calls, I now have to go visit Mrs. Newbie this weekend or get my husband, the guy in charge of the FRG, to ask her husband to straighten her out. Not a fun prospect either way, really.

Why exactly did I sign up for this shit?

Just a silly old love song.

As part of our unit's farewell ceremony, I've been asked to create a slideshow complete with photos from the past year and personal messages. It's to be set to music. Only problem is, I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what music to use.

We have a very diverse unit. Lots of different ages, races, religions and preferences. There's no way to please everyone. But I would like to stay moderately hip. But honestly, do you know how hard it is to find songs that aren't too happy, aren't too sad, don't talk about drugs, drinking, adultery or breaking up or God? It ain't easy, I tell you. It ain't easy at all.

But I came up with a couple choices (the slideshow will take about 15 minutes -- so 3-4 songs). I thought Rihanna's "Umbrella," though played out, would fit. Foo Fighters' "Next Year" is always a popular choice. And that country dude who sings "That's what it's all about."

But I don't know. The choices feel lame. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery? I'm taking anything but Toby Keith requests.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is just ridiculous.

An article in today's New York Times discusses the difficulty for some soldiers to receive their citizenship, even after a directive from President Bush to put them at the front of the line. One soldier, Abdool Habibullah, honorably discharged from the Marines after a tour in Iraq, has been waiting for years pending a "background check."

The saddest part?

In the meantime, Mr. Habibullah is working as an aircraft hydraulics mechanic in
Connecticut, though he hopes to get a better-paying job in the federal
government once he is naturalized. In October, Mr. Habibullah’s father and
grandmother became citizens in separate ceremonies, though they applied fully
two years after he did.

Mr. Habibullah has passed the citizenship test and been
interviewed, and he said he does not know what to do to move his application
through the backlog faster.

“Every time I ask about it, I get the same answer:
it’s pending the background check,” Mr. Habibullah said as he looked over his
military medals, which are displayed on a wall in the Mount Vernon, N.Y.,
apartment he shares with his wife and 1-month-old son.

Funny how his background didn't take nearly as much time to examine when he decided to sign up for the service.