Saturday, March 06, 2010

What do you think the military owes families?

Seriously. I'm asking.

Like most, I've been outraged about the shutdown of the MyCAA program with no notice. When my first friend told me she was now out $800 tuition because of it - right when she needs to make a first college tuition payment for her son - I shook with anger. When I logged on to Facebook and saw just how many of my fellow military spouses were affected, I was incredulous. And then when I read the DoD's response, that the program was shutting down because too many people used it - and this after they spent who knows how much money to spread the word about MyCAA at Education Centers and FRG groups throughout the world - I was insulted.

The whole thing has got me thinking.

Obviously, if our Soldiers worked for IBM, we wouldn't necessarily expect tuition assistance or other programs. But our Soldiers don't work for IBM. We're a whole world away from IBM. So I ask you now, what do you think the military really owes families?

I know it's an open (and loaded) question. And it's somewhat open to interpretation. But I'm hoping to hear back from a lot of you about what your expectation really is. I think it's something I may write about - so if you are willing, please leave a comment below. Or if you want to really go into detail, feel free to email me at

I can't wait to read your answers. I still can't quite figure out my own.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

When they decided on the word "dependent," they were being literal as hell.


I'm in the stage now where I'm considering a future without MAJ Dick. And as I'm a practical person, I can't help but think about the money/insurance/nitty gritty details. That's just how I roll - I want all the information I can get before I make a decision. Emotions matter but it's logic and planning that get you round the bend, you know?

But man, the Army don't make it easy. I ask a lot of questions and most often hear "your sponsor needs to..." or "your sponsor can..." Well, er, I'm asking because my sponsor may not be in the picture any longer - so "my sponsor needs to" isn't exactly a comfort.

I gave up a good, solid career to be a military wife and mother. I'd like to say that I can walk away from this marriage and not have to ask for a thing. Since I'm a fairly prideful person, in my dreams, that's exactly how it works. But unfortunately, that's not an option - mostly because I have a child I need to provide for. And the idea of relying on a man who can't even remember to put the seat down to take care of us after I've committed what, in his eyes, is the biggest act of betrayal ever scares the crap out of me.

I can see why so many women stay in really bad military marriages. If you thought inprocessing into the military system was a mystery, just try to ask a few questions about getting out of it. It boggles the mind...

Kristy Kaufmann addresses the Congressional Military Family Caucus.

It's definitely worth a watch. I'm glad that there are women like Ms. Kaufmann out there addressing mental health issues for military families:

(Unfortunately, I can't embed, but you can see it in all its glory on the Congressional Military Family Caucus' Facebook page).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And now for the snark...

Just remember I'm just getting back into this. But seriously, what happened to old-fashioned hot water bottles? Have people become allergic to rubber? Are hotels worried about frivolous wet-bed lawsuits?

Cold Sheets? Hire a Human Bed Warmer.

This just gives me the serious ick. And not just because I keep imagining these young hotel employees farting under the covers.

What a difference a year makes...

Or not.

First of all, I was touched by all the responses to my last post. I'm amazed that anyone even realized this blog was still standing - and I was touched to know you were wondering about me. I've been thinking about you all, too. And I started to write some posts at different points over the last year and I realized I wasn't sure what to say. So I remained quiet. I told myself I was reflecting but the truth is I'm just a big chicken.

So now what I've been avoiding: the update. And unfortunately, the news is not very different from last year.

What's changed? Well, MAJ Dick returned from deployment. He immediately moved into the guest room. And there he's remained since (though he's left his dresser and most of his crap in the master bedroom, mostly to annoy me, I'd imagine). It was hard going for a long while. Not a crier by any stretch of the imagine, I sobbed like a little girl every day for longer than I care to admit. We were about as ugly as two people can be to each other and still remain speaking.

I believe we've gotten through most of the ugliness. The accusations of not caring, of deliberate sabotage and infidelity. I think we've put aside most of the blaming. I don't know if that's maturation or just plain exhaustion. At this point, I'm not sure I need to know the answer. As ever, we try to be careful around our son and make sure our problems never affect him. And we've made some attempts at marriage counseling, when we can get an appointment (that's a whole 'nother rant right there).

I wish I could say different but we are more strangers than partners. We orbit each other from different universes, only crossing paths for that shared satellite, our son. We are civil - and we work hard to be - and we both say we want to try to work out this marriage if we can. I think we even both mean it. But we never touch, we rarely laugh and share only our son. I know that marriage is often more about enduring than enjoying, that you have to fight through tough times, but I just don't know if it's enough. As obnoxious as it may sound, I'd like to have sex again before I turn 40.

Our time in Germany is almost up. Once the orders come, depending on where MAJ Dick ends up, I plan to make a decision one way or the other, end this limbo. I don't know what that will be yet but I hope it's one we can all live with. I keep waiting for a sign but I think what's really needed is for me to try to shake off some of the fear and just finally act.

And with that incredibly depressing update, it's probably time to get back to the snarkiness. That's what the world needs more of. I just know it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yoo-hoo! Anybody out there?

I was reading back over some of my old posts to help me write an essay. And I realized I miss this place...

I think it's time to pick the pen back up - or, er, the mouse, at least. Let's see if I have anything of value to say after more than a year away.