I just read Lisa’s blog about being a military wife. As I read about the trudge of many boots through her home, I was reminded of my own time as an active duty Army wife. My husband was stationed at Fort Drum, New York. It was June of 1990 when I first arrived and was informed by the DEERS rep (the office that hands out ID cards) that my marriage license was not right. They wanted a certified copy of the recorded document. It didn’t matter that I had the original signed and certified stamped document. A copy was superior. This was my baptism by fire into the Army life.
Two months after I arrived in New York, Saddam Hussein invaded Iraq. Scott looked at me and said, “Well, I’ll see you in a year.” We began a two month nightmare of loading up for Saudi Arabia, only to be told he wasn’t going. Now they were going to Nicaragua, only to be told to stand down. Finally, they loaded up and went to Panama to guard the canal while everyone else went to Saudi to fight. I went home to Mommy.
About two months after I left, my neighbor called and said that there were mice in our wonderful living quarters. She had my key, so she let the pest control people in. I was ill prepared for the anger I received that I hadn’t been a good Army wife and stayed behind. I figured they would eventually get over it.
I went back to New York when I knew hubby would be coming back. Actually, if there is one thing you find out quickly, you don’t know when they will be home until they are standing in front of you.
I walked into my apartment and found mouse droppings everywhere, a broken furnace, and a phone that didn’t work. Like all military wives, I learned to deal with these things on my own. I called the repair man about the furnace only to be told that they would not repair it without orders from the Army. It was a weekend, and the housing services office was closed. I offered to pay them myself, and they came. Next I got out the bleach and cleaned everything in the apartment and bought a new phone.
My husband came home a few days later and everything was bliss for two weeks. He came home and told me he would be leaving for Panama for another four months. So he left again after being at home for three months. In November, he called to tell me the Army was cutting 1/3 of all officers from his year group. We had three months to prepare for a job search during a recession.
I remember the movers walking through my apartment, carelessly throwing my belongings around. They managed to stretch a ½ day job to two days because they had to take a break 15 minutes of every hour. When they drove away, they nearly hit a parked car and ran over a four-foot snow drift almost rolling the truck. I didn’t think I’d ever see my things again.
Our nightmare ended and we moved on. We still get a good laugh when we remember our moving day.