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good bombs

It’s been quiet around here at times, hasn’t it?  A few of you have noticed.  When J. was deployed I had to be careful about that because some of you would think the worst. 

I won’t bore you with everything.  It’s been stressful here.  Very. Very. Stressful.  I pride myself on being in control of things.  But, who am I kidding?  I’m not in control of anything.  And I have been reminded of that over and over and over again these last couple of months, as J. has been preparing for our exit from the Army.

The key to getting out of the Army is preparation and job prospects – lots and lots of job prospects.  The thing is, the civilian world has such misconceptions about what military members can offer in terms of skills.  The bottom line is, they are capable of far more than being a security guard at your mall.  But often that is difficult to prove because there’s so much explaining involved.  Anyway, the anxiety of the job hunt came to a head last week for us, as J. went through 11 interviews in two days. 

He came home that Wednesday, drained.  That night there was a story about some Marines on Oprah. I think J. got a little teary-eyed.  The Marines talked about their experiences in Iraq, how they would do it all over again, even with the heartache they endured.  They talked about how their fellow Marines were their family.  I asked J. if he was going to miss the Army.  He said, "Yes, very much."  He’s a quiet guy.  But I know he’s going to miss this family. 

I’m going to miss it.  I get a little choked up when I go shopping on post and watch helicopters land across the street.


I got a little choked up a few weeks ago when I got caught in a small convoy of Strykers on post.  Talk about awkward.  And feeling small. This is a Stryker:


I get choked up when I trip over J.’s boots.  And that uniform.  I’m going to miss J. in uniform.  It’s such an iconic part of our lives.  But I won’t miss the good-bye’s (this was one of the last pics taken before J.’s last deployment; he was pretty devastated about leaving E.).


As I wrote this post, some kind of bombs were going off – a necessary evil, as its obviously part of training.  They’re pretty loud. And a daily occurrance around here (we live close to post).  Our neighborhood complains about it in the summer when our windows are open because inevitably they go off during the kids’ Precious Nap Time.  E. gets a little jittery every time she hears them.  "Big bomb, Mommy!"  I keep reminding her they’re "good bombs."  Yeah, those make me teary-eyed these days, too.

But, just because change is painful doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary. 

Shanna - i totally understand how stressful it is to leave the army. the hubby was honorably discharged because of his weight right after we got married. there were 3 months of mandatory classes about working in the “real world”…none of which helped. no matter how many interviews he went on they just saw an ex-army guy along with the typical stereotype of they know nothing outside of the army. it wasn’t as hard for me to have him leave though; he wasn’t happy with what he was doing and he was to be depolyed right after we had jerrett. the army was his outlet when he was at his worst. the best thing about it was that i was able to meet him.

stephanie - the part about taking pride in being in control, but having to face the reality of controlling nothing….woah…you’re speaking my language now! if that isn’t the worst i don’t know what is! 😉 sometimes i wish i had no desire for control and would just LOVE to float around on the breeze willy nilly! :) well, the upside of that for me is i DO see improvement in myself. i guess i am slowly learning how to control MYSELF since i can’t control anything else…and that has helped me. i’m turning into a much toucher chick than i would have ever imagined i could be! :) thanks for sharing your reality because i think it helps others to know they are not weird! i wish more people were honest about their emotions and struggles. there would probably be less self-destructive behaviors if we could all just be more honest :)

lara - eloquently written, and quite true. change is hard, but important for growth. i’m glad you have such a strong family, because i know you’ll do well in supporting each other as you go through this transition. i’m wishing you all the best of luck. :)

Christine - I can understand this feeling, but I can’t imagine having it right now :) It is an amazing support system you go through some of the most stressful times in your life with. Best of Luck in the job hunt.

Heidi - Great post . . . you will miss it . . . I miss it everyday. It is one of those experiences that you love to hate at times and hard for those on the outside to understand; sniff, sniff.

Karen - Beautifully written. Try and enjoy the ride…sometimes it is good NOT to be in control…amazing things can happen.

Carrie - I can’t really relate to Army life, but I find change in general to be difficult so I can understand your feelings of uncertainty. I am famililar with the frustrations of the job search process and I hope your husband can keep his spirits up until the right thing comes along. Good luck!

Amanj - Hi there i’ve just come across your blog and I wanted to thank you and your husband. I’m Kurdish and I’m sure you already know that we are very grateful for what people like your husband are doing in Iraq and Kurdistan.
Your husband is a brave man and I hope my people showed him the best hospitality and respect.
Again thank you.

charlotte - Come back, Crystal…we are missing you. I nominated you today for a thinking blog award. xoC