Monday, July 20, 2009

Breaking News

Happy Monday, bloggie friends!  I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  Matt and I have returned from our weekend in Michigan, which was lovely.  Sadly, everyone forgot their cameras, and I have absolutely no photos of my cousin's beautiful wedding.  So sorry!  
It feels so good to be home again, even though we have been a bit stressed out over the past few days.  On Wednesday evening, Matt and I got some rather unsettling news (is that even the right way to describe this?) that seems to have turned our little world upside down.

I know I have told you before that when we were in DC, Matt was in the Army.  He got out at the end of September 2008;  we moved here so that he could start graduate school.  For those of you who may not speak Army, Matt's contract was really eight years long - four years of active duty, and four years of Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).  IRR was initially started so that, in case of an extreme emergency, soldiers could be recalled to assist.  Then, Iraq started, and Bush decided that soldiers could be recalled to active duty from IRR just for, you know, whatever.

Fast forward to Wednesday.  Matt received orders recalling him from IRR to active duty; his orders are for Iraq.  The shock of all of this has started to pass, I think, so I'll get right down to the details.  

As of now, he has a report date of November 1 to Fort Benning.  He will be deploying with a National Guard EOD unit out of New York, and while his orders say Iraq, there is a chance they are actually heading to Kuwait.  Of course, that could also turn into Afghanistan, too.  We have to remain open to all possibilities at this time.  The deployment is "not to exceed 400 days" so he will likely be gone for around a year.  

Since Matt is supposed to be starting graduate school in just a few weeks, he is applying for an educational deferment in hopes that he'll be able to complete the semester and then go in December.  To be honest, I'm not super hopeful that this will happen, but...who knows.  If he can't get the deferment, then obviously he can't start school and will have three more months of sitting around and waiting.  

Okay.  Now that the details are out of the way...I guess I'll go ahead and tell you that I am having a really hard time with this.  I am trying to put a positive spin on the whole situation, mostly because there's absolutely nothing we can do about it, so why waste time complaining?  I don't want to complain.  But - I am scared, worried, nervous, and I feel very alone.  I went from zero to Army wife overnight, something I was never expecting.  And - I don't know what I'm doing.  We weren't married when Matt was active duty.  I came to the realization over the past few days that I just don't know anything about all of this.  I feel so...out of the loop.  I think that it's even harder that Matt is an IRR soldier...basically meaning that we're nowhere near a military base or establishment, at all.  There's no community here.  Nobody here is even IN the military.  Ahh, I don't think much of this is making sense, and I'm sorry.  To be honest, I just thought I'd lay all of my fears and discomforts out on the table here.  

After doing some internet research (thanks, Google!), I did learn that there is an FRG-type group specifically for families of mobilized IRR soldiers.  Whew.  What a relief.  I didn't realize how nice it would feel to know that someone will be calling me to check up and just keep me informed.  And I am so thankful that my wonderful friend Jenn has been through this twice.  And thanks so much to d.a.r., who I emailed frantically the night Matt got his orders.  She was so quick to respond with a calm note and some advice.  

Well, this has got to be one of the most poorly-organized blog posts I've ever written!  Many, many apologies.  Just had to get this out there.  It seems like all Matt and I can talk about is IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ and DEPLOYMENT DEPLOYMENT DEPLOYMENT.  Isn't it strange how something seemingly so foreign becomes the new normal?  All of a sudden, we are making pre-deployment to-do lists ranging from downgrading his car insurance to canceling his cell phone to eating at our fave sushi restaurant to driving an hour out to the nearest military installation to get me a military dependent ID card.  Whew.  It all seems a little bit crazy to me.  

So.  That's that.  Oh, and did I mention that I have over 800 unread posts on my Reader?  Sheesh.  Talk about stressful.  

21 comments:

Brittany Ann said...

Oh hun! I'm so sorry! Praying this all works out.

And I relate to this, more than you probably know. Although, after tomorrow's post, you might see, actually. Funny timing. Anyways, I'm here if you need an ear to vent to.

Jenn said...

Oh no - I am so sorry to hear this. I have a dear friend at Ft. Benning right now going through Officer Candidate School. He will be there through January, so maybe (but hopefully not) he and Matt would cross paths.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You will get through this and come out much stronger and closer than ever in the end. I can't imagine what you must be going through, but I'm sure it's very very tough. Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I'm sorry to hear this! If you ever have any questions or need to talk to someone feel free to get ahold of me. My Matt has been deployed since last November and he's been in Kuwait and then Iraq.

Deployments are scary and unnerving but you'll get through it. There's R&R half way through it and it reboost's you to get through the rest.

I hope your husband is doing ok with the news.

Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) said...

Wow wow wow. Sorry to hear this. I know it was always a possibility, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier to handle, does it? Lots of prayers for a sense of calm and peace for you guys.

bianca said...

oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how intense and scary this must be. I'm sending lots of prayers and good vibes your way.

The Undomestic Army Wife said...

Like everyone else, I am here if you need me. Your feelings are completely justified and understandable. Deployments are a HUGE range of emotions. I would definitely be in contact with the FRG. They will be there for support but they are also your first point of contact. Just spend as much time together as possible. And know that we will all be here with big open arms if you ever need a virtual hug!

brown eyed girl said...

Shaina, I am so sorry to hear that. I cannot begin to imagine what you're going through and really don't have the words that you need right now. If there's anything you need - just let me know! I will keep you two in my thoughts and hope you and Matt are alright.
xo

Erin said...

Wow! I don't even know what to say. I'm sure you feel like the rug has been yanked out from under you - totally understandable! As a civilian, I really can't offer any wise words - except that watching my military-wife girlfriends I've learned that we women are even more resourceful, resilient, and capable than I thought!

Enjoy every minute with Matt - and SPOIL him while you're at it!!!

Lucy Marie said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I can imagine how unsettling this all would be. I'll be praying for you and Matt that everything goes smoothly. Don't feel bad about venting, that's what this space is for.

Taryn said...

Are you fricking kidding?! I am so sorry. This is my worst nightmare. I am so so so sorry. If I can do anything for you now (or when he is deployed) let me know. He is actually going away? for a year? I am so sorry.

Kayla said...

I'm sorry! That is just awful that you have to go through this! I can't say that I know how you feel, but I can say that we're all here for you in the blog world! I'll keep you and your hubby in my prayers. God never trusts you with more than you can handle, so he must know what he's doing. Try to stay positive and if you need anything, let me know!

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. I will be praying for you and him through all of this! And if there's anything I can do for you, just let me know.

Don't worry about the randomness of your post, totally made sense. Plus, your blog, your rules. Haha

Keep us updated on how everything's going.

(And I left you an award on my blog!)

The Northerner said...

OMG I'm so sorry! I can't imagine what you are going through. I am not an army wife, but I do read a lot of their blogs so hopefully they can help you get through this even though you aren't in an army community. Anything you need, let me know! You'll make it through this :)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Oh girl.. Prayers coming ya'lls way. You'll figure it all out. Just take this time to enjoy your husband and spend as much time together as possible! Thinking of you!!

Happy Daily said...

I am so sorry to hear this!! You both are in my thoughts and prayers! I can't imagine how stressful this must be, but remember that you are not alone.

Legallyblondemel said...

Wow. No need to apologize - that is big news to have to digest. Sending you good wishes as you do.

AEO said...

Shaina,

Wow- what a weekend. I really can't offer any knowledge on the subject, but I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I can only imagine how shocked, dismayed, worried, scared, and lost you must feel. I'll pray that you can come to terms with this and that Matt stays safe during his deployment. I'm so so so sorry this is happening. If there is anything this Chicago girl can do, just let me know!

Gwen said...

I'm catching up on my reading tonight and I just saw this. I want you to know that I am praying for you both!!! I'm not a military wife but I was definitely a shoulder for my sister when my BIL was in Afghanistan. I can be your shoulder too. My thoughts are with you!!! XOXO

Pretty Personal Gifts said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I totally understand what you are saying about not being near a base etc. Your sort of floating out there on your own.

I have military in my family and I know that you will have lots of support. Military families are wonderful and will reach out to you. They are such a great community. Technology will allow them to help you remotely even if you can't be face to face.

I realize that nothing I can say will help, but know that I'm thinking about you and your husband and you have my best wishes...

Lucky in Love said...

I'm so here for you friend! I can't imagine what a whirlwind you two must be going through right now. Although Nov. seems far away now...it really doesn't give you much time!

Lots of prayers and hugs your way!

kilax said...

Wow! What a shocker! I think it is completely normal to have those fears and feel out of the loop. The strength of your relationship will get you through this challenge though!