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Just a lil FYI......I write here for me and me only. I hope to use this space to help me remember the good, the bad and the ugly!!! I may also voice my feelings on a few things here and there, if you don't agree with them, cool and please do feel free to let me know. BUT....(there's always a "but" huh???) be nice these are MY feelings and thoughts and it's MY blog so again be nice!!! Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you will check back often as I'm really trying to make myself post more often. Sometimes just writing things down help to get things off my chest so to say, and it does me feel better.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
"The needs of the Navy", it was bound to happen again!
As most of you already know our son, David is in the Navy. His job is a MWD Handler (Military Working Dog); he has always been interested in law enforcement. His senior year of college he found out that Master at Arms (Navy law enforcement) was one of the very few jobs in which you can’t go to OCS (officers’ candidate school). Once he was made aware of that, it didn’t matter that he was in his first semester of his senior year of college. He was quitting school and joining the Navy, like now!!! What you do???? You have to let go and allow them to be an adult at some point in time. You give your blessings and support them even if it’s not what “you” would like them to do. So that’s exactly what we did, supported him in making his dreams happen!! He goes through all of the stuff one does to enlist in the military, gives us a date of March 6, 2006. My first question is that “written in stone”? He tells me no it could change at the “needs of the Navy”!! Never did I realize at that point in time, just how important those words would become over the next few years. He did leave on March 6, 2006 as he originally stated. Off he goes to basic and all seems to be well, we don’t hear from him often, a letter here and there. We were sent a letter a few weeks into basic stating graduation information and all of the information we’d need to make plans to attend!! I was so excited; I began counting the days until we were headed to “Great Lakes Naval Station”. Basic graduation was great!!!!! I balled my eyes out like a big baby the entire ceremony!!!!! Once I got my hands on my sailor the first thing I notice is how he had matured over that short eight week period of time. We and lots of other families were bursting with pride as we visited the city of Chicago with our brand new sailors!!! What a sight to see, something I’ll never ever forget!!
Shortly after we headed back to SC, David was headed to San Antonio, TX Lackland Air Force Base, where he would receive his Master’s At Arms training. A few weeks into training he tells us they had a MWD instructor come and talk with them about the changes going on within the program. The major change that would affect David and his training mates was you were no longer required to work a set amount of time nor be a certain rank in order to apply to the MWD program!!!!! Those changes became effective, “at the needs of the Navy”! This is great news for this training class; of course it did cause some animosity toward from those who weren’t that fortunate. David put in a request to continue his training in the MWD program, after a short wait that seemed really long, he was accepted. Great news for him and it just made us that much happier he was going to be working in a profession he loved!!! Lucky young man to say the least!! Mater’s At Arms training ends and there are few weeks before MWD training begins, what to do???? Remember those words, “at the needs of the Navy”, (are you seeing a pattern here of those words, keep paying attention they do keep popping up!!) it would be such a waste of time to sit around and just wait for the program to begin, so “at the needs of Navy”, David was granted leave!!! Great for us, he comes home and visits friends and family and hangs out and best of all we were able to take one more family vacation to our favorite beach!! All is grand!! Leave is over he is back at Lackland for MWD training. I’m not sure how many weeks this was but I know it was very intense, he learned lots and still had no orders for a future duty station. Time keeps slipping by and still no orders, he begins to get to the bottom of it, no clue as to what happened that he no order or why he still had no orders, it’s so late in the game so to say, it doesn’t look like David is going to get anything on his “wish list” of duty stations, great!! Here is where those words, “at the needs of the Navy”, pop up again!! It appears his duty station is going to be chosen you guessed it, “at the needs of the Navy”!!! Lucky for David those needs just happened to Pearl Harbor, HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow fabo, maybe this was all worth it now!!! Late October of 2006 he arrives at Pearl Harbor, begins working and loves his job. During this time he and a very nice young lady he had dated in the past and he begin “talking” as they call it. David lets us know some time around April or so he has requested leave for late May through late June of 2007. Great can’t wait to see you, shall we plan to go to the beach or what shall we do while you are home??? He sort of hesitates a bit and says well no beach I live on the beach remember?? OK, fine there where???? He then tells me that he and Kayla are planning to visit Gatlinburg, TN while he’s home. I oh OK sounds great, dad and I have never been, he clears his throat and says nothing, um David are you there, you OK????? He proceeds to tell me that if it’s OK he and Kayla were going alone, Oh sure sorry, didn’t mean to try to but in on your time sweetie, go have fun!!!!! I hear a sigh of relief in his voice for a few seconds. He asked me did I know why they were going to TN, um no not really, maybe a quick getaway or something such????? I hear that bit of uncertainty in his voice again; I ask if all is OK, he assures me yes all “should” be fine. So the mom in me says, “spell it son, what’s up, you are never ever at a loss for words, give it to me straight!!!! He then very calmly says, “Well mom if you’ll go to such and such jewelry store at the mall and ask for item # whatever, you’ll be able to see the engagement ring I just bought for Kayla, mom I plan to ask her to marry me while I’m home. “Wow, OK, great son, we are happy for you, are you sure this is what you want, you guys haven’t been together in a while and you know how the conversation went. So anyway he comes home visits for a few days, goes to her parents house for day (they live about 2.5 hours from us) so he ask her father for permission to marry Kayla, that still makes me tear up after all this time!!!! So proud of our son, always trying to do the right thing!!!! Long story short, daddy says yes, but better take good care of my little girl, David agrees. We throw a small engagement party before he has to report back to Pearl Harbor. A February 2009 wedding is sort of the date they are planning on no true date as of yet just that time frame give or take a month or so.
Shortly after getting back to Pearl Harbor, deployment becomes the huge topic of all conversations!!!!! OH no, we knew it could happen but!!! July comes, that is July of 2008, just weeks after being back from leave, and “the needs of the Navy” shows its ugly head!!! We find out not only is David deploying, he is deploying mid to late September of 2008. At that point he was to leave Pearl Harbor go to Camp Pendleton in CA for uniform and gear, he would be deploying with the Marines so he needed new uniforms and all Marine “stuff”. He was to spend a few weeks there, then on to Uma, AZ for “in country training”, with all being in “country” as in Iraq by late November early December. No clue how long deployment may be possibly six or nine months who knows how long. After lots of tears, lots of fear and major planning we are able to pull off a PERFECT beach wedding for them on 08/08/08!!!!!!!!!!! So after being married for two whole long weeks, David leaves Kayla on an island in which one can go no further than 40 approximately miles in each direction before hitting water!!!! Kayla settled in nicely, met a few wonderful girls who were there for her, they had all had spouses deploy before so they knew the ins and outs and the good, the bad and ugly!!!! Those girls were a life saver to Kayla, we are so thankful for those ladies to this day. They took our sweet very young 22 year daughter in law and helped her make an old ugly 1940’s style base housing into a home for David to come home to.
Deployment was tough for all of us to say the least. Kayla was 5,000 plus miles away from home, further than she had ever in her entire life been and for longer than ever away from home, all alone!!!!!!!! Of course that is until those wonderful ladies came to help her. We are so proud of Kayla for sticking it out for deployment all alone; she found a job doing hair shortly after passing her SC boards. I think those 9ish 10ish months were the longest time of my entire life, but he made it home safe and sound, ready to start a family of his own!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure it was a tough adjustment period once he was home for both of them; again the friends stepped up and helped out with that process as well. About a month or two after he has been home, I get a phone call from David telling me Kayla is pregnant and they are so happy they can’t stand it!!!!!!!!!!!! About six months into her pregnancy we found out they have now have orders to go to Norfolk, VA!!!!!!!! Oh my oh my, is it really true, please tell me yes!!!!!! It was all very true so that makes them a five hour drive from us here in SC and only about two hours from my sisters in NJ!!!!! Life is great, Caroline is born in June, by November 5th we pick their dogs up at cargo in Charlotte, NC and two days later we pick up Caroline, David and Kayla up in Norfolk and bring them to SC for a 45 day leave. We spent lots of time doing a whole lot of nothing and hanging out with the baby and just having a grand old time!!!! Around December 5 they head to Norfolk and their new apartment which will be home for the next four years at least!!! We were lucky enough to spend Christmas with them, we got snowed in, and so all we did was VISIT!!! We enjoyed the “kids” and the baby more than I have words to describe!!!!!!!!
Life is good, we find out that David will be re-enlisting on February 3rd for the I think four maybe even six more years. It’s another excuse for us to go and visit and hang out with everyone!!!! So looking forward to spending about a week in Norfolk the first week of February. This is all fine and dandy and I’m excited to see my sweet lil Caroline and just give her the biggest hug and kiss Me-Me can find for her!!!! Then those words pop back up, dam it all to hell and back again!!!!!!!!!!!!! “At the needs of the Navy”, David will be deploying to Afghanistan sometime between 60 and 90 days!!!!! We don’t have an exact date yet, not sure if or when we will, it seems like we never did have an exact departure date from his first deployment. I have so many things going through my mind right now, I feel as if I’ve just rambled along this post without really saying anything at all!!!!! But then again I feel like that about all of my posts!!!! He is fine with going, he says he is ready for this, its job and he signed up for it and he’ll do it. I hate it, I really do but on the other hand I am so dam proud of that young man, I can’t even find words to express my feelings!!!!! I’m sure there are people out there who are thinking or even brave enough to say it, “well no body made him join, he knew the country was at war when he signed on the dotted line and every other thing you could think of and more. Yes, he did say yes, yes he did sign on the dotted line, yes he has gotten “called to duty” and he is going, no questions asked on his part, that makes me proud of our son. So I’ve said all of this to say if you hate the war, hate the military, think he was crazy to join or any other negative thing that comes to mind, please don’t write it here!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, FYI…………………………most of the guys over there fighting and the ones who have been or are going or whatever all pretty much think the war sucks big time, and would like it to be over, there are even some who feel they shouldn’t be there fighting, BUT they go and they do their job because that’s what they signed up to do, at the needs of the Navy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m sorry this is so long, I went over it for hours trying to see what can be left out or how I can shorten this or that but you know sometimes I just got to go with your heart and go with my heart I did!!!!! I have a huge favor from you my internet friends, would mind keeping my son and all of the others in your thoughts and prayers, please??? That would just mean the world to me to know that people that I have never laid eyes on nor you on me are hoping and praying for David to come back home to Caroline, Kayla and the rest of his family who all love him and are so proud of him!!!!!! Thanks for taking the time to read this, I’m sorry I know it’s long, a lot longer than I ever meant for it to be!!! Thanks again friends!! I haven’t been around to anyone’s blogs today but hope to catch up tomorrow.
Good night friends