Monday, March 3, 2014

Life...On Pause

Many people sum up military life with the phrase "hurry up, then wait".  After over 4 years of military life, I agree. We are on the last few months of his 36 month B-billet (random job in between deployments/real job assignment).  This means, my marine, who is trained as an infantry officer, was selected by a board of Colonels (and Generals?) to command the Recruiting Station in Georgia for the Marine Corps.  
From billboards to medical processing to the boot camp bus, my marine is in charge of 15 recruiter stations for most of the state of Georgia.  Over 100 marines and over 900 kids waiting to get into the USMC are his responsibility.  His boss is in another state, so the buck stops with him.  While he loves teaching his recruiters how to give presentations to classes of high school kids, giving speeches himself at Glazier Football Coaches Clinics and H.S. Principal Conferences on Leadership and Ethics,

The U.S. Marine Corps is renowned for its leadership and organizational strategies.  This is why my marine has met with Atlanta's Mayor Reed as well as Glazier Football Coaches clinics (!shameless! brag alert:  my marine has been rated #2 speaker in the nation at these clinics, just behind SF 49ers coach Jim Harbough).  He has also been invited to speak at many school and community events, especially around Veteran's Day.
and just helping his wo/men make their mission and fulfill the dreams of young people toward becoming marines and young leaders, his heart belongs in the field/the fleet, training a battalion for deployment or preparing humanitarian missions for disaster relief across the globe.  It kills him to think that the leathernecks he trained are deployed without him.  Marines don't want to be "sitting on the bench", they want to be "in the mix", using their skills and doing what they do best. 

 For more on the often asked question, "Why do they like and want to deploy?" watch Battleground Afghanistan (my grunt would be equivalent to the guy who never sleeps on there, the Captain, since he hasn't deployed as a Major yet) and read the book No Easy Day.  That book is about the Seals, but the writer conveys the attitude about yearning to deploy to a tee.  If you watch Army Wives, as I'm often asked, my equivalent would be closest to Denise, although TV moves their careers much faster, so we are a rank or two below where they were, last I checked.

My marine is what is lovingly and proudly known as a "grunt" in the Corps.  Uber-smart, National Merit Scholars, who earned full college scholarships have a plethora of career opportunities open to them.  But, even as a child, he was often wearing military clothing and running around the woods in Florida with a fake rifle planning battles.  His mother has a Mother's Day mug made by him in 3rd grade that has tanks and big explosions drawn all over it.  His mother was a teacher and his father an artist, so being a marine seemed to have come out of nowhere.  We now know it was his calling.  As an only child, the marines are his true brothers.  He is a charismatic, natural born leader.  I can't imagine him ever working in a cubicle.
So, while recruiting isn't any grunt's first choice of duty station (the 2011 Military Spouse of the Year proclaimed Recruiting Duty as far worse than 4 deployments due to the stress and 70+ hour work weeks), we have made the best of it, and enjoyed living more of a "civilian life", away from military installations.  We have explored and completed a bucket list of activities for the state of Georgia, from hiking the Appalachian Trail, to visiting Martin Luther King's church.  Now, we are ready to say, "Bye, y'all"!
Image courtesy of DigitalArt at

So, we will move in a few months.  And the destination is yet "unknown".  We submitted our geographical preferences.  Any day now, he will come home from work with a present for me to open.  Inside will be some token or trinket symbolic of our next duty station.  It will be our 4th move in 6 years.  Then the pause button will be lifted and a frantic house-hunting, budgeting, and packing mission will begin.  We are on this adventure together.  I had my dream career as a teacher for 13 years.  I'm happy and proud to support him in his 15th year of his dream career.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gluten Free Favorites