+ and -

We are rapidly approaching the one year mark on this deployment and I have to say, it SUCKS. I know once THIS month is over it will seem better but this is the month he was supposed to be HOME. So it seems like all of the spouses I know whose husbands are deployed are having a tough time this month. And so we gripe. And we gripe. And we gripe. It's our way of venting so that we can then get on with life. Otherwise it festers and becomes a real problem.

During one of our griping sessions, it dawned on me what my problem is with the extension. It's not the extension itself. It's not. Deep down in my gut, before MacGyver even left, I knew that he would most likely not be home at the one-year mark. I don't know why I knew. I just knew. So I planned accordingly and mentally prepared myself for the idea that I would be happy as long as he was home by Christmas. And I will be.

The thing that gets me is this...we are going to be PCSing early next year. We are an aviation family. If I recall, there are six Army Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB). At any one time, three of those CABs are deployed. The other three are ramping up for a deployment (enjoying that wonderful 12-month "dwell time" that the Pentagon lauds). So our choices with regard to where we are going next involve three CABs that are currently deployed and two that will BE deploying sometime in the next 12 months (more likely, sooner).

So much for our "dwell time". Had MacGyver come back when he was supposed to, we would pretty much have our guaranteed 12 months of dwell time even with a PCS in the middle of it. But, because of the extension, we've now lost 3 months of that dwell time.

One quarter of that precious time, down the drain. And no way to regain it. MacGyver will miss, yet again, the first day of school. A birthday. An anniversary. And more than likely, he will miss all of those again NEXT year because more than likely we will be moving to a unit that is either deploying before we get there or will deploy shortly after we arrive.

I am not complaining. I know it may sound like it but I am NOT. I understand that this is his job and this is what WE (yes, WE) signed up for when he accepted his commission and his appointment to flight school. And I'm ok with him deploying. In fact, I'm so ok with it that I am willing to endure back-to-back deployments in order to get to the installation and the unit we desire.

If we get what we're asking and hoping for, we will leave here approximately 3 months after he comes home and hopefully hit Mother Rucker en route for some training and then head on to our final destination where, 30 days after he gets there, he will leave to catch up with his gaining unit. We will be lucky to have him home with us for 6 months before he heads out again.

But we KNOW that. The thing that gets me is that we could have had him with us for NINE months at a minimum if not for this extension.

Aviation is a different world compared to the "regular Army". Which is a double-edged sword and brings with it benefits and drawbacks. I am grateful to be a part of the Aviation community. I cherish it and love the community. Just goes to show you that there are positives and negatives in every aspect of life.


- hfs

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