Beginner's Guide to Military Life: Lesson 1

April 06, 2012
The United States Military is the most organized and reliable organization, right? WRONG. Nothing is ever set in stone, everything will change. If you like to write things on calendars, do it in pencil or learn to love white out.

Lesson 1: Dates, Calendars and Planning

You will need:

  • a pencil
  • white out 
  • a calendar
  • travel insurance 
  • patience (shit, I still have to get that)
  • anger management 
  • something to kick 
  • 20 backup plans
  • an understanding 
  1. Get a calendar. You will need this to plan vacations, pregnancies, life and every breath you take.
  2. Don't pay too much attention to your calendar. 
  3. Use a pencil when marking dates on your calendar, but get a calendar with thick paper because all of the erasing you will do will burn a hole in the paper. 
  4. Use a pen on your calendar and learn to love white out, I personally love non-liquid whiteout tape. 
  5. Anytime you purchase something travel related, buy insurance. My travel insurance and the airline lady became my best friend in September and October 2007. Travis' flight home from Iraq changed 12 times in ONE WEEK. I had no idea when I was actually going to go to California to meet him. I ended up taking a big risk and flying out a day before he was allegedly going to be home. He had already left the Middle East, so that was a little more reassuring. Thankfully, he arrived the day after I got to California. Not sure what I would've done for a weekend by myself in San Diego besides getting 100 Original Fish Tacos at Rubio's and sitting on the beach. 
  6. White out and erase some more. It's not just deployment related, you husband will probably have orders to a guaranteed school seat and he'll find out the day before he has no idea if he is going or not, at 2300 you might find out that he really has orders and is leaving in the morning, or that he's not leaving at all. Be prepared for him to leave and be prepared for him to stay home. 
  7. Kick something because you're annoyed, pissed and aggravated. 
  8. Kick something else because this shit is getting old! 
  9. Have 20 backup plans. Not 20 total, 20 for each possible scenario. 
  10. Kick something. 
  11. Understand that nothing is ever set in stone, ever. Oh he's for sure doing 4 years? That's not for certain, if he doesn't pick up, they might kick him out, he might be medically, honorably or dishonorably discharged. He might sign for 4 more. Oh he's doing 20 for sure? Probably not- now they are filtering people out and offering early retirements. 
  12. Understand some more that no one else will ever understand what you are going through. 
  13. That for sure 7 month deployment? It just turned into 9 months. Now you're beyond kicking, you're screaming and crying. That 9 month deployment just turned into 12 months and he's only been gone for 4 weeks. Oh, that 12 month deployment just turned into a 6 month deployment, congratulations I hope you survived your 10 heart attacks. 


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