I had planned a really happy post about the re-enlistment process. I was all giddy about how I got one really fundamental military wife experience recently besides just saying goodbye all the time. Last week I got to with G.I. Joe and talk to his recruiter! Haha such a thrill :) But it really was. I haven't gotten to see much of military life besides 1 homecoming, 1 formal ball, and a whole lot departures. So this was awesome. One of the most fun things about this has been that the Marine recruiters work right next to the Army ones and those Marines are very persistent. For some reason they've decided I was meant to be one of the few and the proud. They are seriously the only branch that has ever attempted to recruit me and this group of recruiters aren't even the first to try it. That, and the fact that G.I. Joe's future Army career has looked so promising, has kept my days exciting and comical.
Last week we hit a tiny bump in the road. Apparently MEPS is run by civilians these days and the doctor refused to give G.I. Joe a physical because his forms weren't correct. (They were---this guy just didn't understand some of the codes in the packet.) No huge deal though. I dropped him off again Sunday with a newly refurbished packet and eagerly awaited the phone call. That phone call would sound like "Hey Babe! I signed the papers! I leave on SeptOember 42nd and then by next spring you and Lucy will PCS to where I'm stationed!"
I was walking around the Barnes and Noble near his recruiting office when he called. He used to sound more upbeat when he'd call me from Iraq. One of the civilian counselors at MEPS didn't understand what G.I. Joe is enlisting for and basically denied his enlistment. He didn't give the poor guy much of a reason at first so he was left to wait for the recruiter to get there for hours. I cried when he told me he felt like someone ripped off his uniform. He had to wait there for hours after this, with no other information besides that they weren't letting him in. He's willing to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the military yet a civilian is keeping him from it.
I didn't know when they would bring him back so I hung out at the book store all afternoon. My heart just hurt for him. That's just how it is when you're married. If someone looked me in the eye and told me that I would never be able to publish anything again ever, I'd be crushed. But I've only wanted to be a writer since my teenage years. G.I. Joe has wanted this job since he could walk. Until he found out exactly what was going on he felt completely betrayed by his country that he's fought so hard for. All he wants is to continue that fight.
Now...what we finally learned is that he will be able to re-enlist but because some people aren't using logic we now have more red tape than ever to get him in. I'm going to pull jobs out of the air to explain this so none of the specifics apply to G.I. Joe but this is the kind of thinking going on:
"Sorry we can't enlist you unless you have this dive identifier."
"But I'm going to dive school as soon as I get in."
"Right now that program is only taking people who are dive qualified."
"So you are saying that if I was already dive qualified you'd enlist me today so I could go to dive school to get dive qualified?"
"Yes, exactly. Have a nice day."
Then there is this issue that they are insisting on--
"There are too many SGT's in the Cavalry right now. You'll have to try to enlist when a slot is available."
"But I'm not going into the Cav's I'm going to the Infantry."
"Yeah but we have too many SGT's in the Cav's. Once more slots open up you can enlist."
Its almost funny that this is the logic that's holding things up for us and that could potentially crush G.I. Joe's dreams. We do have a back-up plan, and a back-up plan if that goes down the toilet and an absolute worst case scenario plan. We have plans in which other branches will be considered, even though no branch offers an alternative that gives everything this job in the Army would give. But I married a soldier. I know the man I married. Right now, even though its hard and scary, I have to trust that God knows the man I married better than I even do. Even when I was crying in Barnes and Noble over the thought of our Army life ending God just kept whispering to me "I'm not going to leave you here. You have to jump...I will catch you. Do you trust me?"
We've been waiting for this for a year and a half. I'm tired of waiting. G.I. Joe is tired of feeling useless. But we have to trust that God didn't give him these specific skills and talents just to abandon him and never use him again. I can't and refuse to believe that God is done with this. If not for my own benefit, I have to believe this for G.I. Joe. So we're jumping, very blindly, and just trusting that something awesome is waiting on the other side.
I could get so discouraged right now. We could really use the benefits of an active duty job starting like, tomorrow. For some reason though God needed to remind us that we can trust Him.
And so we will. However long it takes.