Should We Stay or Should We Go

When someone joins the Military, they don’t sign up for 20 years right away. Usually they sign-up for 3-4 years and then re-enlist every 3-4 years for a while. They do eventually get to a point where they can re-enlist indefinite. But until that time they really do get a choice about if the Military is in their future or not. When my husband re-joined the Military in 2005, we told ourselves we would try it for three years and see how it goes. Despite a long 15 month deployment, my husband re-enlisted for 5 years in the Spring of 2009. We felt it was the right thing to do at the time.

military familyNow we are getting closer to him having to make a decision about his future in the Army and we are finding it is not an easy decision to make. There are a lot of factors to consider. For one, can we as a family really keep going through deployments like we have been? This every year or even every other year thing is not good. It is possible that things will die down a bit and he won’t have to go as often in the future but I am not holding my breath.

We have our son to think about. How will Drew handle future deployments? How will I be able to stay strong acting as a single parent? The one thing that I felt during JRTC was that I need the support of my husband in dealing with our son. I can get all the outside support but when it comes down to it I need him. If he is overseas and I don’t really have much of a chance to communicate regularly with him, how will I be able to handle that? Would years of going through that tear me down?

Then there is the money issue. The Military is a steady paycheck with healthcare. My husband didn’t go to college and doesn’t really have another career waiting for him. He is in the Infantry and that is where he has all his training in. Should we give all that up to figure something else out? Ideally I would make a full-time income from home. That is the ideal and what I am working for. But what if I can’t do it? What if I fail at it? It would be a huge change for our family. For the past 8 years I have been the one to be in charge of the kids, the meals and the house. Right now it seems ideal but what if it really isn’t? What if having him home so much and having him take over everything I have been in charge of for years throws us for a loop?

There is so much to think about. So many pluses and minus on either side. I don’t want my husband to be in harm’s way. I don’t want him missing parts of my children’s childhood but what if staying in the Army is the best choice for him?

Have you been unsure about your future as a Military family?

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4 thoughts on “Should We Stay or Should We Go”

  1. I completely understand. We are thinking my husband will get out after this assignment. The two biggest fears we have are will he be able to find a job and what if getting out is a big mistake. We are just going to make our faith to be bigger than our fear and see what happens between now and then.

  2. I hear ya. It’s a tough decision to make, especially when it usually involves changing everything, including what state (and sometimes country) you live in!

    Paul seems to have the longest sign up time anyone has ever heard of; our seperation date will make it a month shy of 7 years for his inital sign up. Although he doesn’t have anything lined up, all we can do at this point is hope that the skills he’s earned while in the miltary will carry over to finding a good job afterwards.

  3. I know I have been silent for a long time. I don’t know why! I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’m going to try and not make this too long!

    Your post really spoke to me. My oldest son has Asperger ‘s Syndrome(diagnosed at age 6). We found out that he was on the autistic spectrum when he was three years old. We were living in Germany at the time. We’d been dealing with his issues for a year and a half before the spectrum diagnosis and had people come to us for services. It worked really great for us! Leif is now nearly 14 years old. We have moved four times since then. It has been our experience that the Army really does take our EFMP status into consideration. For example, before we moved to Georgia they were going to make a last minute switch and send us to Knox. As soon as my husband voiced his concerns and they saw Leif’s status, they allowed us to continue on to GA. It has NOT been easy. The move from KS(we had been there 6.5 yrs) to GA was a terribly difficult transition for him. I had a behavioral therapist come to the home and within a year we made great progress. Getting Leif what he has needed has never been difficult for us. Our transition to CO has been awesome. I realize our situations are a bit different and I’m not trying to make blanket statements. I just want to encourage you! Yes, there are challenges for sure! Sometimes I have had to be forceful and be a loud voice for my son, but I think you would have to do that anywhere. I actually think that having to transition and be flexible with this life has really helped Leif. We do our best to keep him in the loop! My husband is indefinite now. It would be really great if this was our last duty station:) I wouldn’t complain about that. You are great parents and will do what is best for your family! I know that, either way, your children will get the best of you!

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