The Army

5 Jan

Oh my!  What a couple of days I’ve had!

My son was supposed to deploy to Afghanistan today, January 5.  My sister and I drove to Kentucky (6 hours) and stayed in a hotel.  Our objective was twofold:

  1. Get him prepared for the send off
  2. Be his family support system for the actual send off

We did a good job on the first step.  We got “the list” knocked off – last minute bills paid; haircuts; and the packing of the duffel bag and ruck sack.  That’s a nightmare – you need to put about 4 sacks of “Army stuff” into two bags.  Clothes get rolled up and shoved into every nook and cranny.  I’m not sure what fabric and thread they use for those bags, but I gotta get me some.

We (my sister, Cory, Cory’s girlfriend and I) showed up at the Army base at about 10pm on January 4th.  We had to do some last minute stuff in his temporary barracks room and some final packing.  We went to the drop off at 11:30pm.  Cory dropped off his ruck sack and two of duffels with the other 300 soldiers.  We went to the place where they were distributing the guns and Cory waited in line.  After about 15 minutes, he came back with his weapon and some news….

He was being wait listed and put on stand by!

What the heck does that mean?  Apparently Cory didn’t have the right gear because he wasn’t supposed to be deployed and they only notified him 30 days ago that he was going.  His new gear wasn’t in yet.  So the deal was that he (and therefore WE since he had no ride or phone or anything) had to wait until 2:00-3:00am to see if he was going or waiting another 6 days.  Okay…. we can wait two hours.  But in the mean time he had to get his bags and get them OFF THE BUS so they didn’t go with the rest of the soldiers’ bags.  That was a nightmare!  300 soldiers’ bags that all look identical – let’s find ONE soldier’s and get them out of there.

Miracle of miracles they were able to find all but one bag.  And so we waited…. at 2am mind you!  a.m. as in the middle of the night!  But okay… we can wait…  But what were we waiting for?  To see if everyone showed up.  If not, Cory had to go – correct gear or not.

They did a formation – looked like everyone was there.  But they couldn’t be sure.  Cory and two other soldiers had to stay behind until 7am JUST IN CASE.  They couldn’t leave the building because they had their issued weapons and apparently we don’t want they walking around the base or town with them.

My sister and I decided to go back to the hotel to get a bit of shut eye so we could be awake enough to drive in the morning if necessary.  We couldn’t get off the base!  All exits were closed; it was getting close to 3am; we couldn’t find the main exit.  There are no soldiers or lights for that matter.  NIGHTMARE!  I had to call Cory’s girlfriend (who had stayed with him otherwise he would have been without any communications) and Cory had to figure out where on base we had driven to and how to get us out.

I collapsed into the hotel bed.  At 7am we received the call.  “Mom, we’re in the hotel parking lot.  I’m not going.”

It should be a happy moment.  But, alas, that doesn’t mean he’s not going.  It means he’s been put on the list of soldiers for the January 10th deployment.

Which means the trip must be repeated on Sunday and Monday….

I hope his gear is in by then.  Otherwise, then what?

I think the Army should have a better system, don’t you?  My sister kept saying that she was sure that if a woman was in charge of this operation, the whole process would be smoother and more organized.

I need sleep….


4 Responses to “The Army”

  1. Diana W January 6, 2011 at 6:50 AM #

    What as nightmare! I gotta think this is for the best though. He wasn’t meant to go on the 5th. Best of luck to you. You are a great mom!

  2. GRANPA January 6, 2011 at 9:12 AM #

    The Army’s moto is “HURRY UP & WAIT”. They really have it down pat… DAD

  3. Bri January 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM #

    What a blessing!!! God works in ways we don’t know. He obviously wasn’t meant to go and may not be meant to go (lets hope). We just have to wait and see now. Patience sure is a virtue.

    love you guys!

  4. Ruthie January 8, 2011 at 6:25 PM #

    Oh my, what an ordeal! It reminds me of my son coming back from Afghanistan last January. They were to be home late Thursday and between Tuesday and when they actually arrived on Saturday, their arrival time/date changed 6 times….from Thursday, to Saturday, to Monday, to Sunday, to Saturday. Whew! Tell your son thank you for me!

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