Sunday, April 13, 2008

Because He Still Wants To......

We started this journey so long ago. First, he was thinking about being a Corpsman because he wanted to be in the medical aspect of things. Then it was the Marine Corps because that is what he knows. Then other things in our life forced his reenlistment to take the back burner while we worked on getting things in order. He lost 80 pounds, then gained some of it back, then lost it, then gained a little more back. Then all hell broke loose in our lives, and things changed drastically. Through all of this, he still wants to reenlist. But the focus has now become getting him some sort of education completed so in the event that I cannot work, we will not be completely out of sorts. So how does he get both?

He contacted the Army. After being in this game for a little while, even I was impressed with what they had to say. Back in as an E-4, as in no loss of rank. PFT and body composition standards that will not break the back of a man who has been a civilian for almost a decade. Possibly even back in as an E-5 because he has completed 80 college credits as a civilian. Still no boot camp, but only a 2-week orientation of sorts. Almost guarunteed the MOS of combat medic, with said training allowing him to be a practicing civilian EMT upon discharge. Possible radiography tech training and credentials, which he wanted as a civilian but found the waiting list for nearby programs to be too long. A break for me. I could slacken my work hours a little and focus on getting that pre-med degree finished, at least. Relocation from an area he hates. This could possibly be the best opportunity for my family. BUT.........

I am still scared. Unlike before, when I refused to tell him what I wanted, I have agreed with him verbally. This could theoretically fix all of our problems right now. It could make things better. But is it worth the risk? We are not so naiive to believe that this all comes without a cost. We know for a fact that he will ship off to war. It could be immediately or it could be a year after training. Unlike the Marine Corps, the Army deploys for twelve to fifteen months, at the least. That is a very long time for my husband and Evan's father to be gone. And what if something happens to him? Of course, everyone that leaves for a combat zone believes they will be like the other guys they know who came back safely. But they would be foolish to believe that they could not be, instead, the one on their hometown news broadcast in the flag-draped casket. Or the veteran they show learning to walk with his new prosthetic.

It feels like a gigantic gamble. Like we would be pawning something very dear to us, which we can't live without, not knowing if we will be able to ever get it out of hock. My mother always taught me to not gamble with anything you cannot afford to lose for good. And there could never be enough money in the world to make up for the loss of my John. I would never be whole again. He is a part of me after all of these years, after all.

I am at a loss. I am finding a hard time stopping him from doing something that will get us out of this situation. But I am also having a hard time with the danger of it all. Is this the only way out? And after a year, with him still wanting to reenlist, would any other solution be acceptable to him? Is he just doing this to get us out? Or is he using our current circumstances as a justification for going back in? I'm afraid I will never know the true answer to these questions.

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