09 November 2011

the start of our military farewell

Last week I got what will hopefully be the last "military surprise" dumped on me.  In the grand scheme of things, it's really not a big deal at all, but it has changed some plans around.

B put in his official resignation letter with the Navy last week.  We knew this was coming; we planned on this.  However, when he submitted it, he was told that he has to get out in August.  We have been telling everyone November 2012 for the past year or so.  I know it's only a matter of months, but it was still a bit of a surprise.  He even asked to be extended a few more months, and the powers that be weren't having it.

Discharging from the military is simultaneously frightening, liberating, the most natural thing in the world, and apparently the most unnatural thing around this base.  The base we are currently at seems to have two types of people: those who just joined the military (currently in A-school or flight school), and those who are only a few years from retirement (currently teaching/commanding A-school and flight school).  For the record, B works at a command with a ton of civilians, and it's not A-school or flight school.  I've met very few people in that mid-range level, but I love it when I find them.  It usually happens around here that when I tell people, "He's getting out," they respond, "He's retiring?"  At our last base, I watched oodles of men and women separate from the service, and no one batted an eye because they knew how much it sucks to be on a ship.  I guess here they're still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

B and I have gone back and forth about him joining the Reserves, and after a talk with an O-6 from the aviation world who discouraged it for submarine officers, I think we both agreed that we will be fine without those headaches.  (In case you're wondering, B has a degree in electrical engineering and can also do nuclear engineering thanks to the Navy.)  When I first brought up the Reserves, B told me I should join it.  I'll keep that in my back pocket if times get rough--I think I'd make a good Reservist!

We purposely planned to have our first child while on this shore tour.  The timing worked out right, he's home all but 3 predictable days a month, the pre-natal visits and birth are free, and we were ready.  I'm glad that our plan is panning out, but the fact that we will have a child adds a bit of worry to the date bump-up.  B doesn't want to start a new job until October, so I'm trying to factor in the cost of insurance to our 2012 budget.  If it was just the two of us, we'd probably just go without.  It's not looking very cheap right now, but hopefully we'll get some answers when he goes to his Transition Assistance class on base.

You may have noticed that I rarely post about the military on my blog.  I started this whole thing to pass some time while he was deployed last year, but everything went rather swimmingly so there wasn't too much to vent about.  Plus, we'd already been through it before (with me as a girlfriend), and it was ten times worse.  I purposely never branded this thing as a "milspouse" blog, since I've known that B wouldn't be career military since the moment I met him.  I also realize that I will have spent just as much time out on my own in civilian land (post-college) as I have under the protective cocoon of the Navy.  That's about three years with each.  That fact won't stop me from missing the amazing perks we get around these parts, namely the commissary, free healthcare, and a free gym.

One thing I realized I really won't miss are the military traditions.  I didn't grow up in a military town, I don't have any close family who made a career of it (except my grandfather, but he died before I was born), I didn't know the difference between officer and enlisted until meeting B, and frankly, B just isn't into the traditions, so I guess I'm not either.  He wouldn't even take me to the military ball once we got married (we went to one in Virginia when we were dating, and it was pretty lame so I don't blame him).  I've only seen B dolled up in his dress whites once in our entire 5-year relationship.  I'll still have a soft spot for submarines, especially women on subs, but that will probably be all I take with me.

Oh, and this great picture of him with the Blue Angels from yesterday morning:
B is in khakis and black jacket on the right.
Since this post is semi-appropriate for the upcoming Veterans Day, feel free to see some thoughts and research on the semantics of that word (and whether it applies to B and other active-duty submariners) from a post I did last year.

While I'm ready to tackle the civilian world, I'm still wary about the next place we live possibly being our "forever" home.  But more on that later!


1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate on some level. Moving on from NAS was hard sometimes, especially since I was occasionally made to feel like a bit of a black sheep at social events. It was the right choice, though. My husband is happier and a better worker because of it. Enjoy those small freedoms of civilian life, like actually choosing that "forever" home for yourself! Haha, but I admit- we may still be in, but I miss that gym at NAS too! So many good classes! Praying for you guys :-)