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Category Archives: Soapbox

Emotional Terrorism

***If your spouse is

or will soon be

deployed::

This post may not be for you.***

***I am a Navy wife and the opinions in this post are solely those coming from my mind at this very moment. They are ideas planted in my head from movies created in Hollywood. They are fears and reflections of the way I view the army as I assume most civilians do. It is not meant to offend anyone, and I apologize in advance if my ignorance does just that.***

Hubs' Mini Medals... I guess we'll be adding some more bling to it soon!

I woke up this morning and headed to my appointment with Dr. J (my life coach… not the basketball Legend). The emotional terrorism began.

Adele came on the radio with “Someone Like You” and I could not get through the first line without losing it. I finally let myself sob openly. I allowed myself to be weak and leak all over the car. I approached Border Patrol that had traffic stopped on the freeway, sure they would stop the sobbing fool driving. they did not.

I pulled myself together long enough to get through my stay in the waiting room. Then I allowed myself to empty half a box of tissues as I openly wept. I’m talking the ugly cry, y’all. I told Dr. J I wanted to be strong for my husband and let him know he was not leaving a basket case behind. I told him I was scared but Army Wives aren’t scared, they are strong and I had to be too. He told me to open up and maybe write about it in my super secret journal… which translates into my super public blog.

I am scared. My husband has never been through the training soldiers have been through. My husband has never had to worry about shooting someone in their face. My husband has never had to worry about being covered from head to toe in sand. Since he has never had to worry, I have never had to worry. I am a Navy Wife. I worry about the sea, and pirates, and how he has to watch the same movies over and over again on repeat on the AFN TV. I am not an Army wife and I do not know how you all do it!

This is my main fear:: As a Navy Wife, I recognize that there are dangers during deployment, but let’s be honest with ourselves girls- there really isn’t. I have talked myself into a corner where my biggest fears during my husbands last two deployments was if he would have enough money to buy awesome souvenirs in Port. As a new [don’t really]wannabe Army wife my biggest fear is that soldiers come home in caskets. Soldiers fight hard and are brave! Soldiers are real heroes. Not to downplay the Navy (remember, I’m one of you!) but we are about to enter a whole new ballgame and I have zero unit support.

I am not one in a group of women going through deployment together. I won’t get the ombudsmen e-mails and weekly reminders that we are all awesome and holding down the home front so beautifully. I will not be coddled they way I was for our last two deployments. I will be all alone and so will my husband. He doesn’t know the people he is going to be with. They have not gotten to know the man who may become one of their battle buddies. He doesn’t know how to dig a fox hole!

I did some shopping to clear my head and prepared to make the most of the remaining time we have together. God has a plan for us, and I must remember that. I then openly wept all the way home. The radio did nothing to help as I wept through “Made In America” (Toby Keith), “God Gave Me You” (Blake Shelton), “I Got You” (Thompson Squared), and a few others. I wept and let my emotions out in the privacy of my own car… and now here in my Super Secret Journal… now if I can muster up the confidence to talk about how I feel with my husband so we can work on being scared together… or so he can reassure me he is secretly Rambo!

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Remember When Customer Service Existed?

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Yesterday was quite the test for me on my journey to seeking Him. It was the first day of a new month, which means payday on Camp Pendleton. God tested me good, and I failed. We were celebrating getting Hawaii Five-0, season 1 on DVD and planned a Hawaiian weekend. Part of this included making the haul (about 40 minutes) to the opposite side of base to the Koa Teriyaki Grill and Maui Wowi for our yum-yums for the day. We decided since we were making the haul we may as well stop at the Commissary. We knew it would be a beast, but we only needed a few things so we took the chance.

God was good and the Commissary wasn’t too bad at all! There was just one girl sitting on a randomly placed bench with a cart full of groceries blocking the lane who got on my nerves enough to make me say something about her toddler grabbing hold of everyone’s cart causing a cluster f–k. I stated how it wasn’t cute, it was obnoxious as we walked by. Sorry, God. I tried and was doing pretty good until then.

Apparently He thought it would be nice to continue testing me and my first world problems. Read: FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. I get that I am about to sound really ridiculous.

We got in line to get in a check-out lane. For those who are not military: at the commissary (which is the grocery store on base) you form one line and there is usually someone telling you which check out lane to get into based off speed and who has nobody in their lane. Lanes 13 and 14 were open and the cashier at 13 yelled “Next on 13!” so we headed there as she called for baggers. Again, for those not in the military: there are baggers who work for tips an tips only at the commissary. The bag your groceries and take them out to your car. This usually gets them three or four bucks from me. If you don’t take them to my car, I give them my change from the transaction. The cashier called for baggers and nobody showed up so my husband bagged our groceries. At a normal grocery store out in town this would have warranted absolutely no response from me. At the commissary, where they provide this service to you and you become accustomed to it, the absence (on payday none the less) kind of irritated me. I asked the cashier who I could talk to about it. I didn’t need to as she called the supervisor who immediately began looking for the baggers assigned to lane 13.

The whole way to our car I complained like a child and my husband droned on about being a veteran and asking if this is how they treat people coming back from war zones and proposing the question if they knew who he was. Not like he is anybody important, but it’s our inside joke whenever something doesn’t go our way. We got in the car after moving our frozen good into insulated bags. Remember, we’re about 40 minutes from home.

We now head across the parking lot to the Koa Teriyaki Grill. We stood at the register for about ten minutes while a girl stood at the grill and a gentleman messed around with smoothies. It took ten minutes for either of them to acknowledge we were standing there and let us know they would be right with us. Seriously, God? I’m working on patience and this is how you test me? We finally order two small smoothies and two combo plates of pork and chicken to go. Smoothie one: black raspberry with kiwi lime. Smoothie two: black raspberry with strawberry banana. Both smoothies came out regular (and we were charged for regular, even though we ordered small, and I had to fight for a receipt!). Smoothie one was correct. Smoothie two came out strawberry banana-kiwi lime.

After sitting there for about ten minutes waiting for our smoothies while the smoothie guy chatted up the two very young Marine wives who were ferociously flirting with him we got the wrong smoothies but decided we would go with it. Then we waited about ten more minutes to be handed two plates of food.

I.Lost.It.

I said to the girl how we got the wrong smoothies, and now a to go ticket was being handed to us on plates? Was there any part of our order they were not going to mess up? A woman commented about how nasty I was and how there were only two people there. I informed her no, I’ve worked in a place similar and it’s not rocket science. It doesn’t even require a high school degree. Slap a smile on and do your job.

I settled with the guy wrapping our food in aluminum foil as he gave a million reasons for things going wrong that day. I didn’t care. You have a mindless job to do and a company to represent and you failed. All while I had frozen goods thawing out in my car with an additional 40 minutes to go.

It was I who failed. It was my selfishness. It was my inability to bite my tongue. It was my abrasive personality shining through. Oh, you didn’t pick up on the fact that I have an abrasive personality? I do, and it is the beast I have been given to tame.

Turn away your face from my sins;

blot out all my iniquities.

A clean heart create for me, God;

renew within me a steadfast spirit.

Do not drive me from before your face,

nor take from me your holy spirit.

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;

uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 50:11-14

I was PROUD to be an American on September 10th

Ten years ago I was 16. Ten years ago I was a Junior in a high school under the flight lines leading to Oceana. I lived near the Naval Air Station attached to NOB. Ten years ago as I was at my locker going from Algebra 2 to Public Speaking people were in a panic. While sitting in my Public Speaking class the principal came over the loud-speaker once more and we prayed (as I went to a Catholic school). Our teacher broke some recommendations from Father (the principal) and turned on the television. I sat there and just wanted the media to stop playing the now infamous video of the second tower being hit.

Ten years later I feel the same way.

I recognize that everyone has the freedom of speech, and yet we sometimes shouldn’t use that freedom. As a military wife I’ve learned to keep certain opinions to myself, or between my husband and I. Trust me, there are many views that I hold that just aren’t the popular opinion. I just can’t hold this one in anymore and know there must be others out there who both love this country and yet share this view with me.

The media has gotten out of control. Why do we, as Americans, continue to relive the pain from that day? Do you need to see the images to be reminded of your pride in America; your pride as an American? I don’t need to watch Vietnam or WWII (dubya, dubya two) movies to stand up and thank Vets when they walk by.

from Google via Elizabeth on Pinterest

We will never forget the terror that struck America that day, but I promise you this: I was proud to be an American on September 10, 2001. I was proud to be an American on everyday, for 16 years before then as well. I supported our troops and had pride in the men and women who served this great country before then. I saw honor in our military, our brothers in blue, and the brave men and women who run into burning buildings for a living. I had a sense of pride in the people who save us, before the dreadful day they had to try to save so many. Even at 16 I recognized that on September 12, 2001 it was hard to find a bumper that didn’t have an “I Love Jet Noise” bumper sticker and folks talking about “the sounds of Freedom!”

I have also had the extreme pleasure of seeing this song performed live, by Lee Greenwood, and there is nothing as moving my friends- nothing.

Play this song on some random day: February 3, April 16… any day other than July 4th, Memorial Day or 9/11 – show your patriotism year round.

Quite frankly, I am ready for Monday. I am ready to not have to see the images, to not hear the stories. I am also curious how future generations will hear the stories and events of the day. After being to NYC several times in my youth, I hope they learn of the majesty that was those towers and the strength of a city to continue after such devastation.

As with every Thursday, I’ll be linking up with Amber over at Goodnight Moon! For some awesome songs, head on over and check her out!

*The views expressed are the sole views of myself and do not reflect the views of my husband, the United States Navy or the DoD.

The Great Thing About The Military Community

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Last Thursday upon dropping Hubs off at the Hospital for work, I noticed a cloud which looked more like billowing smoke. Sadly, it was a house fire. Today, Hubs got an e-mail at work explaining the situation: The family who lived there tragically lost the life of their thirteen year old daughter. They narrowly escaped the blaze with the clothing on their backs and have lost all else, including two family dogs who fell victim to the flames.

There is a drop off point on base for food donations, cards of condolences, and HHG items. I am reaching out to you, friends, asking for your help! Please, let us join together and help a Marine family in their greif. I am going to drop off a tote of food tomorrow at the Chapel and will have more information then.

If you can spare a few dollars on an AAFES gift card which they could use at the MCX, a gift card to a DECA Commissary to rebuild their pantry, Wal-Mart, KMart or Target. Possibly a gift card for a chain restaurant somewhere like Chili’s, Applebees, T.G.I.Friday’s, Olive Garden, or the like.

*At this time monetary donations can be sent to:

ASYMCA Camp Pendleton
Box 555028, Building 16144
Camp Pendleton CA 92055-5028

The memo line should include “Fire Support/Funeral”.

If you could send a care package with any of the necessities in it (toiletries, kitchen items, bedding, etc) that would be phenomenal as well. If not, and you would simply like to take a moment and send a card, I know it would mean the world to this family in their time of need.

The best thing about being a part of the Military community is that we take care of our own. If there was ever a time for it, I would think now would be the time. Please leave a comment and I will get in touch with you as soon as I know the address of the Chapel to send things to. Many thanks in this, their worst hour.

*Please see update from 8|30|2011. All needs have been met, but prayers still requested and financial contributions may be sent to the ASYMCA

My Nightmare | PSA for Service Members With Cell Phones

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I don’t know what we were thinking. I guess we thought we would save some money during deployment by putting hubs’ cell phone on military suspension. The way we saw it, he wasn’t using his phone and instead of collecting seven months of voicemail we would turn it off temporarily.

About 4 days before the ship pulled into Hawaii I called our service provider and asked them to turn his phone back on. I was so excited to finally hear his voice! I knew he would want to call as soon as they were in port and back on U.S. soil. The day they did pull in to Hawaii I remember sitting there all day waiting for his phone call. Around 9pm PST I sent him a funny text about his sailor (me) missing him… nothing. Around 10pm I called and his phone service was not restored. I called our service provider… again.

I didn’t know at the time that he had also called them when he got to land, tried to call, and discovered his phone wasn’t working. They were having a problem with their server and the person I spoke to didn’t put him on a plan. We’re on a family plan- all they had to do was add his phone back on. Issue was resolved and I was able to speak with him later that night.

Cut to a few days after homecoming. We were out and I was driving so he tried to call Nan to ask her some mundane question. Guess what? No service. We once again (4th time) called our service provider. Somehow they didn’t have him on a plan and they disconnected the phone. I’m sorry, what?

Situation under control until the bill comes in the mail. Our bill DOUBLED by adding a new $9.99 line to our family plan (I had been paying about $80 a month during deployment, and around $100 before deployment). Call number 5, within a two-week period of time, occurs. I’m spending more time with customer service than I am with my husband! Turns out someone at our service provider decided to put us on some RIDICULOUS plan for about a million minutes a month when we had been on the lowest number of minutes a month. Let’s face it: we have a land line and a family plan. We don’t need more than 400 minutes!

Everything is going fine until we get this months bill in the mail. Are you ready for this? THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS! Oh no, no, no, no, no! I immediately picked up the phone and called our service provider once more. It appears that while in Hawaii, hubs’ had to use an INTERNATIONAL TOWER and we were thus charged for international roaming.

Everyone has a price, and mine friends, is $441. I was so steamed that I wanted out of my contract for the last three phone calls! I had had it this time. The poor girl on the phone was a sweetheart and calmed me down pretty quickly. She reversed the international roaming charges and on top of it, gave us a $200 credit on our account! That means not only do we not need to pay this month, but next month we’re not going to have to pay very much!

CUSTOMER SERVICE. Where has it gone in this country? In this economy. You had also better believe I played all the cards in my hand: I dropped the name of the biggest competitor. I played the “is this how you treat Veterans?” card. Hubs just laughed, but it’s true. The only reason we suspended his service was for him to deploy and defend our freedom.

Lesson learned [and came right out of the customer service managers mouth]: next time (if there ever is a next time) we will not use the military suspension. This has been a bigger headache than it was ever worth!

When your service member deploys, what do you do with their phone? Is it just us, or has anyone else ever dealt with these issues and how did you get your service restored to normal?

[While I recognize I have not used the name of our cell phone carrier, please know the purpose of this post is not to bash one service provide over any others and I chose to leave this information out. If you tweet with me, I’m sure you may remember parts of this whole debacle from June. Please do not refer to the company in comments.]

Let’s All Go To The Movies… At Home

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Around Father’s Day the morning show I listen to on the radio talked about things dads say. Things like: “you want me to give you a reason to cry?” Things like the Dane Cook skit about how the amusement park isn’t going anywhere so we’ll go another day. People would call in with ridiculous things their dads say. One caller said her dad refused to join Netflix he knew it was a scam. He was talking more in the aspect of those old send in a penny and get 7 cassettes or whatever, but…

I’m sure by now, you’re all in the know about the greatest movie rip off of our time: Netflix doubling prices. It’s not the first time prices have increased, but it is the first time since I’ve been a customer that they have changed so drastically. During deployment I watched more than our money’s worth of movies. I watched two or three movies a day, since we didn’t have cable.

From We Heart It

Now that we have cable, and my life has returned to normal with hubs home from deployment, we’ve done nothing but have discs sit on our entertainment center. We can go a week or two before we watch a movie. Plain and simple: in these economic times Netflix is going to be a thing of our past [our as in mine and my hubs’]. When we want to watch a movie, we can stop by Red box on our way home and drop them back off on our way to work the next day. We will maybe watch three dollars worth of movies a month.

Do you think Netflix has done customers wrong? I think I would stick to streaming if new films would be readily and quickly available. We’re giving it a month to see. All I know is: there just isn’t enough instantly available right now for us to keep it. We almost never stream!

The downside: we have an internet connected TV which makes it super convenient to watch instantly on the TV. If we discontinue the streaming, we won’t use the internet connectivity at all 😦

Do you Netflix? Are you planning on changing your plan with the increase in prices?