Mr. Chaos and I recently had to sit down and chat about his military career. It’s not something we like to do because there are so many “what-if’s” and unknowns to any military decision and you can always change it.
Except this decision is one that can’t be changed. The time had come for Mr. Chaos and I to decide on re-enlistment. And this re-enlistment isn’t like any ordinary re-enlistment. While he still has one more re-enlistment left, this one was just as important. Because at the end of his contract this time he would’ve had almost 11 years in, meaning that if we decided it was time to get out that it would still be OK. But if he re-enlisted this time, putting his time in around 14-15 years, it would be silly to get out. Meaning…in a nutshell…if we decided to re-enlist this time, he’d be a career Army man.
Talk about BIG decision. And it didn’t help that we had to make this huge decision while Mr. Chaos was on the other side of the world. We couldn’t sit face to face…well I take that back. We sat computer to computer (video chat can be an awesome thing folks) and emailed a lot. We had a list of concerns that was not as long as I thought it would be but the concerns that were on that list were HUGE. We had to decided what was best for him, for me, for the kids, and for our family as a whole. We had to discuss jobs on the outside (or lack thereof) and money (our “favorite” topic) and where we would live (the easiest of decisions). We had to figure out what he would do if he stayed in the military. Would we find something with less deployments or would he do something he’s always wanted to do. What job would he have, would he stay in his current community or go back to division…I could go on and on because the list of concerns and questions when it comes to this decision is endless, which is part of what makes it so overwhelming.
What-if this and what-if that and how about doing this or how about we try that. It was exhausting and frustrating but we did it. We, finally, about a month or so ago, made the decision. It’s done and we can’t go back. And I’m OK with that. I’m comfortable with our decision. I know that there will be hard times and that it’s not going to be easy but I also know that it was the right decision for my husband and for our family. Because my husband, he’s a soldier and a damn good one. And I’m a proud to be his wife, partner, and best friend and even prouder that he is the father of our beautiful children. Military life isn’t easy but neither is life in the civilian world.
So bring it. Bring on the training and schools, the long days and deployments and whatever else is thrown our way because we…we are a military family and I look forward to the roller coaster ride that comes with it.