Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coast Guard vs. Army

I was reading another blog, I can't remember the name of it, but I'll link it in the comments section. Anyway, the blogger is an Army wife. It got me thinking about how grateful I am that Heath's in the Coast Guard. I'm so thankful that I don't have to go through long deployments. Though Heath is often late getting home, I seldom have to go to sleep without him.

So now, because I was thinking about it...

For those of yall who don't know, Heath was in the Army before we were married. He did 2 deployments. When we met, he was just getting back from deployment 2, and he was in the process of getting out. It was February 2006. In June 2006 we were married, and if I remember correctly, he was already on terminal leave by that time. So, essentially, he was already out. (Except we were still pulling the paycheck, which was freaking awesome!)

A few months later, around September/early October 2006, we found out I was pregnant, and though we had insurance, the deductibles were a constantly ruining our budget. It would seem like we'd account for the deductibles we had last month only to have more the next month. Being that Heath didn't really know what he wanted to be yet anyway, he decided that he'd just look into joining the military again. It made sense. he wasn't sure what he wanted to go to college for. We knew the insurance was free, and I'd be able to afford to continue with school. In addition to that, we'd be able to move around, which we very much wanted to do anyway.

He knew he didn't want to go Army again. Been there, done that. And another deployment, after 2 already? No thank you! Haha. So, he called the AF. He figured shorter deployments and usually better treatment/facilities, but they didn't want prior service. So that was out. He definitely didn't want the Navy. We've got nothing against those in the Navy, he just didn't want to be stuck on a ship for so long. His friend Matt had suggested the Coast Guard a while back. He figured, what the heck, it couldn't hurt to check it out. So we did. We went to Denver and heard what the recruiter had to say.

As it turned out, we liked what we heard. He was able to get in fairly quickly. I'm bad with dates, but I believe it was around the beginning of the year. It worked out, because he quit his other job right before Christmas. Excellent timing, right? So there we were, our first holiday season together with Pit Stop (a shorter Basic Training for prior service in the CG) looming in the very near future. Fortunately, we did get to spend our first Christmast together. :) On our last morning together before he left, I also felt our baby move for the first time. :) It was pretty special. Unfortunately, Heath didn't feel it, but it was still pretty amazing. It makes pregnancy real in a different way than an ultrasound can.

So anyway, he went to Pit Stop, came home, then we made our first move. We packed up everything we could fit and drove ourselves and our cats half way across the country in a Toyota Corolla. We frequently had to stop because my pregnancy feet kept getting swollen. It wasn't the most fun trip ever, but it was very exciting. It was our first adventure in an entirely new place. We were heading out into the unknown, completely by ourselves. It was very romantic and a little scary. I'd be having a baby without the support of my family or friends back in Colorado. YIKES!!!

Long story short, we lived in South Carolina for about 6 months. We had our son, Harper, who is now three (and is currently having a very animated fight with a Spider Man punching bag). He's a great kid. :) After SC Heath got orders for Petaluma, CA. He was going to A School!! YAY! That meant promotion, more $, and another move. All of which were excellent news. We were in Petaluma, which we ADORED, for about 6 months. Then Heath got orders for New Orleans. It's not our favorite, but it's ok. Better than Iraq, that's for sure.

All in all, the CG has been pretty good to us. We've already lived in 3 different states and are ready to try some new places whenever they're ready to send us.

Probably the biggest plus though, is that aside from being stationed on a boat, which is bound to happen at some point in Heath's career, we don't have to worry about being separated. He'll never have to go to Iraq if he doesn't want to.

I'm just really grateful for two things:
1. For the families who do make that deployment sacrifice, especially those with kids. Your service does not go unnoticed.
2. That Heath went CG this time around, and that the longest I'll have to go away from him is a few months. As much as he drives me crazy, I'm glad he's here with me.

1 comment:

    Copy and paste that onto your browser. :) It's a good/sad read.