As any of you who know me well have already realized, no news = bad news.
But first, let me back up on the Andy story. When he set out on this Officer Candidate School journey, the AF and the Army were having difficulty working together. Surprise! The Blue to Green program is supposed to be a smooth transition, but, like anything the government has a hand in, there are some things that don't go as smoothly as we would hope. His approved "exit" date from the AF expired in March. The next available opening for OCS was in July. The recruiter declared that didn't really matter. They could transfer him on over, give him a job at his current rank (E-5) while he waited and hopefully they would find an opening in an earlier class.
We assumed, since he didn't have any training in a specific Army job, they would stick him in something boring that anyone can do. Yard work, answering phones, handing out balls at the gym. He would work 9-5, be off in the evenings, and drive up here on the weekends. It's only about two hours away.
In the meantime, we took the two months of leave he had accrued during his time in the AF and enjoyed some family time. All of Dec and Jan were free time. Feb 1st was his last day in AF. Feb 2nd was supposed to be his swearing in for the Army.
Our problems begin there. His recruiter, although he had two months while Andy was on terminal leave, had not checked Andy's package thoroughly and it was missing one piece of paper. Andy frantically called, and searched, and managed to get it faxed from the AF to MEPS, but it was 45 minutes too late. So, he had to wait to swear in until the next day. He was officially not in either branch of the military for one entire day.
That is causing huge problems for our insurance. Argh!
Then, when he got to Ft. Benning, he was thrown into a room full of other guys who had arrived for OCS, told to turn in his truck keys, and walked through a mini basic training style "reception". Shots given, head buzzed, uniforms handed out, curfew strictly enforced. With no warning. I got a txt saying. "It's lights out. I'll call when I can." That's all I heard for nearly 24 hours, and after that communication was still very spotty for days. What is funny is that all of these guys are prior enlisted. They have been through this already, in one branch or another. It seemed slightly over-kill. But, of course, they went along with it. However, they were held for 10 days.... and weren't allowed any PT. For fear they would hurt themselves before classes began. Seriously?
Here is the kicker. They were transferred over to the OCS dorms on Friday. There they found out that with the newbies coming straight from basic, as well as the candidates from the Reserves and National guard there were close to 200 people trying to get in this class.
There were 120 spots.
Andy, who isn't supposed to start a class until July asked on Sunday if he could bow out, and not steal a spot from someone who is supposed to start this time. Because he had a hacking cough and was on antibiotics at the time, the 1st shirt approved his choice; but, he has to try in 3 weeks when the next class starts. That does not guarantee him a spot however. The 80 guys who didn't make the cut this week will be stiff competition.
The way they made their final decision was with the PT test. A score of 300 is perfect. I believe that 180 is passing. Andy usually gets 240-250. They were not taking anything less than 270. That is not just a good score - that is fabulous. And the poor guys who had been held for 10 days without PT? Only about half of them made it into this class.
At least Andy knows what he will be doing with his free time during the next three weeks!
When he is not working out, or studying for the future book work he will have, he has been put on a special duty as a teacher's helper in the public school on post. He was helping to grade 4th grade papers today. As the son of a teacher, it is a perfect job for him, but he says it makes him miss his boys dreadfully!
Since all of our assumptions were incorrect, and he will not be working some insignificant job, then free in the evening and weekends, we have had to adjust our way of thinking. The thought of waiting until July for him to even start his class is slightly overwhelming, when we have no access to him at all. So, we hold onto hope with both hands that he will kick some butt on the PT test in three weeks and be able to move up with that class. In the meantime, I have been able to talk to him every night this past week. 30-45 minutes isn't much, but it is more then I had last time he was in the desert, and at least I know he isn't in danger. And - txt messages are part of our cell plan. I annoy him all day long, and occasionally he is able to send me three words in reply. I take what I can get!
On a completely different side note:
We have been married for 9 1/2 years. Andy has been in the military for 9 years. Yesterday was the 6th time he was gone for Valentine's day. It is always this time of year. Always. He misses V-day and his birthday (which is St. Patty's day) and Easter every single time. Poor guy.
And with that, I bring us to the end of my exciting/boring update on military life. Until next time,
Who writes this stuff?
- I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure. I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at firstname.lastname@example.org