Well, yesterday I spent the afternoon with a military social worker doing a family assessment.  My husband was to have returned to Iraq this January for his second tour.  My son had a very serious surgery though in August of 2004.  It is called titanium rib, and it is used in children who have severe scoliosis.  It saved his life.  
Tricare made me fight for it though for a solid year because it hadn’t quite gotten FDA approval. It was FDA approved the same month that my son had his done and I can sleep at night now.  Even though Tricare had approved seven other children for the surgery before my son they still made me fight tooth and nail for it.

I didn’t get much sleep from April of 2003 through August of 2004.  My husband was in Iraq and our three year old son’s scoliosis was at 90 degrees and paralysis was going to begin to set in.  I was fighting with an insurance company and four different doctor’s opinions……just pick your opinion, any opinion and fight.  Put your gloves on and fight.  I prayed that both of the men in our family could fight out the year and live full happy lives.  I awoke from a nightmare one night in which the only thing left in the house was female….all of our men in the family had passed on.  

My husband made it home bodily safe.  They did my son’s surgery in August 2004 and we were sent to Fort Rucker in October 2004.  My son was still healing but we had 30 days to get here, my husband had asked for a compassionate duty.  His wife was fried alive.  Like I’m telling you all anything that you don’t already know if you read my first diary.

We have been “here” now for eight months and sometimes the military wants to do evals on families in our position, wish that I hadn’t gone along with it.  First off, just let me say that when they call they at first attempt to not treat you as a civilian.  They attempt to make family members feel militarized along with the parent or spouse, which I don’t buy.  My husband is a soldier not me, so don’t call me and attempt to put on that authoritative voice with me that the military requires me to do something because they have the legal right to require JACK from me.  All I signed was a marriage license.

I find it necessary though to play nice so I agreed to have an assessment done, and once again I ask myself why I approach this system in this fashion at this time in our history.  The military isn’t a sane institution at this moment.  After all was said and done I was told that last years stressors won’t be factored into the current assessment but they will put an extra paragraph in describing what the family has endured after I was literally beating the table with my fist.

I had the current situations and challenges that my son and the family face daily so minimized you would think that my son had only sprained his ankle. Why oh why do I put myself through this shit with these people?  They are being pressured someplace by someone about making every soldier look deployable on paper.

We haven’t pushed the PTSD issue.  We have allowed them to say that my husband has his anxiety disorder and hope that he can just finish his career out as is.  If they diagnose PTSD my husband won’t be able to fly and I don’t know if he could hope to finish his career out at all.  He went to a private facility a couple of weeks ago and will go back again in about six months…..they are addressing the PTSD and have an excellent track record in dealing with it.  He has returned home much calmer and collected, he seems even happy at times.  We paid for it ourselves and I really don’t care at this point so long as my husband is able to function and be happy and have a healthy life.

A bunch of houses went up for sale here last month.  Houses usually turn over slowly here, I was surprised that so many were up for sale.  I thought that maybe a bunch of flight school teachers and trainers had gotten their go to Iraq papers, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.  Looks like Fort Rucker is only going to be a two year stop though while Iraq is on.  At least it felt that way yesterday!

The really depressing part of everything though was when I discussed how glad I was that my husband was home because the twice yearly extension surgeries done on my son’s back are something that I don’t think I could do alone, and I was told that in their opinion I could.  I mentioned that this was a compassionate duty for him and I was told that he is going to be going back into the hopper soon they think.  I mentioned special deferments and they tried to act like such things don’t exist.  Why lie to me?  I already know they do and was given all the pointers I would ever need to get it done by a retired Lt. Colonel who ran the family advocacy program at the Air Force Academy!  I hate nothing worse than to sit across from these people while they perform the mission on me.  I’m a D personality……I’m one of the assholes who usually jockeys for position so I can give the mission, so go fuck yourselves!

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