Basically, if you’re a member of the US Armed Forces, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
To summarize the decisions we’ve made up until this point — we couldn’t afford both the mortgage on this house and the “rent” on our home in military housing in Rhode Island, so Kurt left me here to sell the house. He was assured here in Washington that this situation was all fine and dandy, that I could follow at my leisure, that things would all work out.
Of course, we “sold” the house this past week, but the soonest I can leave is the first week in September. We’re waiting on Kurt to finish school and then to fly home just after Labor Day weekend.
Now that he’s checked in to Rhode Island, we’re being told that we’re trying to scam the system. Every decision we’ve made thus far is unauthorized by the US Navy, and we really aren’t allowed to do it the way we have.
We’ve already gotten our travel money. Rhode Island is insisting that since we got our travel money, I should already be out there. Kurt’s checked in to his new command, and since he’s married and didn’t apply for geographical bachelor status (because we didn’t know he was going to leave without me until just a few weeks ago), the Navy is telling him that he can’t be put up in geo-bachelor housing because I should have gone with him. Where he goes, I go also, and screw the house.
Not only do we now have to pay for him to stay in a barracks room (to the tune of at least $18 a day for at least 14 days — yes, that’s cheap, but that’s not part of our budget, along with $10 a day in food to eat in the galley), we have also lost our travel leave. The Navy gives us 12 days in leave to get from point A to point B, but since Kurt’s already checked in to his new command since he had to start training today, those days are no longer available to us. Any leave that Kurt uses to drive from Washington to Rhode Island will now be charged against us.
Fortunately Kurt has a fair amount of leave on the books right now. His leave and earnings statement for last month is telling us he has 36 days, but he’s thinking that the ship hasn’t yet subtracted the 16 days he used when he got home from deployment. So it’s possible we have just 20 days. Subtract another 14 days, and now we’re left with six days. I was hoping to take a few days at Thanksgiving and the full two weeks at Christmas so we could do something for once (he wasn’t home for last Christmas, since he was underway with the Navy). But that’s looking less and less likely.
I’m just pissed that the Navy is trying to tell us we’re scamming the system. I can’t believe that it’s not allowed to leave your wife behind for just a few weeks so you can go ahead of her. The personnel department Kurt’s talking to right now is trying to scare him, and tell him that we could get in trouble for all this.
What gets me is Personnel (aka PSD) here in Washington told him it was fine that we did it this way, yet Rhode Island’s PSD is telling us we’re scamming the system. And Rhode Island’s PSD had the nerve to tell Kurt that “sometimes PSD is wrong!” Ummm, this is one PSD saying that PSD is sometimes wrong. What is going on here, people???
Now we don’t know what the heck is going on. I guess we’ll just have to pay for him to stay in the barracks room until 4 September, unless he can somehow occupy the home in base housing that we’ll be moving into once I get there. But I still don’t know how I’ll get out there, how much leave we really have, how much leave he’ll end up burning….
My mom has offered to help me drive to Rhode Island. I’m thinking that’s going to have to happen, but Kurt’s resisting that because he wants to do it. Basically it’s coming down to two options: either he drives me to Rhode Island and we don’t do anything for the holidays as a family (which is dumb to me because it’s why I’m so excited to move back to the East Coast in the first place), or my mom drives me and we’re able to visit family over the holidays, all three of us.
We have to make a ton of sacrifices in general. Kurt missed Grace’s first word, her first steps, her first smile… almost everything she’s done, he’s missed. But that’s a sailor’s life; we knew what was going to happen when I got pregnant.
Now I have to uproot my entire life and my friendships and leave behind my support system because the Navy says so. I’m okay with that; I like going new places. But why does the Navy have to make it so hard?? It’s like we’re getting punished because we’re trying to do what the Navy wants us to do.
One command tells us one thing, another tells us exactly the opposite. I’m getting pulled in two completely different directions…
We’ve made enough sacrifices in general. Why can’t things go our way for once?
I just wish the Navy would quit jerking us around.