An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Monday, October 24, 2005

An Officer and a Gentleman

The company had their last Field Training Exercise (FTX) in the middle of a major storm. Despite the pouring rain, DH still enjoyed his time in the field.

Unfortunately, two radios were misplaced during these exercises! Although DH's platoon was not responsible for these radios in any way, the entire company had to do a thorough search. Even though the radios were old and broken, there was the possibility someone might have to pay for them. At one point they discussed having the entire company pay for the radios.

This is the way things work in the Army. You are constantly required to sign for all sorts of things and then, if they disappear, you are held responsible.

DH strongly suspects that the radios were placed with some empty MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) boxes and tossed in the garbage. The radios were never found but this incident postponed Senior inspection and altered the training schedule.

The following week, things returned to normal. His company passed Senior Inspection and DH also passed individually. As a Senior Officer Candidate, he received senior privileges, such as extra phone calls. From what I understand, this was one of the most restrictive OCS classes in recent memory. So, Senior Privileges were a big deal to the Candidates.

Finally, OCS graduation arrived.

April 7, the night before graduation, the OCS class hosted a formal dinner and after party. The very-soon-to-be-officers wore their Class A uniforms while most of their instructors wore dress blues or mess uniforms. All the civilian ladies looked beautiful in their gowns and everyone was simply beaming. DH's mother, father, and maternal grandmother were on hand for the festivities.

A highlight for me was meeting many people with whom I had corresponded by e-mail as one of the FRG leaders. The (mainly) wives, girlfriends, and mothers are an excellent group. People were very complimentary about the job we had done with the FRG. The commander even brought two of us to the dais to give us certificates for our work. Although all the attention was embarrassing, and I was disappointed that he wasn't aware of the work one of the ladies had done, the appreciation validated my efforts.

Graduation was a very special day for us. DH passed OCS with flying colors, meeting and exceeding all physical, academic, and leadership requirements. I am continually impressed by his Physical Fitness accomplishments--he even earned an Excellence in Physical Training award!

After the graduation in the auditorium, we went to the OCS cannon, in honor of the artillery, for DH's swearing-in. I was permitted to pin one of the "butter bars" on DH's shoulder. Of course, I pinned it the wrong way. Ooops! Thankfully, this does not nullify the commission!

We celebrated with dinner with his family and many presents for the newly minted Lieutenant, including an iPod from me and a Leatherman from my parents.

DH was able to return to New York for a few, too-short days and we had a big dinner with our friends at Florio's Grill and Cigar Bar (a relatively authentic place in Little Italy and one of the few places DH could still smoke a cigar in NYC, thanks to Bloomberg), followed by drinks at the Yale Club.

Of course, no time with DH is complete without an adventure! In November, the Honda Civic was stolen out of the parking lot in New Rochelle. As a replacement, I purchased a used '93 Saturn. So, when we recovered the Honda several months later, we had two cars, one spot, and one driver. My parents helped me to register and inspect the Honda and DH decided to take the Saturn on a less-than-leisurely drive from New York to Oklahoma (for Officer Basic Course at Ft. Sill). When DH went to pick-up the Honda for me at my parents' house, the car wouldn't start. So, DH had my mother drive him to his parents' to pick up their station wagon.

Later that night, the station wagon died us in the middle of the street. With the aid of several New Rochelle characters, we jumped the car four times; the car died on us four times.

Unfortunately one of those times was after DH pushed the car into the middle of a neighboring apartment building's driveway. Someone called the cops, fearing drug dealers, thieves, or perhaps terrorists. Fortunately, the young policemen were suitably impressed by Marc's military service and let us get back to the business of jumping the car, again. Most fortunately, the last time the car died, it was already safely in berth. Two cars dead, and an exhausting night. Thankfully, mechanics were able to fix both cars relatively easily.

So, my officer headed off into the sunset astride his steed--or at least he drove off to Oklahoma in our Saturn, complete with his new iPod.

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