Friday, January 18, 2008

rambles and FRG's

I listened to Spousebuzz radio last night regarding FRG’s. It was an interesting program and it got me thinking…here are some of my rambling thoughts...

When Stuntman was deployed, I barely knew any of the “lingo” or “Armyspeak”. Whatever I’ve learned since, came from Stuntman, or from online sources.

I never thought of the Army helping me through this deployment. I just figured that Stuntman would be gone, and I would need to make do on my own.

After Stuntman left for training I did receive a newsletter from the FRG. I contacted the leader (who has since changed) and asked if there was anything I should know or that I could do. That was the one and only time I spoke with my FRG leader.

There have been two get-togethers in the last year, and I attended one. I did attend a meeting that was for a different FRG , just to see if I was missing anything… I wasn’t.

There have been discussions about pre-deployment briefings on Spousebuzz… I had no idea that there should have been something like this. At the farewell ceremony, there was a table in the corner with a few Tricare flyers on it… does that count?

In the last year, I’ve had to figure out a new health plan and new paychecks with weird terminology that I’ve never seen before. Reading the comments in Spousebuzz, I know I’m not the only one. Thank God for Spousebuzz and other milspouse blogs out there.

I don’t remember the name of my FRG leader, the name of the rear detachment guy, or the name of my husband’s company commander. I’m sure the names are on one of the 3 flyers that I have received in the last year… but I don’t really care... they obviously don’t care to know me. God forbid, if anything was to happen to Stuntman, or there was an emergency at home, I doubt I would be able to reach these people. I have called two of them, to RSVP for the last get-together, and never reached anyone. I did receive a return email… almost 2 months later.

I’ve only found out about casualties directly from Stuntman, or the defenselink website . Once again, if Stuntman was more seriously injured, I have no idea what would happen.

Since Stuntman is ARNG, I know my situation is drastically different than active duty spouses. I’m not in a new location; I don’t live on post, or even near one. I’m older, and have been self-sufficient in the past… but not for as long a duration. I don’t need an FRG for day-to-day issues. I mainly wanted to be in touch with one, and attend meetings so my children would know other children that have deployed fathers.

We’re over 2/3 of the way through this deployment… and I’ve made it this far.

It’s just as if Stuntman is on an extended business trip … except business trips don’t last as long, and when he’s on a business trip, I don’t worry about an official-looking car appearing in my driveway.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t feel as if I’m part of the military. My husband is, but I’m just here… day after day.. living my civilian life. I am so proud of what he is doing, and of his choice to join. The only difference between my neighbors and me is that I have a military ID in my wallet… an ID that I only take out in conjunction with my Tricare card. Should I feel like a part of something bigger? maybe.


Buck said...

Wow. I'm at a loss for words, TripleE, except to say "That's not right."

Ann M. said...

I have a little bit of an idea on what you're going through. My husband and his co-workers have a job that is drastically different than 99.9% of the base here (they don't deploy at all, his office does), so this place is completely clueless and unhelpful. I'm sorry, because this must suck.

Maybe you could ask Stuntman if he knows of a reliable person out there to help you out if necessary. There might be someone he is close to that has already rotated home or didn't deploy that you might feel more comfortable working with when you need info.

Army Wife said...

we have a lot in common...

Vypergirl said...

Oh, Girl, that really sucks! I don't even know what to say......

Guard Wife said...

I don't know what I would have done when Hubs was deployed if it weren't for an on-line threaded discussion board I found on iVillage. Our FRG...LORDY! I could write a book!

I think this is a very common phenomenon, unfortunately.

If you think of things looking back that you would like to see SpouseBuzz address for other guard spouses, please send it my way or post it here & I can pick it up for a post on SB.

My deployment was before SB and I think I lost a lot of those frustrating things b/c I thought that was just the way it was & I floundered through on my own.

YOU are doing a great job, though, and one that the rest of we Guard Wives ae proud of you for!

wendy said...

My husband has deployed twice before with a flying squadron. I had a great bunch of ladies to lean on - ladies night out, predeployment brief with the command who gave out actual real information, and check up phone calls. I wasn't that into it, though.

This time is totally different. Tiny group of deployed guys. No actual support for me. So far I don't really care, but it would be nice to have at least a deployment buddy, you know?

I have to say, though, that I know who to call in an emergency and I think they'd pull through.

ABW said...

I wish things were easier for you. My husband is active and the last deployment to Iraq we didn't have much of an FRG, so I can sympathize. My dad passed away and my husband never got the red cross message and when I called the FRG leader she told me I should have him call home more often. Ummm...yeah...if he wasn't working (Turns out that the higher ups did get the RC message but they thought it would be overkill to tell him twice.)

trying said...

I hear what you are saying and I totally understand. We are on a tiny base so we are drastically different from the rest of the Marine Corps. Apparently there is a key wives group out there but no one knows what they do. What I know I've figured out on my own.

You seem like you have a lot figured out! You are 2/3 done and your learning army lingo! Look at you! : ) Shoot as for tricare... I dont think even tricare has it figured out!