I've been debating posting about this since it happened. I'm still not sure if it's the best idea. But when I started this blog I said I wasn't going to hold anything back. Not my opinions, which sometimes aren't so popular. Not my experiences, the good and the bad. And most importantly, my worries, thoughts, and .. Myself. I guess this could fall under all of these categories.
For thanksgiving, we decided to stay here and make a big dinner for the soldiers in Jeff's platoon that were not going to go home to their families. We did the same thing last year at Fort Lewis and really felt that God was asking us to do it again. We ended up having a great dinner with about 16 people here in total. Lots of soldiers and a couple other NCOs, and Jeff's squad leader. I was happy to have met the people he works with and our guests all said they had a great time and enjoyed the food, even took home leftovers.
All was well until Monday morning. Jeff was then informed that one of the soldiers that had a few glasses of wine, was only 20 years old. On the day of our dinner, she had omitted the fact that she was underage. Because we allowed her to drink in our home and provided the alcohol, Jeff was in trouble. The soldier herself, however, not in trouble at all.
Tuesday came and they informed Jeff that if one of his superiors (I'm not going into specifics for our own protection) had it her way he would have been thrown in jail for providing alcohol to someone not of age and discharged from the Army. But thankfully, that is not what happened. However, he is no longer allowed to have any contact outside of "directly related to work" with the soldiers. And of course they have threatened all kinds of punishments.
While this is all very embarrassing to write, I had I get it off my chest. I understand that we are "guilty as charged" but I still have a lot of anger towards everyone involved. I'm angry at the above mentioned soldier for being so rude and disrespectful. I'm angry with the rest of our guests, because none of them told us she was underage. I'm angry with the leadership for threatening to kick my husband out of the Army (more than once) and making us worry about our future and how we would provide. And I'm angry with my husband and myself for being so naive as to think we could trust these people whom we invited into our home.
We have this reputation now, after all this, and we are not those kind of people. We do not regularly break the law or conduce underage drinking. And then on top of that, how am I supposed to bring myself to like these people in his platoon. How can I be comfortable knowing that he will deploy to a war-zone with people that won't even watch his back at home? It makes my stomach turn, knowing that these are the people that will be responsible for protecting him should something go wrong, and we can't even trust them in own our house to be polite and honest.
And don't even get me started on the leadership issues. My husband is a good soldier (so I am told), anyone in his previous unit can vouch for that. We get her and he breaks his foot and instantly he is on their sh**list. And now this. Basically, his career progression is on hold because they don't like him.
I'm sure that everyone deals with a unit like this at sometime or another. I just had to write it all to let it all out. I can't stand knowing how mentally exhausting his days are sometimes. I can't help but worry about deployment. I don't want my husband going anywhere with this platoon. And I'm worried sick that one day they will find a sorry excuse to actually kick him out like they keep threatening to do.
I've never dealt with this before, I've always loved the people Jeff worked with. Not all of them of course, but I never worried like this before. I feel like this unit is going to kill him (figuratively). They don't even know the kind of person he is, they've stuck him in this mold that doesn't fit him at all and he can't get out. We can't get out.
I feel better after writing it all out. I hope that somewhere down the road, this experience will help someone else. Help someone to be more careful than we were and to avoid a whole mess like this.
I am still very thankful to have been given the chance to live at Fort Campbell and be closer to our family in Ohio, but I don't see us staying here long (if we can help it). I think it would be best for us if we tried to get out of here as quickly as possible. But anyone associated with the military knows.. They won't move you when you want to go, only when you are settled and happy where you are.
I will do what I can to make myself and our family happy here. After all, the post itself isn't bad. I've met friends here I will cherish forever. I don't always have to love the unit we're a part of, right? We will just watch our step and make the most of everything. And if the time comes for Jeff to deploy with this unit, I will give my worries up to God, he is always protecting him! He is always protecting us!