Thursday, July 31, 2008

STUPID ARMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A year ago Owen went in and talked to his retention NCO. They made a plan and an agreement that Owen would extend his contract and attend 68W school. At the end of school we were going to be relocated to Ft. Lewis and he was going to re-enlist as a Medic instead of a 14J. His enlistment bonus was supposed to be at least $18,000.

Notice I said was?

Yeah. The army is trying to screw us. Owen went in to re-enlist and the retention NCO here told him that he could only get him $9700! WTF!!!!! After taxes (which they take automatically weither you have to pay taxes based on income or not...) we would get around $6700! Yeah that is not going to work! We owe out more money than that!

See here is my problem..... Yes I am aware that most jobs do not offer large bonuses to entice people to continue working for them.... but most jobs dont send their workers to places where people get blown up every day. So I really do think that the soldiers deserve their enlistment bonuses. Are they really trying to tell me that as a field medic my husband is only worth $9700? When you pair that up with his pay (including his housing allowance) that puts him well below what he could make as an LVN in the civilian world! The whole point of re-enlistment bonuses is to encourage soldiers to not go civilian! Where is the rest of his money?

We were promised that money and now they are telling us that it is not there? That we can wait for the start of the new fiscal year for the military (October 1st.) but that they still cant promise us more money? THAT IS BULLSHIT!

Excuse me for my anger but this is my problem. The army makes you a promise. Then because some asshole NCO doesnt do his paperwork right they look you in the eyes and say "sorry we know that you were counting on that money, but we arent going to give it to you. OOps. Our bad. Oh, BTW we are not going to do anything to fix the situation better! No we won't pay your parents the money that you owe them that you arent sure you are going to have anymore. No we arent going to pay the deposit on the house you are all set to rent so that you have a place to live. No we arent going to provide your husband with transportation to work every morning since he will no longer have the money he needs to buy a scooter so that he can get to work without leaving you stranded in the house you can no longer pay the deposit for so he can take the only vehicle you own to work...... Oh yeah... and no we wont pay for the diapers you are going to have to buy to put your kids in daycare so you can get a job to pay for all the things you needed that money for. We know that you cloth diaper and cant afford the extra $50 a month per kid, plus the actually cost of day care.... we just dont care. We are the US Army and we like to bend families over and tell them to take it and like it so that they will never be able to financially afford to get the hell out of the army and they will just stay our automatronic meat puppets till the day they die! SCREW YOU LOWER ENLISTED RANK SOLDIER WITH A FAMILY! THE ARMY LIKES TO WATCH YOU SUFFER CAUSE WE ARE A BUNCH OF SADISTIC FUCKS!"

Hmm. I feel much better now. Thank you for listening to my ranting anger. I now return you to your regularly scheduled significantly less pissed off blog posts!

So much time and so little to show for it.

So we moved. From H(El)l Paso Texas to Ft. Lewis Washington.... which is right outside of Tacoma, Washington. We left in a bad way. I am sort of embarassed about the way we left Texas.

We left the house a mess.... I even accidentally left my calander behind... which really upsets me cause it had all of Mikaelas first written on it. I put them in the baby book at the end of each year.... so all those memories are lost for forever. I can try to estimate... but it will never be the same.

We also left the Previa there in a parkinglot on post. I know. Terrible. But here is the deal.... it died. The day before we were supposed to leave. The whole engine seized. We tried to figure out a way to get it back to California so that we could return it to the sleeze ball who sold it to us..... but it just wasnt going to happen.

We also left without clearing housing. Through some misscommunication they didnt come to inspect our house by the time that we had to leave.... so we just left. Owen couldnt ask for another extension.... so we left and called them a few days later to let them know that we were already gone and there was no way that we could come back... and they told us that we would have to give someone power of attourney to clear housing for us. Well we procrastinated that and they called us back and told us to forget it. They would just take care of it. OOpps. Bad enough that we left the house a mess..... Oh well. You live and you learn.

So you may be wondering (or not, but I am telling anyways....) how did we drive to Washington if our van died? My dad came to the rescue! We called them and told them the situation and asked them to pray for us. The next day my dad called us back and told us that if we could get to California they would help us get a car. So we rented a van and drove to Cali (thanks Advantage Rental Cars!) When we got there my parents let us keep our stuff in their garage... Then Owen and my dad went van shopping. They found the perfect van for us. It is basic... but it had super low mileage and it is only 2 years old. Plus the price was right. My dad made a really big downpayment for us.... which we have to pay back with Owens re-enlistment bonus. That is fine with us since we had planned on using half of that money as a down payment to begin with!

So then we finished our drive here. It took us 3-ish days to get here.... which is not bad considering that we had 3 kids, a dog and a cat in a 2006 Dodge Caravan with us. Oh yeah... did I fail to mention that we also had 4 army duffle bags strapped to the luggage rack and 4 25 gallon rubbermaid containers filled with stuff.... plus a playpen for Mikaela to sleep in... plus Alexanders mattress (which is memory foam and folded up like a large sleeping bag) plus we stuffed every crack and crevice with blankets and pillows and jackets and shoes and other misc small things that somehow did not make it onto the moving truck that the army had drive all of our stuff here?

Now we are staying in a slightly crappy motel (there are holes in the wall of the bathroom and the bathroom door from where the last occupant punched said surfaces), there are cigarette burns in the blankets and on the bathtub from some previous occupant (there are not any nonsmoking rooms that are availiable for the reduced weekly rate). But on the bright side.... they let us have our pets in the motel with us so we arent having to board them at a kennel, and the room is cheap. Only 300 a week..... Plus there are about 10 different places to eat, all within walking distance.

Now you may be wondering why we are living in a hotel.... well there is a military housing shortage here in Ft. Lewis and the waiting list is 6-8 months long... so we had to find a place to rent to fill in the time between now and then. There were plenty of places to choose from that would be great as short term rentals... but we found one place that is just about the most perfect house for us ever! It is cute, it has a huge yard and it has wood laminate floors..... There are black berries and grapes growing in the backyard and a cherry tree down the street.... And it is within our budget! On the downside... it is not available until the 17th of August... so we are living in a motel until then. It is worth the wait.... although sometimes it is hard to remember that squeezed into such small quarters.I just tell myself that if we had come here by way of the Oregon Trail (remember that game! Love it!) that this room would have practically been a mansion. So I wait.

So that is all that I have for now. I have some great pictures of the trip.... but I have to upload them still.... so those will have to come later.