The Navy Barges in

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. 
~Richard Carlson

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about MilSpouse life. There’s no doubt that Huzzy is still military as he still puts on a uniform to go to work each day, but the military doesn’t invade our personal spaces as much when he’s on shore duty.

Sure, we’ll have to change plans if his 3-4 times a month duty falls on a date that we have something planned, but it’s much easier to plan around one day of duty rather than months of sea where there’s little hope of communication as small as an email. He’s gone four evenings a week, but that’s because he’s taking two classes in order to get his degree.

But last week, the military barged into our life unannounced in the form of an offer: If Huzzy was willing to go back to sea rightthisveryminute, he’d get his choice of type of submarine and possibly his choice of specific boat. Getting the type of boat he wants is important to him because it’s the difference of circling in the ocean for months without seeing anything (one type of submarine) and possibly getting port calls (another type of submarine).

Cue panic mode.

Huzzy has been in the Navy for nearly 15 years (anniversary is in January). While he’s been on shore duty for 16 months now, he still has another 20 months before he’s supposed to go back to sea. Shore duty is meant as a time for them to recover from the arduous demands of sea duty… it’s basically a mental health break for them. Huzzy’s last shore duty was recruiting, which was a nightmare and he spent more than three months one time without a day off. He’d work 18-20 hours a day and it just wasn’t nice. So in 15 years, this is his first “down” time. And he needs it. We both do.

So when Huzzy brought this up to me the other night, I had to take a deep breath. Because while it involves me and our potential family, it’s really his career. Going back to sea early could help him promote… it also might not help. But what it WOULD do is guarantee him the type of boat he wants.

Unless the “needs of the Navy” prevailed and they sent him to the platform he doesn’t want. Because needs of the Navy always outweigh what the Sailor wants or is promised… no matter what. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

In the end, Huzzy (wisely) decided that now is not the time for him to go back to sea early. He has 20 months left and would like to at least spend the next summer home before deciding to go back to sea early (gaaah! If I had my druthers, I’d say don’t go back early unless it’s a month or two!). Hopefully, we have a little one by that time and he won’t want to be away from him/her and won’t go back to sea any earlier than he’s required to.

Thanks, Navy, for reminding me that you still rule our lives and can barge in any time.

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3 thoughts on “The Navy Barges in

  1. I feel your pain! My hubby has basically decided not to stay in the Navy because his shore duty options would be recruiting (as you know, pretty craptastic) and teaching prototype (even more craptastic…and I’ve been through that once already…don’t really want to do that again). In almost 8 years (On October 4!) he has been on sea duty since he finished training a year and a half after he joined up…so that’s….6 1/2 years straight of sea duty…on the same boat…and we have just under a year left. I hope for both of your sakes he stays on shore duty the whole 20 months he has left!

  2. Pingback: 2013: You were… there | Wife of a Sailor

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