I got a notification from my hubby today that the base "mascot", an Afghan dog named Cherry of indeterminate origin, had been ordered off base because of General Order #1.
It was very sad, and hubby was very sad about it, although he tried to put a good face on it. "It was," he said, "the rule and all."
Of course, we all know that the rules regarding "mascots" are not always followed to the letter. And just on my part of it, I have to say that Cherry was a source of amusement for hubby and many others; a tangible reminder of home and what would be waiting for them when they got there (we used to tease hubby that he was cheating on our dog Ike with Cherry). The mental soothing and general better health that having a pet can give people has been well documented scientifically.
I have to say that, for our guys (and for the record, I use "guys" as an indeterminate gender term) in a war zone, any opportunity to be mentally soothed and have some stress reduction should be grabbed by both hind legs and thanked profusely rather than being sent to an Afghan dog pound.
Apparently, there are now "Free Cherry" posters up all around the camp.
But that brings to mind yet another issue about being a military family -- the constant flux in leadership. Of all the things we have to deal with, I do think that this is the most stressful. What one commander demands and expects is often an anathema to another. And unless you've been active on the grapevine beforehand, you don't find out what is good and what is bad until you make those mistakes.
There are those who require absolute sticking to the letter of the law, and those who allow some deviation according to the spirit of it. And just as you get used to one leadership style, you dive headlong into another.
This stress hits me more than the stress in moving, because it requires constant readjustment of my behavior.
Ahh, yes, my behavior. I've been told that I remind people of Bette Middler (not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not, but I do tend to get huffy when it comes up). My behavior and attitude are rather difficult to adjust.
So, perhaps this is all a part of God's cosmic plan, to teach me how to be a social chameleon rather than a rigid stick in the mud.
On the whole, though, I have to say that I think things would be easier if I were Ruler of the Universe and could shoot lightening bolts out of my fingers at people who were being silly.
Also, I would free Cherry.