When will I learn?


Oh Army, you keep telling me not to trust you, but I never seem to listen.

My story is not nearly as bad as moving because your husband's deploying and then finding out he's not deploying yet, but today I also find myself in one of those situations where I'm banging my head against the wall wondering why I ever believed anything the Army said.

My husband is in a school, so they were told that they would not be able to take any leave for the full year.  OK, fine, we knew where we stood.  Then, a month or so back, they said that there would be a two-week break in August and that everyone could take leave.  We all happily started making plans.  I kept asking my husband if we were sure this would really happen, and he kept assuring me that the chain of command was on board.  So we contacted both sets of parents and said we were heading back to the Midwest.

However, last week, the same chain of command decided that they needed help with a field exercise and now some people would have to stay here and work.  Deciding which people have to stay has been the tricky part, since naturally everyone wants to use their only two vacation weeks of the whole year to, you know, vacation instead of going into the field!  So now they're making this arbitrary hierarchy of who is already most invested in their vacation plans.  This means that if you have plane tickets, you get to go on leave.  Unluckily for us, our parents live eight hours apart, so the only way to see everyone is a massive triangular car trip through ten states.  We're driving, hence we're "not invested."  Next come people with use-or-lose leave.  But most people in the class have that because they haven't been able to take vacation in forever, so now it's a matter of who has the most use-or-lose leave.  The cut-off is one day more than we have.

You see where we're going with this, right?

We haven't officially been told we're screwed, but I feel it coming.  So much for the block of Major League baseball tickets we already bought.  And the plans we made to visit friends at Fort Leavenworth.  And my husband's birthday.  And my brother's birthday.  Ad nauseum.  And even if we get deemed "invested," someone will have to stay back.  To spend a week in the field instead of on leave like the rest of the class.  Not cool.

I guess deployments can be tricky things to plan down to the day.  But field exercises and block leave?  This is a school with a set schedule every time an incoming class starts; they should've noticed a long time ago that the schedules overlapped, and they never should've told everyone to start making leave plans.  I know nothing is written in stone until you have that paper signed, but why on earth didn't they forsee this problem?

And why do I constantly believe them when they say something is going to happen?  Or, more to the point, why do I actually think that the Army is smart enough to notice overlapping schedules and plan accordingly?  I must be a glutton for punishment.

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