From Kid in the Candy Store to Disgraced Grown Up


My husband and I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We planned our trek across Europe almost a year ago, and finally it was time for our adventure to begin. Every second of every day had been pre-planned. We knew exactly where we wanted to go and what sights we wanted to see. I was certainly looking forward to driving on the autobahn without any fear of blue lights appearing in my rear-view mirror...

One day, we decided to deviate from the plan and pop in on a military installation just because we were nearby. That's where the trouble began, and that's where I shamed myself and proved I'm unworthy of milspouse status.

Our rental car didn't have DoD stickers so, of course, we had to run the gauntlet. After we handed over our ID cards to the guards, they asked us to pull the car over, then walk back to the hut. And when we did, I was promptly presented with the ultimate slap in the face.

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but your ID is not valid."

"What?" I cried. Incredulously.

"What?" My husband echoed.

"It is expired." said the guard.

"Expired," My husband and I shrieked in unison.

Impossible, we both thought.

"Yes, Expired." The guard looked confident.

"Let me see." I said, sure there was an error of some sort.

There wasn't.

The guards looked at me with disdain. Come to think of it, my husband did, too. I felt my cheeks get hot with shame and embarrassment.

"Oh, I see." I said meekly....

Every military spouse will tell you that their ID card is probably the most valuable thing in their wallet. I'd rather be without my drivers license or credit card than my ID card. It gets me on post, it allows me to shop on post, it affords me healthcare. Well, quite simply, it is the goose which keeps the golden eggs in ample supply.

All was not lost, though. I was informed I could run over to another building and have a new one issued. But to tell the truth, I could have done without the trip over. My husband used the time to ask how this could happen. Repeatedly. And he lectured me nonstop on this issue.

"Now, when we get there, I will stand behind you. You will tell the person who will issue your new card this:"

Hi, my name is Andi. I've been a military spouse for almost two decades. I know how important it is to keep up with the expiration date on my military ID card. Who doesn't? But, I have failed to do this important duty and I let my ID card expire, so that's why I'm here. My husband, er, my "sponsor," is back there. He is deeply ashamed of me. I'm ashamed of me. When we get home, I will have to write 500 times, I will never let this happen again as penance for my sin. Oh, my husband sponsor also wants to know if you could issue a card which will expire in six months. Sort of a probation period for me because he's not sure he wants to give me a full four years of golden eggs at this point.

I told my husband that this reminded me of the time when I was about nine years old. I took candy from the general store and when my mother discovered my crime, she marched me back to the store, made me confess to the store owner and ask if I could work for him to pay for my stolen candy.

My husband asked which felt worse, the humiliation that came with the discovery of, and admission to, my candy theft, or the loss of dignity which came with letting my ID card expire. Both were pretty horrifying.

So, my head is held low. I have committed an unspeakable sin and have shamed the milspouse community. Losing an ID card is one thing, and that's bad enough, but carrying around an expired card for a few months is just, well, inexcusable.

I will never let this happen again.

I will never let this happen again.

I will never let this happen again.

Three down, 497 to go.......

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