SpouseBuzz

Lost In Translation

If you are a regular reader of SpouseBuzz you may or may not know a few things about me. Lest I lose YOU in translation too, let me tell you two things. First, my husband is deployed. Second, we are in the middle of an international adoption.

That, apparently, is a combination ripe with frustrating possibilities.

Aside from the obvious inconvenience of discovering I need the signature of someone who is not on my continent anymore, I realized yesterday just how much I take for granted regarding my understanding of our deployment situation. As a Guard Wife, I occasionally feel like I might not have the same depth of information, rote memory of acronyms, and understanding of all things military as my active duty counterparts do. Admittedly, unless I have to think about the ins and outs of deployment, I don't.

I realized yesterday, though, that I may need to be a bit more sensitive to the information gaps of others or I may be filling out and re-filling out paperwork.

To make a twisty story short, it began with a question of whether or not my husband receives income for his "Army activities." When I explained that, "Yes. Although we are an all-volunteer force, we are not, in fact, volunteers in the income sense." Then, our caseworker became utterly befuddled by our income numbers and was unable to understand why we weren't putting down both my husband's civilian income and deployment income at the same time. I realized after exchanging several confusing e-mails that the agency thought my husband's civilian job AND Uncle Sam were providing him with a paycheck during the next year.

If THAT were the case, I'd have enlisted too!

Luckily, this confusion came before we submitted our documents to the Embassy and to the courts such that we can provide supplemental information explaining how the National Guard works under "normal" circumstances and how it works when troops are activated and deployed by the federal government.

Just another example for our family record books of how things aren't quite the same when our soldier is deployed.

Have you had an experience where something was lost in translation? If so, put them in comments. Maybe I can learn from your experience and be prepared to save myself some confusion in the future.

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