My friend's husband just took two weeks of leave to stay home and work on carpentry projects around the house. It got me to thinking: in nearly nine years of being in the Army, my husband has never taken a single day of leave that wasn't associated with block leave or a PCS.
Now, we've had five different duty stations, so he's taken a fair amount of PCS leave. He's also deployed three times, so he's gotten his two weeks of leave before and after each deployment. Things have been spaced out enough that he's getting a vacation once a year, sometimes twice. But he's never taken leave during the in-between times.
Even in the instances when he could easily take leave, it's always goofily coincided with other leave. Our daughter was born ten days after his last deployment, so his paternity leave tacked on to his block leave then. And in December he had to have his appendix removed, but he went into the hospital on the day he was planning to sign out on Christmas leave! He got to use convalescent leave instead of his regular leave days, but he was going to be on vacation anyway! Why couldn't his appendix have come out in September so he could've had a week at home then instead?
My husband always seems to get stuck in jobs where he's not really expendable. When he worked in Finance in Germany, all close-of-business paperwork had to have his signature on it. In other words, the post Finance office could not close shop for the day without my husband's John Hancock verifying how much money was in the safe. This meant that he could not take one single day of leave the entire year he was in that job. Even his commander could go on leave but he couldn't!
The thought of having my husband just choose to ask for time off and then get it is so foreign to me. It's just simply never happened. I'd love to have him take leave to stay home and help with projects around the house, but it has never happened. In fact, next month when he leaves for his school, he will work his current job up through Friday and report to another post in another state for a three-month school on Monday! He never seems to catch a break in the leave department.
Then again, I've already said that he's not very good at staying at home anyway...