Say “goodbye” to [most of] your dreams of a European adventure, Army spouses – the military announced yesterday that two Army brigades will be leaving Germany and calling stateside “home.”
According to this story on Military.com, the decision will send the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, based out of Grafenwöhr and Schweinfurt, and the Baumholder-based 170th Infantry Brigade packing.
There is no information out there as to exactly when this will happen – and considering the rate which the Army or any of the branches gets things like this done, it’ll probably be awhile. That means that many of the families that are already stationed there will likely not be impacted, as they will be PCSed stateside long before leaders get their rears in gear.
I checked with my friend Ann Marie over at Household 6 Diva who is stationed at Baumholder as we speak. I wondered if knowing her family would likely be among the last to be stationed there made her feel sentimental. Her answer surprised me a little.
First, she said, living in Europe is (as I, lowly CONUS dweller, suspected) an amazing opportunity. However, she wouldn’t wish dealing with a deployment from an OCONUS base on anyone. And here’s why:
“Being a military spouse during long Army deployments is very difficult and being such a small base, it is hard to keep everything in the community when the soldiers are gone. Our post office, our shoppette - places have reduced hours because of the quantity of users. Also there is a much higher demand for child care - they actually put limits on our hourly care during deployments, so that there is enough to og around for everyone,” she said. “So on one hand, I am glad to know that there will be no more spouses living in Buamholder through another deployment.”
That’s the voice of experience, folks.
Ann Marie, obviously, isn’t the only one with an opinion on this. I’m sure a lot of you are either OCONUS right now or have been in the past. Does the news of these brigades moving make you happy, sad or – like Ann Marie – both?
Worth noting: not all the Army brigades in Europe are being relocated – just half of them. Despite what Ann Marie shared, I’m still dreaming of consuming German schnitzel IN Germany … but the news brings my personal hopes of getting stationed there down dramatically. And to think that when I agreed to this Army life I secretly (OK, not so secretly) thought my forthcoming European life would make it all worth it. HAHA! We’ll call this Army 1-Amy 0.
Update: According to this new Military.com story, the brigades leaving Germany are not relocating stateside after all, but instead going away completely. That means the people assigned to them will likely be reassigned.