Sometimes the luck of the Irish strikes on our side, and sometimes that greedy leprechaun takes his pot of gold and runs as fast as he can the other way from you. Military life is the ultimate gamble. Maybe you’ll get those orders to Italy you’re hoping for, or maybe you’ll get Oklahoma instead. Maybe your husband makes it home from deployment in time for the birth of your first child, or maybe he deploys the month you’re due. Whether you’re smiling at the end of the rainbow or crying into a bowl of Lucky Charms, join SpouseBuzz in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our seven lucky spouses, and these, our seven unlucky ones.
7 Times Military Luck Was Not On Our SideJulie, who blogs at Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life had double trouble. She tells us, “The first day of my husband's last deployment my son got a rock stuck in his ear and our AC died. Two of my biggest fears, having to take a kid to the ER and a major appliance breaking down all happened on day one!”
Somehow PCS’ put the “-uck” in luck. Just ask Elizabeth from Reluctant Landlord. ￼She shares, “My husband had, up until our current duty station, always gotten the orders that he wanted and everything had always worked out to where we had housing upon arrival. However, this past move we only had seven days notice from receiving orders to the movers arriving. We ran into bad weather while making the trip to our new duty station, changing all of our plans. And, par-for-the-course, housing fell through at the other end and we couch-surfed on friends’ couches for 6 weeks. This move was a doozy.”
Navy spouse Theresa had her own PCS nightmare. She explains, “I was 15-weeks pregnant when we were PCSing from Japan to Milton, and Japanese customs almost didn't let us bring our cat because her microchip number in her records was different than what scanned (thanks Army vet!). We basically had to promise never to bring her back into the country. Then we had to fly from Tokyo to Atlanta and had an 8-hour layover (thanks Navy travel office!) bringing as many items as we could and 2 animals. With my pregnancy and the animals and bags and nowhere to go, I felt like we were the modern day Mary and Joseph of the Atlanta airport.”
SpouseBuzz writer, Keating, knows all too well what deployment brings: Murphy’s Law of Perpetual breakage – both of things and spirits. In her “Dear Murphy, I Hate You and Your Law,” Keating talks about just how unlucky those first few weeks can be, when Murphy “decided to throw in some computer issues as well … during finals week. The same night after my husband left, and my top row of keys happen to stop working, completely out of the blue, costing a cool $300 to fix.”
Although Navy spouse Carmen came very close to losing all of her household goods to a fictional man, she definitely kept her sense of humor. She explains, “We had a shipment with the military where every box in the house was labeled MR BED. The lead packer was labeling things in the master bedroom and so the boxes said MR BED. I think the others assumed our name was Bed, so they labeled everything else as it went on to the truck MR BED. That was sure fun unloading and unpacking! I can laugh now!”
Another one of our unlucky spouses, Cyndi, will tell you that pregnancy and PCS are a surefire way to have a disaster on your hands. She shares, “We PCS'd from Mayport to Kaneohe, Hawaii in June 2004. I was almost 36-weeks pregnant with our fourth daughter. We had waited to move because my husband's squadron was leaving for a six-month deployment a mere six weeks after he joined the squadron. With him deployed, the day after we arrived, I went to the housing office, only to find out that we were going to be assigned a house in six weeks. The housing office had pity on my advanced pregnancy and the fact I had three young daughters, and assigned us a "temporary" house on base. On our first day in the house, my niece (who was there to help me) told me that she had killed a tick that was crawling across the floor. The next morning, I opened my eyes and saw something moving on my pillow case. We realized that there were ticks in the crevices of the cement block house: We’d been assigned a condemned house. Fortunately, we were authorized funding to find immediate housing, and my husband made it home. The Hilton agreed to put us up for six weeks for the military per diem rate. Our daughter was born two and a half weeks early and we brought her home to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Our first home in Hawaii will forever be known to us as the ‘tick house.’”
No post about luck would be complete without a Space-A story. During my husband’s first deployment, I was trying to get back from the mainland to our house in Guam before his ship pulled into homeport for a few weeks, only a few days after Christmas. Following a nine-hour flight delay in California, I made it as far as Hawaii, and was ecstatic to get on a C-5. An hour and a half into our flight, we started having engine trouble. We turned around, and three hours after we’d taken off, it was “aloha” again. I spent the night in the terminal, and the next day got on the flight again. This time, we made it two and a half hours before we had to turn around. That’s right, a five-hour flight and we landed in the same place. The next morning, my in-laws surprised me with a commercial ticket. I spent my first Christmas married crossing the international dateline with the crew on Continental, and a military spouse who remains a friend today. Maybe I wasn’t so unlucky after all.
Whether you stepped on a crack, walked under a ladder, or did absolutely nothing to bring on your military bad luck, go buy a lottery ticket. Maybe this is the year your luck will change.