This post is a bit difficult for me, so please just be patient while I ramble my thoughts out.
Well, it’s officially a retirement. If you remember this post, I didn’t know much details. We do now. If you remember, we were a bit worried that it wouldn’t be a retirement and it’d just be a severance check. While that check would be nice, losing health insurance, dental, and access to on-post amenities would’ve sucked.
It’s definitely Medical Retirement, which is great because we’ll keep all on post access (Owen’s preschool, commissary -where we grocery shop, PX -the Army’s Walmart, etc etc), we’ll keep health insurance & dental (Thank God for that), and he’ll get a monthly amount instead of just getting booted out with a big ole severance check.
David is a combat soldier. He’s definitely seen combat. He has 3 tours under his belt & each tour was bloody, gory, and hard on him. It’s always been a bit challenging living and dealing with David’s ticks, but it’s a whole nother world when those ticks are put into the form a diagnosis or two.
The main three things that equaled up to the retirement: His back, PTSD, TBI (Traumatic brain injuries) 7 documented ones. This is really hard for me to open up about. I’m usually very “keep things private” which is weird since I have a very public blog and public social media accounts. Those things rated high enough to kick him out of the Army. Can we just stop and focus on that for a second? My husband suffers from PTSD and has brain injuries… enough so that he can no longer do his job. Aside from his brain, his body is failing him too. He has arthritis in every major joint, his shoulders, his back, his knees, his ankles, his hearing… the list goes on and on. (On his Medboard papers, he has 27 different claims that the DRs found). It’s really sad to think about. He’s 31 yeras old. But he’s a trooper. He’s always just toughed it out, worked through the pain, and he’s always been good at his job. Ask anyone that knows David and they’ll completely agree with that statement. David has always been damn good at his job.
Up until now. For the past few months, he’s taken soldiers with him to meetings because “my brain isn’t what it used to be”, he constantly thinks he says things that he didn’t, he can’t walk for very long without hurting, he can’t even bend over to pick something up without his back screaming at him. It’s hard to see him going through this. Part of me wants to barf just typing this out. It’s so personal and really hard to share.
After 13 years, he’s almost done. He was a “Lifer” meaning he’d reenlisted to go Indef (Til retirement at 20+ years) We’re not sure the exact date that he’ll be out, but it’s coming quickly.
They don’t expect him at work anymore and get shocked when he stops in to check on things. Aside from DR appointments and wrapping up the MedBoard, he’s basically already done. A few weekends ago, we sat in the basement going through all of his Army gear and sorting it for keep/turn in.
It’s just so weird to think about… as long as we’ve been together our life has revolved around whatever Uncle Sam has told him to do. I’m really excited to see what life is going to be like for us. It’ll be a weird adjustment, that’s for sure. The first few months will be a struggle, financially as well. We’ve heard a lot of “this will start up 45-60 days after such & such” and “they usually hold your last Army paycheck”… great, right?! Yikes. I’m freaking out a little bit, but we’ll be fine. Things will be tough for a bit, but once everything kicks in and adjusts, we’ll be fine. His finaling out should fall around tax time, so our tax return will help hold us over until things kick in. Financially we’ll be fine 6 months from now… getting there though might kill us.
He enrolled in college (classes start in January). He’ll be going from an aggressive combat soldier to a college kid. He’s going to be surrounded by young people all day that won’t at all understand him or the way he is. But we’re working on that as well. He’s taken up Yoga (because he had to), he’s going to college for photography (and a backup in case things go south – we’re smart people, we have backup plans for backup plans), he even started a blog of his own. We’re working on bringing out his inner hippie self. You can follow him on Instagram or Bloglovin’ to keep up with his transition. I’m not sure how active he’ll be on either, but he’s giving it a go
Just the very idea of him not being in the Army anymore is so strange. It’s just such a foreign concept. He still had a good 7 years of Army until retirement… We had a plan for that… we had 7 years still living our normal day to day life… Now… now we have a few months to figure out our plans and set things into motion.
Life is about to get really interesting, guys.
I’m excited and I’m completely terrified.