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Abandonment of the Military Family

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Abandonment of the Military Family
Linda D. Frost
College Writing I
Westwood College Online
Abandonment of the Military Family Day one May 28, 2008 the countdown to hell. Today has come. The girls and I are driving to the airport to pick my spouse, their dad after returning from his tour in Afghanistan. This should be an exciting day, but instead of the girls singing to the song playing on the radio, we are all silent. Excited to see him, but not sure if we're ready for what’s ahead of us, for him to return home. We put smiles on our faces and have genuine tears in our eyes as we hold our home made poster board welcome home message to him. His plane lands and we watch for him to come down the escalator to where we are waiting. He's not smiling, but looking very tired and irritable. The girls and I give him a big hug and say welcome home, but say nothing else, waiting for him to respond only if he felt like talking and about what he felt like talking about. This would be a long ride home. After much consideration on whether to stay active duty or to return to National Guard status. My spouse has decided to stay active duty to benefit the family and to keep our medical benefits by him staying full time status. The phone rings, its some duty command personnel to update him on his next duty station. Hawaii. We should all be excited, and indeed the thought of Hawaii to three teenage girls is very exciting. But going to a secluded island with water all around, I can't help but wonder if this will be good for a soldier who has been in the desert secluded for more than a year.
We’ve arrived in Hawaii and within the first week at the new duty station my spouse is sent for a psych evaluation. The results are he should medically retire under disabilities of ptsd and manic depression. The long journey of packing up the household goods, the shipping and waiting for the goods to arrive was almost for nothing. My spouse wound up with a lot of time on his hands with not much but doctor appointments to go to everyday that he wound up finding an extracurricular activity. That activity was connecting with females on Facebook, twitter and any other website for meeting people he could find. The problem on top of the infidelities turned into an addiction with alcohol and street drugs as well. My spouse stating that his medication wasn’t enough and he needed to self-medicate.
It is now January 30, 2010. The day the movers come to pack the household goods again and we are finishing the out processing paperwork and getting our plane tickets to go to our new home in North Carolina. The phone rings as we are about to leave for the airport. This call would begin our families decent into hell. The voice on the phone was my spouse’s sister screaming his father had died of a massive heart attack.
Plans needed to be altered right away. Our plane tickets the military paid for us to leave the island were changed to fly from North Carolina to Boston, Massachussetts where his parents lived. We had to pay out of our own pocket for the last minute change to get back to his family’s home to plan a funeral. After our arrival, family greeted us, but in more ways than one this was not good. During the funeral planning my spouse was introduce once again to cocaine. This led to two drug rehab stays that didn’t work successfully.
We moved to California to get away from the ones supplying, but this wasn’t enough. After a year and a half of struggling and my entering surgical tech college it happened. One of my biggest fears happened four days after our 21st anniversary on Valentines Day a week before my birthday and on the day of my final exam for my first semester in school…he left.
No answer on the phone or to my texts to congratulate me for passing my first exam. Our daughters text then called frantically to say their dad picked them up as usual at the bus stop at the bottom of the mountain, drove them home and said he had a doctor’s appointment to go to after he went to the storage. The girls asked in wonder about a storage, knowing we didn’t have one, but he was giving them a reason for the containers in the back of his pickup truck, his belongings. I rushed home driving forty-nine miles in under thirty minutes in San Diego traffic to find no one home. Everything looked the same as when I left for school. The only things missing were the purple heart and bronze star medals he had on display. In the bedroom I rushed to his end table to find all his medicine bottles gone. His dresser filled with clothes. I called him but got no answer, text, still no answer. I came to the realization he had left. The longest drive I’ve ever driven was only five minutes up the road but felt like a full days drive. I didn’t know when or what to say to our daughters. Two days later, I received a call. My spouse said he cleared out the bank accounts and needed more money for gas to get back to Massachussets, he had decided to go live with a woman he dated from high school who would enable him to do as he felt with his life. In the end, our family faced an eviction so we were unable to rent anywhere in California, our car was repossessed, I had to drop out of school and we lost everything in our home except some of the clothes we that we could fit in my daughters car. My daughter and her Navy husband were leaving for a new duty station to Illinois and offered to take us into their home. This didn’t exactly work well. One daughter left home to go back to California to finish school and stay with a friend, the youngest daughter left to from her sisters after awhile and having contact with her dad to stay with her dad because he had money and her mom didn’t, and I became so distraught I made many disastrous decisions. In the end, I met someone in Canada who was not who I thought he was and made poor choices to try to make a life with him and this just wasn’t meant to be either. The story continues, and I try to struggle through each day to get back to where I don’t know where I belong.

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