Ah, Bureaucracy

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
There's some redecorating going on here at Casa Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men. We're redecorating the spare room, and replacing the kids' old bunk beds with Queen sized beds.

The bunk beds were still in good shape, and the frames are very sturdy, so I put them up on the Denver CraigsList to see if someone else needed them.

To my surprise, I received an almost immediate response from a military family who was packing out for a move to Camp Pendleton. They have five kids, including a set of twins, and they thought the bunk beds would be perfect for them.

So we made arrangements for Brian to come pick them up. When he arrived, we heard a bit more about their family's story.

Brian is a Recon Marine who left the service after two hitches because he was tired of being away from his kids. He's had SCUBA School, Jump School, HALO training, SAR School, and all the other high value training members of the Special Forces get. So it came as no surprise when he was involuntarily recalled for duty in our Post-9/11 world.

After a tour, he was released back to the civilian world, and he and his family made their home here in Colorado. The surprise came when after one year in their new life, he was recalled again. He has orders to report to Camp Pendleton, and expects to be deployed shortly thereafter.

To add insult to injury, the military will not provide any money to the family to pay their moving expenses - instead they're expected to pay for the move out of pocket, and the military will reimburse them once they've arrived in California.

Hm.

I don't know about you guys, but I don't know very many young families with five children who have thousands of dollars lying around, available for use in moving the family somewhere they don't want to go to perform duties they don't want to do.

Why didn't they just keep Brian in after his first recall? According to him, it would of been less stressful on the family for him to have been forced into contiguous service than this constant back and forth.

And why didn't they give this family the money to move, instead of insisting they pay for it out of pocket? It seems like a huge slap in the face to this high-value service member, although I think his attitude is pretty darn good under the circumstances. He still loves the work and the service, and plans on staying in for retirement and a possible commission if this tour puts him over ten years.

Yeah. We couldn't take their money. My dad was a Recon Marine, and he would of rolled over in his grave if I had. And we, as a country, owe this young man and his family.

Sometimes I wonder about the military bureaucracy. Seriously wonder.

Good luck, Brian, and thank you to you and your family for your service and sacrifice.

3 comments:

Cindi in CO said...

You did the right thing. Dad would be proud.

Jeri said...

What a resilient family! And it totally sucks that the military is pushing him around like that.

Good for you for giving them the beds... I've done something similar in the past, and it feels really good to do something right like that.

Carol Elaine said...

Can't say that I'm surprised at your actions - it's perfectly in keeping with a Hot Chick like you, Janiece.

However, growing up as a Navy brat who moved damned near every year with her parents and five (later four) siblings, I can state, uncategorically, that no, my parents did not have money just lying around with which to move. And since there were a couple of times that my father left the service, only to join up again voluntarily, I know that moves from California to Georgia and from one city in Rhode Island to another were not paid out of pocket.

Good luck to Brian and his family. I'm keeping them in my thoughts.