Navy Blues

February 7, 2011

This week, I'm hating the Navy. Normally, I'm fine with military life. It's been pretty good to us. When my husband and I married over three years ago, we pretty much had nothing to our names. Now we have a house, two new cars (one paid in full), a high-def television and furniture. But the Navy has been ticking me off lately and adding to my stress.

First of all, they can't handle a simple task like filing paperwork unless a generous amount of kissing up is involved. Back in early November, my husband applied for reenlistment, which comes with a pretty hefty bonus that will pay off our other car and rebuild our savings account. Well, the reenlistment office lost his paperwork. Twice. And then when my husband went to request his medical records to submit with his reenlistment package, he was told the records were lost. It took a week to find them. In the middle of all that, the guy in charge of reenlistment went on vacation for two weeks. Then when the paperwork finally went through, the office lost the approval notice and had to file a request for another one to be rushed in. When my husband asked about his reenlistment status last week, he was told that it should go through IN APRIL! Other sailors on the same ship have reenlisted and received their bonuses, start to finish, within a month.

So now that the holidays are over and we won't be seeing the bonus money for a while, we're managing our finances pretty tightly so we can pay off some bills and save some money. Except my husband's coworkers have some very sticky fingers and keep taking my husband's stuff, which has to be replaced. At first it was little things, like pens and thermoses. But last month it was my husband's virtually brand-new Navy parka that he had bought to keep from freezing to death on his mile-long walk from the parking lot to the ship. (As far as military clothing goes, it's about the most expensive item on the rack.) This week, it was the nice pair of boots he bought six months ago that should have lasted for another year. He actually had to get off of duty yesterday to go buy another pair. My husband receives a $300 clothing allowance about twice a year--which hardly begins to cover everything he's required to have--and the two items recently stolen from him are already in excess of that. You'd think that with morale being a concern on his ship right now that the people in charge would do more to discourage and punish theft, but it seems they couldn't care less. In fact, they recently had all the sailors in my husband's division give up half their assigned lockers so the lockers could be available for another use. So now these sailors don't have a secure place to store even half their stuff.

And then it gets worse: some first class petty officer thinks he should get special treatment because of his rank, so he demands the best duty shifts, which gets my husband (a second class) assigned to the worst shifts. The chiefs in charge often don't assign work until after lunch, making everyone stay late to get the work done, then scream at the sailors for being lazy and incompetent. The insanity just goes on and on, and I'm getting pretty sick of it. My poor husband comes home discouraged, exhausted, and depressed. Some days I feel like I can hardly take care of myself, and then I spend all day taking care of our son and all night soothing my husband. Sometimes, it's just too much. FTN

1 comment:

Cebs said...

I'm sorry for all the crazy-ness on the ship :-( Ry has been lucky to not of had anything large taken yet. But He is in more random schools than on the ship these days, for who knows what reason why. Hopefully they can figure out the paperwork and get it done asap- far to many people get it done with within a few weeks when the nice people have to wait months even over a year just to get it in :-(

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