Today I am the most discouraged about the military than I have ever been. Today I am pissed the fuck off. Today I feel like a scolded child in the time-out chair.
I enlisted purely for the educational benefits. I wanted to avoid the massive student loan debt that results from enrolling in college. I wish I were insanely wealthy, but alas, I am a mere peasant.
I love what the military stands for. I’m proud to wear the U.S Air Force tape over my heart. The military and I have a symbiotic relationship. Well, we did.
In the past four years, I have been challenged in ways I never thought possible. I never thought sexism was a “thing”. I had always been treated the same as any other man. About 99% of the men I work with have that mindset. As long as the job gets done, it doesn’t matter that I have tits. Unfortunately, that 1% has popped up in my life and made it a living hell. I’ve been assaulted since I’ve been in the military. I made a restricted report and quietly got the help I needed. I’ve been picked on. I’ve had my personal life details blown out of proportion and I’ve had preposterous rumors started about me. It freaking sucks. I used to just turn the other cheek but you know what, both my cheeks are bruised and stinging. I’ve let it go. There’s no point in doing/saying something about it. I’ve forgiven but I’ve never forgotten.
After all that, I still was mostly enthusiastic about the military. Overall I wasn’t happy but it wasn’t constant storm clouds looming. I finally found a work environment that I fit in at. I like most of the people that I work with and the problems that I have faced in the past do not recur anymore. I am starting to trust most of my coworkers. It is better. They say it always gets good before it all changes again.
I got orders to Nellis last Friday. However, I didn’t check my work email until just today. I have to extend my enlistment by five months in order to PCS to Nellis. I’m pissed. I agreed to SIX years, NOT six years and five months. I know that extending my current enlistment is “voluntary”. I don’t have to PCS to Nellis. I can stay at Ellsworth for my remaining 1 year, 9 months and however many days that are left on my contract…
But could I bear to put my husband through the torment of being apart that long? That’s even more time apart then my original tasking of Korea was. (Korea was going to be a year long tour and I would get to come home for 30 days in the middle of that tour.) I feel like I’m being punished for denying my orders to Korea and requesting joint spouse. I don’t feel like I have a choice in this matter.
Technically, I do. I don’t HAVE to extend. I don’t HAVE to PCS with my husband. I feel like the Air Force is using me. Technically they have been the entire time and they use all of us. They use a contingent rewards like healthcare benefits, and education benefits. It’s smart business. It’s those rewards that entice those of us without promising job prospects after high school and some of us (like me) that desire higher learning but don’t want to be bogged down in crippling, interest-incurring debt.
(Sorry, I’m ranting and just caught myself traveling down the Ramble trail. I’ll get back to the point of my original rant.)
The whole point of this rant is that I agreed to enlist and serve for 6 years. The Air Force made a deal and I thought it was a fair deal. Now they want to change the terms and I’m screwed if I don’t play along. I don’t get it. The AFI states that I need a 24 months of retainability. If I want to come home to my husband every night for the next year and nine months, I have to extend for five more months.
I’m being a crybaby. I know I am but you know what, fuck it. I’m tired. I’m tired of the politics, the deployments, the home station, all of it. I just want to attend college and get my bachelors degree as an RN. I don’t want to be a jet troop anymore. I love the medical field and every day I’m stuck reading a T.O or inspecting an aircraft engine, I feel is a day wasted. I feel like I’m being drawn closer to a black hole. It’s getting easier and easier to shut off my emotions and fake a smile.
I’ll probably just sign on the fucking line.
I know that if I insist on only doing my six years, my marriage will suffer. He doesn’t deserve to suffer because I want to be a stubborn whiny asshole. He would alone too and the thought of that just makes my heart ache. We’ve been apart for a month now because he is at tech school. It sucks. We are both tired of falling asleep alone. I miss him. I miss having him around. (He got retraining approved and is attending tech school to become a UTM.) I want to start a family with my husband. I don’t want to keep waiting (I’m not getting any younger) and I don’t want to be alone during a pregnancy.
After my contract and extension is complied with, I will never look back.