Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another 'typical' military hardship...

I got a call an hour or so ago.  My best friend's stepmother died suddenly.  Setting aside the tragedy for a moment, this normally would have been logistically difficult for her.  She and her husband have three kids at home, one a very young toddler.  The drive to the funeral is about seventeen hours.

Fortunately, she and I are living in the same town again.  We met in Kansas while our husbands were stationed at Fort Riley and were in the same english composition class at Kansas State.  Our friendship strengthed while the guys were on their first Iraq deployment.  After that, she and her family left for Alaska; we went to South Carolina.

Amazingly, we're back together again.  Rather than take the toddler on the long road trip, she's able to leave her with us.

One of the reasons I left the Army was that Darrell and I were required to have a 'Family Care Plan' as we were a dual military couple.  An FCP requires both a short-term and a long-term care provider.  The short-term person is the emergency "ack! we're deploying in three days!" provider.  The long-term person would then travel down to our duty station and take over or transport the kid(s) back to their own home.  I'm guessing that most families had the same problem we did - the only people I knew and trusted well enough to watch my child were also in the Army and would be deploying along with us.

Having friends and family at 'home' is rare.  My best friend and I are very aware of how special it is that we're stationed together again.  It's times like these that make us both so thankful for our friendship and our close proximity.

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