Lately I've been thinking about what to do, and how to keep busy throughout the remainder of this deployment. We are 6 months and 18 days in. We have already done Mid-tour leave (aka R&R). We've talked just about every day (even in excess some days, ha ha); we've argued, we've discussed our future and changes we want to make in our life, I've had a few scares, been through the worries, and the nightmares. So, I find myself asking "What comes next?" What do I do now half way through this hell to keep my mind occupied, to pass the days and nights? How and will the next 6 months be different than the last?
All that I have really come up with is to continue doing what I've been doing; Take it one day at a time, remind myself that Kevin is trained, knowledgeable, loves me and will return home just as he left! As for the specifics.... I'm still working on those. I know that my recently adopted mantra to stay positive is really helping. I remind myself that my life is what I make of it and that while life may not always be what I want it to be or go the way I would like I have to keep rolling with the punches. I know that if I continue to work hard on all my endeavors (weight loss, school, finding a job, being supportive of Kevin, training Brody) and stay positive I will no doubt achieve all of my goals!
That's my plan for the second half of this deployment... as for Kevin? I'm just going to take a wild shot in the dark and assume there will be more relocating in his unit's future. All of the relocating is tiresome for the soldiers and families, alike. This unit seems to only go to places that have no previous infrastructure to support the soldiers, so they all revert into "building mode." They are forced to construct offices, barracks or sleep in tents, and whatever else might be required. I can say that keeping up with all the different addresses is just growing really old... I'm thinking this is a good time to remind myself to just shut-up and count my blessings (after all I could be the one gallivanting about Iraq, sweating my privates off, and building things...). With at least one more move in store for Kevin what will he do with the remainder of his time???
A good place to start is probably to tell everyone that he has been actively pursuing a dream of his to become a pilot. He studied and utilized resources available to him to prepare for the AFAST test (this is an aptitude test that determines whether or not you are able to be considered for flight training). Along with the AFAST, Kevin discovered he has to submit a packet to include the results of the AFAST, a flight physical, SF 86 (for security clearance- this is a huge pain, by the way), and letters of recommendation just to name a few. After all of this is completed it is submitted to a board which will either reject the applicant or accept the applicant into Warrant Officer Training School (and onto flight training after). This is what Kevin has been learning and researching these first 6 months.
First, I want to say that I am extremely proud of Kevin for having the guts to pursue his dream in the first place. A lot of us abandon our dreams for one reason or another, and Kevin went for his with everything he had. After preparing for the AFAST Kevin spoke with his Unit and they arranged for him to travel to Balad to take the test and flight physical. You have to score a minimum of 90 on the AFAST to be considered, Kevin scored 103!! The physical didn't go as well. One Kidney Stone 2 1/2- 3 years ago along with a titanium rod from his hip to his knee (for a broken femur) resulted in not passing the flight physical. This is not all bad though. Both of these initial disqualifications are subject to waivers. We had done research and expected the titanium rod to cause a bit of a hiccup in the plan, the Kidney stone was a surprise. However, the waiver for the titanium rod is easy enough to attain (an xray and a signature), the Kidney stone waiver will be more difficult to arrange. Well true to form everything one tries to accomplish when dealing with the Army/Government (in general) requires a whole handful of hoops to jump through. The flight surgeon who conducted Kevin's physical did provide some reassurances, stating that he sees no reasons why both waivers wouldn't be attainable.
The rest of the deployment will probably be spent much the same as the first half, for Kevin. Research, calling in favors and attempting to jump through the hoops set between him and his dream.
I appreciate what Kevin is facing and what he's done so far. I am inspired by his willingness to start this process and continue it. Maybe he'll never stop surprising me??? A girl can dream right?