Monday, October 28, 2013

Military Moments: Clemens Family

I am excited to be adding yet another new feature to my blog. In addition to Friday Funnies, Wee-wind Wednesdays, Monday K.I.S.S., and Real in Red Heels, I am excited to be starting a Military Moments column. This will be a chance for military spouses that I know to share their experiences of supporting their loved one in the military.

The first installment is from my awesome friend Carla! Enjoy!

By Carla Clemens

So, we're in the military. Air Force to be specific. And I say "we" because I mean WE.  Our whole family lives this life. We all experience the ups and downs, the excitement and anticipation, inconsistencies and worries that come along with it.

We think there are some really cool perks!!  We love the travel and the meeting new people.  We hate the goodbyes. Right now we are missing the very owner of this blog and her beautiful family. Our boys were great playmates and that gave us the opportunity to become friends. That is how the military works sometimes. You are introduced to someone by circumstance or proximity and you realize you really like that person.  
Wendi asked me to write about what we do in the military. My husband and I got married in 2005. He thought I should include in this story that he left for Basic Training two months after we were married. He was gone for seven weeks, through our first Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year as marrieds. 
After Basic he was sent to Biloxi, MS for tech school training. I was able to get a nursing job there (I have my BSN) and so, we did get to be together for four out of the six months he was in tech school. Then, we moved to Oklahoma.  
My husband has one of those jobs that is hard to explain. He is supposed to work in computer networking, but he has not worked in that field since his tech school training. In fact, in pretty much his whole career in the Air Force thus far, he has not actually used his official job skill set. We began this career path eight years ago, and after tech school, he was pulled into aircraft maintenance working on AWACS.  AWACS are basically big radar planes that have really old computer systems on them. Mike had to do special training when we arrived in Oklahoma in order to work on the planes, but he became quite an expert. Working on the AWACS is nothing like what his tech school training prepped him for. After 5 years he was ready to move onto something else.  
During our time in Oklahoma, Mike deployed twice, each time for four months. He left once when our older son was 10 months old and then again, when our younger son was 14 months old. As anyone might imagine, being without ones's spouse for a long period of time is hard. We are blessed to live in the age of technology, so I posted videos of the kids for Mike to see, and we were able to Skype with him. The boys did fine with Mike's absence at those times in their lives. He has not deployed again since Oklahoma, so the next time will be different, with our boys being much older.
Next we received orders to move to Lajes Field, Azores Islands, Portugal. Mike was moved into a radio/telephone type shop, but then quickly moved over to Quality Assurance, so he still did not get experience in his actual job field.  He finished his time at Lajes in QA.
We moved again, this time to Hawaii, which is where we currently are. I know right? Sob, sob. So, we get here and he gets into his shop. First, we are told that he will be there until January and then move over into some kind of program manager type job. Mike felt pretty good about that, knowing that he would do a good job. But then comes last Thursday, the day on which he is told he will be staying at the shop. He came home and told me this, remaining quite positive about the change. They are supposed to send him on some kind of TDY (temporary duty) for a week for some training. So, after 8 years, Mike will finally be learning to do what he was actually trained to do in tech school.  
We should be in Hawaii 3-4 years. We moved into our house on base a little over a month ago and we are really satisfied with what we got. Lots of space, lots of storage space. This is the first time we have lived on base. We are liking it; I especially like the proximity to all things convenient:  the commissary, BX, gas station, post office, etc.  
We decided to stay on base for a couple big reasons:  we are having a third baby (a third boy!) and I wanted to have easy access to things when I am taking three kids around with me and also, the cost of living in Hawaii can be astronomical and staying on base makes that more doable. We have gotten out and around the island to see and experience Oahu and let me just say, it is so nice driving on American roads!! Oh the things you get to appreciate when you have an overseas assignment! I am sure Wendi has another post about that!
A big thanks to Wendi for requesting I write this post.  If you are interested in our Hawaii adventures, adventures in homeschooling, or military adventures, you can find me on my own blog too:)

1 comment:

denise said...

I enjoy hearing about the military life! My best friend growing up lives in Oahu. She is an RN at the different hospitals and clinics. I was there for her wedding a few years ago and it's beautiful! Her husband and her own Reef Pirates Diving company if you ever want to scuba or snorkel there. They are known for their small groups and personal attention to each client. They are top rated on Trip Advisor! Some day we hope to go back with our triplets to visit and they can learn to snorkel :)