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Pers Tempo, military life expectations, and the DART deployment

  • Thread starter my love my life
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my love my life

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Now that the DART team has left Canada with no idea of when they will return home, Does anyone know if any deployed DART members were scheduled to go on a tour next month?  Are there many who deployed who have only recently returned from a tour?

To me, this emergency is another example of how ill prepared we are to deal with such events.  Many find it totally embarrassing that we have to depend on other countries for transportation.  But what is of more concern to me is the families left behind.  The uncertainty of how long their partners will be gone is always hard to deal with but if families have been still in the process of reuniting as a family after a tour, this adds much stress to families already overwhelmed with too many separations of too long a duration in too short a time. 

When will Ottawa wake up to the fact that our families are hurting or do they even care?    Cheers, Dianne
 

bossi

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my love my life said:
...  Does anyone know if any deployed DART members were scheduled to go on a tour next month?   Are there many who deployed who have only recently returned from a tour?

To me, this emergency is another example of how ill prepared we are to deal with such events.   Many find it totally embarrassing that we have to depend on other countries for transportation.   But what is of more concern to me is the families left behind.   The uncertainty of how long their partners will be gone is always hard to deal with but if families have been still in the process of reuniting as a family after a tour, this adds much stress to families already overwhelmed with too many separations of too long a duration in too short a time.    

When will Ottawa wake up to the fact that our families are hurting or do they even care?     Cheers, Dianne

As far as I know, no - nobody presently deployed with the DART was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in February.
And, I've spotted a friend of mine in TV news coverage from Sri Lanka on CBC NewsWorld - he was in Kabul at the same time as me.

my love my life said:
But what is of more concern to me is the families left behind.  The uncertainty of how long their partners will be gone is always hard to deal with but if families have been still in the process of reuniting as a family after a tour, this adds much stress to families already overwhelmed with too many separations of too long a duration in too short a time.

Have to comment here, since you're on thin ice.  Even before the DART deployed, commanders at several levels were taking steps to ensure the families of deployed troops were properly cared for (in fact, last night I overheard a conversation that completely contradicts your comments ... but I don't have permission to repeat what was said in this open forum).

As for your implying that "... uncertainty of how long their partners will be gone is always hard to deal with ...", I'd very pointedly remind everybody that normally most troops know whether they're deploying for a six month or one-year tour, or a posting, etc.
The deployment of the DART is normally only supposed to be for 40 days, by the way.
And, I'd also like to point out that even before the troops got on the bus to the airport, arrangements were in place for their postal service in theatre as well as tentative plans for them to be able to phone home (however, there was a bit of uncertainty ... because the equipment was still in flight ...).

Oh, and as far as "... if families have been still in the process of reuniting as a family after a tour ..." - the Army has a strict policy regarding for the employment of soldiers who've just returned from an operational tour (too lengthy to regurgitate here).

my love my life said:
When will Ottawa wake up to the fact that our families are hurting or do they even care?

A number of initiatives have been put into place the past few years, such as a much-improved network of Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) across Canada.  While I was in Afghanistan the TMFRC contacted my mother on a regular basis, and sponsored a number of events for families to get together and talk.

Thus, I'd very politely suggest you're off base, and perhaps pursuing your own agenda ... ?
The confirmed death toll is 150,000 - surely this is an extraordinary event, and the deployment of Canadian troops on this humanitarian mission is something for family members to be proud of ...
 
M

my love my life

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Hello Bossi,

Thanks for being frank and honest with me in your response.  Perhaps I didn't explain myself clearly enough.

I have a genuine concern for our families and our service members and I have seen and cried with far too many (guys and gals) who are stressed out over all the deployments.  I am in no way suggesting we shouldn't have sent the Dart.  My concern was for WHO has gone and whether any who did go, had not had sufficient time at home before being gone again.

I am well aware of the normal length of tours etc and the fact that everyone knows that going in.  However, recent news releases commented on the normal length of time for the DART to be gone but suggested that they could be gone for much longer than anticipated.  THAT is what is hard for the families to deal with - the uncertainty.  There is certainly pride in wherever our troops are sent and this mission doesn't have the level of danger that Afghanistan has.

It's a different kind of deployment but no matter how much you feel families are being looked after, the bottom line is that families are separated once again.  If we had more troops (I wish I had a loonie for every time I've heard we need more troops) then families wouldn't have to deal with so many separations.
Because regardless of where our troops have gone, THEY AREN'T HOME.

I am well aware of our MFRCs and their support. I am also well aware of those who benefit from the MFRCs and those who will have nothing to do with them - and why.

I strongly resent you inferring that I have my own agenda. Anyone that knows me and my commitment to our families would strongly argue with you on that point..

And I must ask Bossi - are you married?  Your blanket statements that the families are well looked after tells me that perhaps you are not - otherwise I don't understand your not 'getting it' as far as the emotional toll all of these taskings are having on our families.

We all know that there will be more unrest in the world and god forbid, more disasters that we might have to deal with - and so I just don't understand what it will take for Ottawa to wake up and make the military the priority it should be.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, our troops are burning out and so are our families.  Please feel free to agree to disagree with me but DO NOT question my motives.    Dianne
 

armybuck041

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bossi said:
Oh, and as far as "... if families have been still in the process of reuniting as a family after a tour ..." - the Army has a strict policy regarding for the employment of soldiers who've just returned from an operational tour (too lengthy to regurgitate here).

Don't hide behind the policy.... those rules are circumvented quite often in the form of waivers. Fortunately, personnel are usually given the option to sign a waiver if they are still inside the 12 month period since they last deployed.

I will not get into the specific numbers of waivers here, but can tell you its no secret that there are some surprisingly high numbers in the Engineer world lately.

There are only 2 Field Squadrons in 2 CER.... so if both returned from Tour in early 04 and Dart aside, both are slated for Tour in 05..... well you do the math.

Fortunately for the Army, the Sapper is a unique breed of soldier who will continue to support regardless of conditions and personal hardship. While others are celebrating another success, he will quietly return to his corner amongst peers and await his next task........ To 24 Field Squadron, I tip my hat to you once again... "Chimo", and i'll see you this August in Kabul.
 
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my love my life said:
Hello Bossi,

Thanks for being frank and honest with me in your response.   Perhaps I didn't explain myself clearly enough.

I have a genuine concern for our families and our service members and I have seen and cried with far too many (guys and gals) who are stressed out over all the deployments.   I am in no way suggesting we shouldn't have sent the Dart.   My concern was for WHO has gone and whether any who did go, had not had sufficient time at home before being gone again.

I am well aware of the normal length of tours etc and the fact that everyone knows that going in.   However, recent news releases commented on the normal length of time for the DART to be gone but suggested that they could be gone for much longer than anticipated.   THAT is what is hard for the families to deal with - the uncertainty.   There is certainly pride in wherever our troops are sent and this mission doesn't have the level of danger that Afghanistan has.

It's a different kind of deployment but no matter how much you feel families are being looked after, the bottom line is that families are separated once again.   If we had more troops (I wish I had a loonie for every time I've heard we need more troops) then families wouldn't have to deal with so many separations.
Because regardless of where our troops have gone, THEY AREN'T HOME.

I am well aware of our MFRCs and their support. I am also well aware of those who benefit from the MFRCs and those who will have nothing to do with them - and why.

I strongly resent you inferring that I have my own agenda. Anyone that knows me and my commitment to our families would strongly argue with you on that point..

And I must ask Bossi - are you married?   Your blanket statements that the families are well looked after tells me that perhaps you are not - otherwise I don't understand your not 'getting it' as far as the emotional toll all of these taskings are having on our families.

We all know that there will be more unrest in the world and god forbid, more disasters that we might have to deal with - and so I just don't understand what it will take for Ottawa to wake up and make the military the priority it should be.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, our troops are burning out and so are our families.   Please feel free to agree to disagree with me but DO NOT question my motives.      Dianne

Dianne,

not to take this forther off topic but i am quite familiar with your point of view ( i have read your book "hurry up and wait").

Everyone who joins the military knows, or should know what to expect as far as deployements are concerned.  In the same breath, if you chose to marry someone in the military, you should know and accept what you are getting into. I am divorced, a result of military service, i have come to accept that and moved on.  I have no regrets about it.  My new girlffeind had quite the schock when i explained to her the deployement schedule for my new MOC.  I told her thats the way it was and she was either ok with that or she could go on her way.  We don't work for a civie companie in Toronto, we have a small military, deal with it. In the memorable words of an RSM i once had in 2 CER..."if you don't like it, get the ______ out !"

You asked what it would take for Ottawa to wake up ...i ask you this: did you and your freinds vote liberal the last time around ?
 

Michael Dorosh

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Am I missing something here?

The culture of entitlement we have created for ourselves is leaching into every corner of society, and I see the military is no stranger to it.

During the Second World War, some soldiers left for the United Kindgom in December 1939 and stayed in Europe until 1944 or 1945.  That's five years.  There were no telephone calls, and home leave didn't exist.  There were not enough ships, and boats were too slow - a 30 day home leave meant the soldier was away from his Regiment in practical terms for 25% of a calendar year. 

Was this a good situation for families and soldiers?  No.  Do we have the means to prevent it now, with internet and satellite communications and air travel?  Yes.  Should we do what we can for soldiers and families serving abroad?  Of course.

Are we really, however, at the point that we must now whine, cry and complain about soldiers doing a 40 day humanitarian service?

Does anyone in this country just shut up and do their job, at the very least in an emergency where tens of thousands have just died, and thousands more are orphaned and/or homeless?

Let's get a grip.  Little Johnny Canuck going without daddy for two months is not a tragedy.  Not having Corporal Canuck go to assist disaster victims because Johnny might miss him is.

My dad worked seismic all his life, in South America, the Arctic Ocean, throughout Canada and the US, and was gone for weeks at a time.  We had no "support group" - we sucked it up, and frankly, growing up, I didn't complain and neither did mom.  We soldiered on.

Support groups are great, and minimizing disruptions to family life a worthy goal.  Some people need to toughen up a little bit; going without daddy for a couple of months, especially if he is helping people much, much less fortunate than us, is not a tragedy, sorry.
 
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aesop081

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Michael Dorosh said:
Am I missing something here?

The culture of entitlement we have created for ourselves is leaching into every corner of society, and I see the military is no stranger to it.

During the Second World War, some soldiers left for the United Kindgom in December 1939 and stayed in Europe until 1944 or 1945.   That's five years.   There were no telephone calls, and home leave didn't exist.   There were not enough ships, and boats were too slow - a 30 day home leave meant the soldier was away from his Regiment in practical terms for 25% of a calendar year.  

Was this a good situation for families and soldiers?   No.   Do we have the means to prevent it now, with internet and satellite communications and air travel?    Yes.   Should we do what we can for soldiers and families serving abroad?   Of course.

Are we really, however, at the point that we must now whine, cry and complain about soldiers doing a 40 day humanitarian service?

Does anyone in this country just shut up and do their job, at the very least in an emergency where tens of thousands have just died, and thousands more are orphaned and/or homeless?

Let's get a grip.   Little Johnny Canuck going without daddy for two months is not a tragedy.   Not having Corporal Canuck go to assist disaster victims because Johnny might miss him is.

My dad worked seismic all his life, in South America, the Arctic Ocean, throughout Canada and the US, and was gone for weeks at a time.   We had no "support group" - we sucked it up, and frankly, growing up, I didn't complain and neither did mom.   We soldiered on.

Support groups are great, and minimizing disruptions to family life a worthy goal.   Some people need to toughen up a little bit; going without daddy for a couple of months, especially if he is helping people much, much less fortunate than us, is not a tragedy, sorry.

You worded it better, but thats what i was getting at.
 
M

my love my life

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Hello Aesop081,

One of the things I have been trying to find out is how frequently troops are signing waivers and how often they are pressured into doing so.  Thank you for your comments on them.

Goodness, I feel like I"m somewhat being attacked here.  I won't answer your political question as to how I or my friends voted.  I do not ask them as I feel your voting choice is a private matter. But having said that I'd like to say that I take my voting priviledge seriously and am satisfied with it.

Thank you for reading my first book.  I suggest you read my latest release.  I'm not trying to plug some book sales here - for heavens sake borrow it from the nearest MFRC library - but I do hope some of you guys will read it because then you will have a much better understanding of how your partners feel on a variety of issues and you'll realize they are not alone in feeling as they do.

You make it all sound so cut and dried Aesop but it's not. This is a complex lifestyle for your partners.I refer to it as an emotional yoyo and certainly today's military families have unique challenges to face.You can sit down with your girlfriend and describe what your life will be like if you make your relationship a partnership but it really doesn't sink in until the first time you deal with a separation/deployment - then reality hits home.   I don't expect you guys to completely understand our way of thinking, but I do expect you to respect it and hope you'll learn from it.  We don't see the lifestyle the same as you do.  We are more emotional creatures that often think with our hearts.

I guess this message is going in another direction but I hope that by becoming involved in this forum that I can offer a different perspective and that it will be accepted as that.  Thanks,  Dianne
 
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aesop081

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my love my life said:
Hello Aesop081,

One of the things I have been trying to find out is how frequently troops are signing waivers and how often they are pressured into doing so.  Thank you for your comments on them.

Goodness, I feel like I"m somewhat being attacked here.  I won't answer your political question as to how I or my friends voted.  I do not ask them as I feel your voting choice is a private matter. But having said that I'd like to say that I take my voting priviledge seriously and am satisfied with it.

Thank you for reading my first book.  I suggest you read my latest release.  I'm not trying to plug some book sales here - for heavens sake borrow it from the nearest MFRC library - but I do hope some of you guys will read it because then you will have a much better understanding of how your partners feel on a variety of issues and you'll realize they are not alone in feeling as they do.

You make it all sound so cut and dried Aesop but it's not. This is a complex lifestyle for your partners.I refer to it as an emotional yoyo and certainly today's military families have unique challenges to face.You can sit down with your girlfriend and describe what your life will be like if you make your relationship a partnership but it really doesn't sink in until the first time you deal with a separation/deployment - then reality hits home.   I don't expect you guys to completely understand our way of thinking, but I do expect you to respect it and hope you'll learn from it.  We don't see the lifestyle the same as you do.  We are more emotional creatures that often think with our hearts.

I guess this message is going in another direction but I hope that by becoming involved in this forum that I can offer a different perspective and that it will be accepted as that.  Thanks,  Dianne

Dianne,

again this s off the posted topic (mods feel free to tell me to shut up).

I was not attacking you with my voting question, nor did i actualy expect you to tell me who you voted for.  I was simply illustrating the fact that even though, canadians are alledgedly concerned about the CF, the liberals are still in power. Enough said, sorry if it came across wrong.

I actualy will read your new book, looking forward to it actualy.

Yes i do make it quite cut and dry. Yes it is a very comlex lifestyle, i will not disagree with you on that.  If you read my profile, you will see that i am quite familiar with the wolrd you live in.......i was there ! I will agree that it doesnt sink in for families until it actualy happens but everybody needs to remember where they work and what the job is. I understand your way of thinking but i cannot help but feel that you represent a rather selfish point of view. As previously pointed out by Michel, there are things in the world bigger than military families. Its not for everyone members and families alike.

I may sound harsh by over the years i have had to listen to ppl whining about too many deployements, QOL, stuff like that.

I hope that you do not feel that i do not respect your opinion, i rather enjoy being able to discuss this topic

 

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my love my life said:
You make it all sound so cut and dried Aesop but it's not. This is a complex lifestyle for your partners.I refer to it as an emotional yoyo and certainly today's military families have unique challenges to face.You can sit down with your girlfriend and describe what your life will be like if you make your relationship a partnership but it really doesn't sink in until the first time you deal with a separation/deployment - then reality hits home.  I don't expect you guys to completely understand our way of thinking, but I do expect you to respect it and hope you'll learn from it.  We don't see the lifestyle the same as you do.  We are more emotional creatures that often think with our hearts.

You are identifying a problem - but not stating what you feel needs to be done to combat the problem.  We have plenty of problems without solutions in this country; I find problems without solutions rarely worth discussing.  So much more satisfying to identify answers than questions.  In essence, I am asking "so what".
 

McG

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Michael Dorosh said:
I am asking "so what".
so we need more soldiers (of the right skills) to share the work.
 

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MCG said:
so we need more soldiers (of the right skills) to share the work.

Exactly.... short and sweet...

All i'm trying to say is that the CF made policy about the rules and duration for sending pers on deployment. No sooner than it was in ink they had to come up with ways around it because the policy was almost impossible to fullfil. This is the issue i'm trying to raise.

Its very easy for people to quote history and the hardships faced by our veterans. While I understand and agree, you must realize that this is another time. The problem is trying to keep people in....

Just out of curiousity, what is the Operational Tempo like over in your corner Michael D?
 

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You guys are heartless.    ;)

I do agree, we are a small volunteer army. If you are in Petawawa, and don't want to go on tour/deployments/exercises, whatever...you have two choices; posted out of Petawawa, or get out of the military. Saying that, one area that has improved is that if you do not/can not deploy because you feel it recent deployments have been too much of a strain on your family, the unit will not hold that against you and will find you a role, ie ops & tng, Base clinic etc for a yr or so.

I can only speak with certainty of the medical side of 2 CMBG and DART. The DART and tour  manning is assigned by the Fd Amb RSM in consultation with several mbrs of the senior staff. Nobody HAS to go on a deployment and are usually asked to fill a slot on the TO&E prior to final manning is confirmed. But all of us want to do our job and are willing to go do them wherever, whenever.

As most of 2 Fd Amb (2/3 of the unit) was on tour last yr and only returned between Feb and Apr of 2004, I would be safe to assume more then 50% are being deployed within a yr of return (I would go so far as to say every Cpl to Sgt medic deployingwith DART just returned from ISAF or Bosnia). Of the 45 or so Medics deploying to Afghanistan on roto 3, there are no less then 7 who are being redeployed at exactly or in less then the yr time from their return from overseas.

This is no longer a military problem, as the CF itself has been trying to make people aware, and attempting to put policies in place for several yrs. IMHO, it is now a political responsibility. If the Gov't doesn't a) slow down deployments or b) increase recruiting, the problem will never go away.

ps-DART can be deployed 90+ days if required. This could be one of those cases.
 

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Armymedic said:
You guys are heartless.     ;)

I do agree, we are a small volunteer army. If you are in Petawawa, and don't want to go on tour/deployments/exercises, whatever...you have two choices; posted out of Petawawa, or get out of the military. Saying that, one area that has improved is that if you do not/can not deploy because you feel it recent deployments have been too much of a strain on your family, the unit will not hold that against you and will find you a role, ie ops & tng, Base clinic etc for a yr or so.

I can only speak with certainty of the medical side of 2 CMBG and DART. The DART and tour   manning is assigned by the Fd Amb RSM in consultation with several mbrs of the senior staff. Nobody HAS to go on a deployment and are usually asked to fill a slot on the TO&E prior to final manning is confirmed. But all of us want to do our job and are willing to go do them wherever, whenever.

As most of 2 Fd Amb (2/3 of the unit) was on tour last yr and only returned between Feb and Apr of 2004, I would be safe to assume more then 50% are being deployed within a yr of return (I would go so far as to say every Cpl to Sgt medic deployingwith DART just returned from ISAF or Bosnia). Of the 45 or so Medics deploying to Afghanistan on roto 3, there are no less then 7 who are being redeployed at exactly or in less then the yr time from their return from overseas.

This is no longer a military problem, as the CF itself has been trying to make people aware, and attempting to put policies in place for several yrs. IMHO, it is now a political responsibility. If the Gov't doesn't a) slow down deployments or b) increase recruiting, the problem will never go away.

ps-DART can be deployed 90+ days if required. This could be one of those cases.

Well said...
 

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MCG said:
so we need more soldiers (of the right skills) to share the work.

That's a given.  It sounded like the original poster was objecting to anybody deploying for any reason.  Like we should get rid of the military because girlfriends will be left at home alone.  Couldn't make much sense of that position.
 
M

my love my life

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Michael  - I am not identifying a problem I am telling it like it is.

Aesop081 thanks for your message.  However, I resent your comments about my view being a selfish one.  Personally I am finished with the lifestyle and all I am trying to do is be a voice for those who don't feel they have one (military wives/partners).  That doesn't mean that I agree with all of their concerns or 'whining'.  But whether they are justified or not, they are real to those that have these feelings.

In fact, I have been quite vocal in saying that in some ways I believe we are offering too much support to not only our families but our service members too and I'm probably going to take a big hit for that comment but really, we are teaching our familiies to depend on the system and not on themselves and we are not going to see the results of this mindset for 20-25 years until this generation leaves the lifestyle.  It's a big, bad scary world out there when that military door shuts behind you and you are on your own with no support

I must say that I find some of the comments in this thread rather cold and uncaring and that really surprises me.      Cheers, Dianne
 
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aesop081

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my love my life said:
Michael   - I am not identifying a problem I am telling it like it is.

Aesop081 thanks for your message.   However, I resent your comments about my view being a selfish one.   Personally I am finished with the lifestyle and all I am trying to do is be a voice for those who don't feel they have one (military wives/partners).   That doesn't mean that I agree with all of their concerns or 'whining'.   But whether they are justified or not, they are real to those that have these feelings.

In fact, I have been quite vocal in saying that in some ways I believe we are offering too much support to not only our families but our service members too and I'm probably going to take a big hit for that comment but really, we are teaching our familiies to depend on the system and not on themselves and we are not going to see the results of this mindset for 20-25 years until this generation leaves the lifestyle.   It's a big, bad scary world out there when that military door shuts behind you and you are on your own with no support

I must say that I find some of the comments in this thread rather cold and uncaring and that really surprises me.       Cheers, Dianne

Fair enough.  I do find your above comments rather interesting to say the least. in the end its' the member's responsability to prepare his.her family for the reality of military life. It may seem cold to you but i volunteered for the military full well, i ensured i knew what i was gettin into. People gettin into relationships with military members should not jump in blindly. We can argue this till we are blue in the face of course.  I will admit that i was not directing my "selfish" comment specificaly in your direction and i apologise for my poor wording.  it just seems to me that people have to stop siging "me me me" and realise what they are into. I think the problem is a failiure to understand the military lifestyle by familiy members.
 
M

my love my life

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Hello Aesop, Thank you for that - I agree with your comments.  I can' t tell you how many 'facts about the lifestyle' that spouses have shared with me over the many years of doing interviews that I know to be untrue. I was not only a military wife but  I worked for the military as a secretary for many, many years and it just amazed me sometimes at how little some of the spouses know about the lifestyle and about their husband's trade.  Working for the military certainly gave me a much better understanding of some of the day by day frustrations my husband and others dealt with and it gave me a much clearer picture of the military as a whole.

You are right, people shouldn't go into this lifestyle blindly whether as a service member or as a partner but they still do....  Anyway, thanks so much for your posts, I"ve enjoyed 'chatting' with you and look forward to more discussions on other topics as time goes on.  In the mean time do take good care and keep smiling!!  Cheers, Dianne
 

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I've been on the road today, and thus off the Net ...

my love my life said:
Goodness, I feel like I"m somewhat being attacked here.  I won't answer your political question as to how I or my friends voted.  I do not ask them as I feel your voting choice is a private matter.

Okay - so let me get this straight:  It's not okay for anybody to ask you how you voted, but it's okay for you to ask ...

my love my life said:
... And I must ask Bossi - are you married?   Your blanket statements that the families are well looked after tells me that perhaps you are not - otherwise I don't understand your not 'getting it' as far as the emotional toll all of these taskings are having on our families.

Hmmm ... and you feel like you're somewhat being attacked ... hmmm ...

And then you say ...

my love my life said:
... I strongly resent you inferring that I have my own agenda. Anyone that knows me and my commitment to our families would strongly argue with you on that point ...

But, I could have sworn you said something like ...

my love my life said:
... all I am trying to do is be a voice for those who don't feel they have one (military wives/partners). ...

Um, I dunno ... but, it sure sounds like you've got an agenda ...

Now, to address a number of discussion points:

1.  It's none of your business whether my family life has suffered from military deployments, etc.
On one hand, personal experience can be very beneficial - on the other, sometimes people can't see the forest for the trees ...
(for example, are you going to accuse men of being insensitive a'holes because they've never personally experienced menopause/childbirth/post-partum depression/menopause themselves, or is it possible for an external observer to detect "raging hormones"?)

2.  Some of the rhetoric in your posts here has been and destructive to the moral of the troops deploying, and their families.  Therefore, I've replied with the sole purpose of countering incorrect or inflammatory insinuations which will further undermine morale. 

3.  Cold and uncaring?  Far from it.  I replied to your post out of compassion for the troops and their families.  You, on the other hand, are stirring up the pot and evoking emotional responses - I notice several of my Army.ca friends have posted on this thread, and I can see their blood/stress levels rising - that pi$$es me off big time (and now I have to wash my mouth out with soap).

"Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals, he is unfit to command."
- Gen. Omar Bradley

4.  You say:

my love my life said:
... I can' t tell you how many 'facts about the lifestyle' that spouses have shared with me over the many years of doing interviews that I know to be untrue. I was not only a military wife but I worked for the military as a secretary for many, many years and it just amazed me sometimes at how little some of the spouses know about the lifestyle and about their husband's trade. Working for the military certainly gave me a much better understanding of some of the day by day frustrations my husband and others dealt with and it gave me a much clearer picture of the military as a whole. ...

To which I'd reply "right back at ya."  I'm seeing red right now, so I can't remember the exact word I'd like to use to describe your negativity and iconoclastic attitude as perceived in your posts.  So, to back up a few steps ... the commanders, commanding officers, sergeant-majors, and soldiers all involved in this deployment of DART are faced with a difficult task, under difficult circumstances - they deserve better than to be stabbed in the backs, by having doubt and dissension sewn amongst their families.

Don't know how long they'll be deployed?  Okay - so what?  Is it better to lie, and say 40/90/180 days ... and then change it on a weekly basis?  Or, is it better to be unequivocally honest from the outset and say "We are not 100% certain"?  Hmmm ... to lie, or to tell the truth ... hmmm ...

Okay, and before I have an aneurysm ... I'll let you in on my agenda:
I'm not going to benefit from anything I've said here - in fact, I can imagine that I've only ticked some people off.  However, I've waded in with one sole purpose - to set the record straight, and to try and avoid further undermining the precarious morale situation (deployed or otherwise).
 
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