January 6, 2010 – Day 4
It’s been a whirlwind couple of days. Richie arrived on time in Gulfport MS for his final checkout and gear issuance at about 4:30 in the evening. However, his seabag didn’t arrive until about 10:00 pm. So he sat at the airport and waited and waited and waited for it. I finally spoke to him about 11:00 pm from the BEQ (Bachelor’s Enlisted Quarters) on base. Since then we have been able to speak to each other each morning with my wake-up call to him and each evening after dinner. We are taking advantage of his availability at this time because we know it won’t last. He is scheduled to leave Gulfport this weekend for his Army training in Texas.
He’s got one more thing to do for his check-out from Medical and that’s the consult with the Doctor. It’s a quick and painless process and he’s already met her, so that helps. She just goes over his numbers with him and his personal health assessment, gives him advise about a more healthful lifestyle if needed, and then signs his paperwork. This is important because without this paperwork they can’t start his pay and if it doesn’t get started by tomorrow we won’t see any money until the 1st of February. Not a good thing. We both have been in prayer all week that his pay gets started without a hitch and that his pay starts coming in regularly come the 15th of this month. We’re believing God for this little miracle.
You may be asking, “Why is this a little miracle?” To explain, starting his active duty pay is dependent upon NOSC, Pensacola (Naval Operational Support Command) doing his loss correctly. We don’t have a lot of confidence in them making this happen as they have been horrible about paying him his reserve drill pay in a timely manner. He is attached to them for pay purposes, but does all his drills, medical, and administrative tasks out of Jacksonville. He did his check-out for these orders he’s currently on here, and, just like his drill pay, everything has been forwarded to Pensacola via FAX and e-mail for them to do the system entries. All of this is just another fine example of Navy planning, an oxymoron for sure. We understand it, we know why things happen this way, we know why it doesn’t work, and we expect that the only people to suffer for it is the military member and his family. It’s just part of the package of military life. So you pray and ask God for little miracles along the way.
If Pensacola did his loss correctly, and if they ran their reports and verified his status had changed in the system, and if his status changed as it should, – then PSD (Personnel Support Detachment) in Gulfport will be able to post his gain today prior to the cut-off tomorrow. Now if they post the gain and he still has what we call a “Ghost Record” from when he was on active duty 4 years ago, the gain will error out and they will only have until the end of the workday tomorrow to get it fixed to make the cut-off. It’s highly unlikely that they will be able to clear that old record out of the system to enter the new gain in one short work day. So you pray for the little miracles.
Having done this job myself for 10 years I know where everything can go wrong and its doubly stressful for me. The secret to getting it right requires a watchful eye, running the necessary system reports, and time to fix what’s broken. I really don’t trust anyone’s watchful eye, and I know that most people don’t even know how to run the reports, and there’s no time. Knowing what I would do to get it done doesn’t help. I know who to call, whose buttons to push to make it happen, and how to avoid things erroring out when you do the entries. I don’t trust anyone else to know those things, because so many people I’ve encountered doing what I used to do don’t know how to do those things. It’s maddening for me!
So, you take a deep breath, sigh, and say, “Woosaaaa!” Then you utter a prayer, the Serenity prayer is a good one, and you trust what it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, plans to give you a future and a hope.”
As for me, I have been working on my list, a little bit at a time. Clean out closets and bag up Richie’s extra uniforms, almost done. Make a mental note of things that he may want me to send to him and where they are stored – check! Get ready for my yard sale to get rid of all the stuff I’m cleaning out of closets and storage – postponed for warmer weather. Start working on my book again – check! Apply for the open job on base that I got the inside scoop on – check! Make medical appointments for the boys and I – waiting on our Tri-care cards. Register for school – scheduled for tomorrow! Get replacement drivers license – this afternoon. Start working out – mmmmm, not so much – but I did locate my running shoes! Start the deployment blog – check! Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my progress.
Today is the boys birthday and I am using some coupons I got for free bowling on base to take them bowling this afternoon. They have an early release day today so it works out well. I have a nice dinner planned for this evening and will bake a cake this morning. Even though I plan on doing something a bit more grand for them later on I can’t let the day go unnoticed, especially while their Dad is away. That would be like adding insult to injury. So for those of you who know my little men, give us a call this evening to wish them a Happy Birthday. They act like it doesn’t matter, but I know they love those phone calls that are just for them. (904-236-5156)
Happy Three Kings day, my friends, let’s all enter this Mardi Gras season with joyful and thankful hearts for God’s gifts to us of love, grace, and life!