3 Year Process

I’ve eluded to this a few times over the past month but now that it’s official and the ink is barely dry, I’m more confident to actually announce it.

After 3 long painful, frustrating years, my husband is now in the military. The process was at least 2 years longer than it should have been due to some “administrative oversights and errors” – AKA due to the incompetence of certain key people at the Victoria recruitment center, my husbands application was delayed repeatedly. Yes, he had some medical issues due to his history of collapsed lungs, but that should have only added 6 months due to waiting for the specialist appointment to clear him medically. If people had been paying attention, other things that had been missed wouldn’t have been. Things were so bad, he was going to write a letter of complaint to the Ombudsman – but he’s in and the people who caused these delays wouldn’t be there anymore, so don’t rock the boat.

The enrollment day was stressful. He had to be there 2 hours earlier than me to finalize paperwork, sign forms, and wait… and wait and wait.

Which meant I had to wait. And wait… and wait! Luckily there’s a Starbucks close so I went and waited for our friends who were there to surprise him which was additionally stressful! I let them know when we left, when I got to the coffee shop. They let me know when they hit the road from their friends place where they spent the night, and the streets they were on as they entered the downtown core.

And then they sent me a text: “We’re at Starbucks – where are you?”

“I’m at Starbucks”

As it turned out, there was another Starbucks about a block away from where I was. Oops! They turned up with plenty of time, though, so that was good!

You’d think as soon as they were there, I would calm a bit – but, nope. We walked over to the drill hall where the enrollment was happening. All the applicants enrolling were upstairs chatting among themselves until they were ready to start so we took a seat and waited… and waited some more.

I visited with some of my friends and coworkers as almost everyone from work was there – and they were thrilled that my husband was enrolling. They all knew how long things have taken. I think some of the visiting was due to my nerves – at one point, I picked up the bio sheets for the special guests and I couldn’t read it because my hands were shaking so bad. I felt like I was coming apart at the seams.

And then it began. I know the Det Commander was there and spoke of the officiating officer but I don’t remember much – his wife is my Unit Sgt Major and he’s the Naval Commander… the rest was a blur. All I wanted was to see my husband and to see his face with our best friend beside me. When the talking was over, we were instructed to stand as the enrollees were piped in. Bagpipes always make me a little emotional, so when my BF leaned over to me and said “OMG, I’m going to cry”, it took all my power not to cry myself!

And then it was over. It seemed to take no time at all – considering there were 39 people enrolling – a huge number for us, who usually only do maybe 15 at a time at the office. They did the oath in groups so that helped. When everything was done, stand and salute to the national anthem and God Save the Queen. Special guests piped off and all the new members of the CAF were taken to a room at the back for some further words of wisdom.

It was over. All that frustration and anger dissipated. My husband was in the military.

Now? We have 3 weeks off together before I take him to where he has basic training. I’ve suggested not changing our daily schedule – we’ll continue getting up at 5am during the week and sleeping until we wake on weekends. We’ll be going to the gym 5 days a week including several early morning fasted cardio sessions as that’s what he’ll be doing while there. I have no doubt he’ll be able to do it, but it’s more to help his body to get accustomed to the activities. Having been through it myself, I can get him prepared a little more than I was.

Part of me is scared. My training changed me more than I would have liked. Some of it was out of necessity, some of it was required. Some of the changes were for the better, some of it wasn’t. They say that basic training is to break you down so they can build you up. Soldier first. They broke me, but it was me who had to pick up the pieces and put myself back together, not them. I am scared of that happening to my husband. I doubt it as a man entering a male dominated environment isn’t the same as a woman entering into a male dominated environment but it’s still in the back of my mind.

Despite all the shit I went through – and hope to never go through again – I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for that.

I know my husband will thrive in that environment. I know he’ll be an amazing leader. I know the military needs more men like him. I know he’ll be a good influence in his platoon and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got top candidate.

3 months to go – then he’ll be done basic!

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