- Posted January 2, 2012 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Salute to troops
It's not over...
Perhaps my emotions have been getting the best of me over the past month and a half. It feels like I have been waking up each day to find myself and my family in a nightmare. I ask my husband; “is it over yet?” His reply is a simple headshake, confirming it is not over.
2010 started out great. My husband was one to pick up E-6 in March, quickly getting involved with the First-Class Association, and community service with his fellow motorcyclists. December 2010, he was approved for re-enlistment, while the ceremony was performed in January with his father Nick (also a Navy veteran), standing by his side. 2011 continued with the FCA, community service, and a seat on the MWR committee in May. He was motivated and working hard towards making Chief. Sounds great, right? In October, more than 15,000 sailors were given the word that in November they would receive results of the Enlisted Retention Board. While many of these sailors did not show their worries (as many of them were reassured over and over that they had nothing to worry about), nerves began in the pit of their stomachs. How is it that many men and women, including my husband, can stand so strong while fighting a war overseas, but let three simple letters, ERB, break them down? Going strong for 4,889 days or 698 weeks, 3 days, and some odd hours my husband has put his entire heart and soul into serving in the United States Navy. In less than 243 days, he is being forced out by a breach of contract on behalf of our government. This has been a work in progress for our government. All the while, they continued to approve PTS (perform to serve) requests, and re-enlistments. Why is it 2,947 sailors serving more than 7 and less than 15 years are suddenly being pushed out?
November 29, 2011 will forever be in my mind, along with a million whys and what ifs. I anxiously awaited the phone call from my aviation electrician. But I did not receive an e-mail, no text, no phone call. Instead, my husband came to my office to tell me face to face that he was being “involuntarily separated from the United States Navy”. On September 1, 2012, my husband will have served 14 years and 7 days in the Navy; 4 years and 4 months shy of his contract; and less than 76from his earned retirement. This retention board has shattered the hopes of retiring from the Navy that have been imbedded in my husband’s dreams since he was a little boy. For all of the late night trips across town to help with a gripe, or even helping another sailor over the phone with troubleshooting, my husband has ALWAYS been there, but the committee of Navy Officers have shut the door in his face, basically telling him, “you’re just not good enough”. But those officers and enlisted sailors that know him will tell you different, I know they will.
My husband is right, it is not over. I will not allow these sailors to be defeated. It is only fair to let the 2,947 sailors finish their contracts. Honor the benefits they have worked so hard for, respect the work they have done and uphold the contract between the government and these sailors.
Proud Navy Wife