December 16, 2013

Will He Be Home for Christmas? #Marines #Stress

     Christmas is just over a week away.  I'm pretty much on track with the exceptions of my cards, which are connected to this lovely little interlude our holidays are taking.  In just under 36 hours from now our son's future will be decided.  
   
I've written before my son's desire to become a United States Marine.  This journey has had more detours than I-95 during the holidays.  Unlike most Sonny wasn't able to head to Boot Camp right after High School which is what put us on this glorious path.  The first delay was that we had to wait for his braces to come off, which of course was our fault.  This created a detour of going to Community College for two semesters.  The braces came off during his second semester which meant waiting for that semester to end.  One night during spring break believing, like most teen aged boys, that he was indestructible he and his buddy decided to go skate boarding at 2:30 in the morning.  Can you guess the next detour? 
     He broke his wrist.  At first he refused to believe it. No it's just sprained. It'll get better.  
He gets a wrist brace and believes all is well.  In May there was an opportunity to ship out however he didn't get the spot, here's that story. Hindsight always being 20//20, shows that it was a blessing he didn't get to go as he probably would have not been able to complete Boot Camp.  
     It was almost 2 months after the fall and his inability to do push-ups that he finally decided to see his doctor, who sent him to a Wrist Specialist. Here it is discovered that he has a scaphoid fracture and it will not heal (I can't help but wonder what if we had treated this immediately); the doctor wants to insert a pin.  When his recruiter learns of this he advises Sonny to not post anything anywhere on social media, hide your cast at work and unless he's asked about it do not tell anyone else involved with his enlistment.  I can't tell you how uncomfortable that whole situation made me especially since I couldn't even blog about it.
     Next detour. About 2 weeks later his recruiter (who was up for a promotion which is the only reason I believe he changed his tune) calls Sonny and tells him I think this may actually disqualify him from service and we can't keep it a secret. That's right he calls him after 10pm with this life shattering news.  We are now in a wait and see mode.  Until he is done with physical therapy everything military is on hold. An ace Sonny has in his pocket is that his Orthopedist is a retired US Navy Surgeon who has assured him that this won't disqualify him as he's gone through this with other patients.  
     September rolls around and he's done with physical therapy.  He gets all the copies of his records, has the doctor's recommendation completed and turns everything in. First thing we hear is: OH so sorry someone somewhere has lost your records, you need to submit everything again.  Now you and I as mature responsible people might have taken a moment and thought "Let me copy these records so I have a set for myself" but remember we're talking about an impatient, frustrated, get me out of my house teenage boy which translates into ~ he didn't do that.  These are medical records, therefore they aren't free or easy to obtain. Sonny takes off work and gets what they need, copies everything this time, and now we wait.
     During this time he has a new recruiter who hasn't had a situation like this before (OH YEAH) so really has no clue what the process is or how long it will take.  Sonny is attending weekly PT sessions and comes home with no news.  Then the letter arrives.  
     Short and sweet the letter states Sonny is temporarily disqualified.  The letter was dated over a week ago; sure his recruiter didn't know anything. As with most military procedures if there is an easy informative way to do something  they do the opposite and this applied here.  What that letter actually meant is that until his wrist and medical records are reviewed he cannot go to boot camp.  The first available appointment is over 5 weeks away, Tuesday, December 3.  As the date approaches we keep waiting for instructions but none are issued.  Monday December 2 the recruiter calls reporting that his appointment was cancelled because of the government shut-down in October(um okay).  They think there will be an opening next week.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....Thursday night we get the call that he has an appointment Tuesday morning, the 17th.  He has to report Monday night, they're going to house him then drive him 5:30 Tuesday to his appointment.
     We will have a definitive answer by 4:30 Wednesday.  IF the answer is yes he can ship out at any time, which could mean before Christmas.  So you can see why I can't send out my cards before I know what he is doing! My bright spot in all of this is his older sister's on her way home.
So how's your Christmas preparations going.
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