There is a topic I haven't talked much about in the past few months. A pretty big topic, and one a few of you are probably interested in getting an update about....the status of my military discharge. Up until to say, there wasn't much to report. I had filed my original paper work when I was 4 weeks pregnant, and it has been a waiting game ever since. I have had to call my unit about once a week to get a status update, and the packet has been slowly moving up the chain. However, it made it to State Headquarters this week, and that is where the you know what hit the fan.
I have an issue with how hard the National Guard is making this. Most of you know that I have been TRYING to work on getting the NG policy to reflect the Active Duty policy, but NO ONE ever contacts me back. I have written emails and letters to the National Guard Bureau, submitted formal, electronic versions of policy change suggestions, and I need to take a different route. I have an idea, and hopefully it works. Although I have been trying to change it on the national level, maybe I need to focus on my resources here in Ohio. Foster's old boss, and an AMAZING woman whom I have grown fond of, and according to Foster, she likes me too, recently took the position as our new TAG. She is officially our first female General, and she is VERY family oriented. She was crushed when she heard about the loss of Rosie, and she and I have had a few heart to hearts. I am hoping when I see her in Milwaukee in August, that she may have an idea for how to approach this issue.
In the past, if a woman got pregnant, she didn't have a choice, she was automatically discharged from military. Women fought this, and the military changed it's policy so that women had a choice to get out or not. It was a privilege for a woman to stay in. The National Guard now makes it nearly impossible for a woman to get out if she feels the need to. They give the woman the option to finish her time in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), but the problem with that, is that is I can still get called up for a deployment, and this still does not help with our current situation. Foster is in a rapid response unit, one that when called they have a certain time limit to respond. If I am deployed, we do not have any family that lives close enough that they can guarantee to make it to our house in time for him to make it to his unit in that time slot. All of these policies were made BEFORE 9/11, BEFORE the NG was getting deployed as often as Active Duty soldiers. Their policies need to reflect the new times, and need to be reevaluated. OR, State needs to take a closer look at specific situations and not just treat women as a number.
My unit had found a policy that states if there is any reason the soldier cannot go into IRR, and it lists a few of these reasons, then they can just be discharged. We fall into one of those reasons. We would not have the needed family care plan. My packet went all the way up to state without an issue. When it got into the hands of the state headquarters, they denied my discharge. They claim that our situation is temporary, that just about every reason on that list is temporary....THEN WHY THE HECK IS THERE AN EXCEPTION POLICY?!?!!?!? They are contradicting themselves!!! I am so sick and tired of their bull crap.
I am sure you are wondering, "What is the chance that you would be called up for a deployment while in the IRR?"
Realistically, not high. I know tons of people who have been in the IRR who have never been called up. HOWEVER, their time was 2 years, and I will be in for 4.5 years. 4.5 years of living in fear of being deployed. 4.5 years of not knowing if every letter and every phone call could be THE ONE. I am a medic. The state of Ohio is short on medics. Sure, they pull from every other unit they can, and take volunteers for deployments, but there is a WAY higher chance of me being called up than any other position (other than maybe Infantry).
I am frustrated, exhausted, and stressed over this situation. I was HOPING to be done and out WAY before now, and I am creeping up on the 3rd trimester, and they just keep holding onto me. SERIOUSLY!! Cut the cord! Let me go!! Why do they have such separation anxiety with me?!?!? They get to keep my husband. I had actually thought I would want to rejoin after my children were older and could understand why mom was leaving them, but with all the bull they are putting me through, I will NEVER rejoin...at least not the Army.
So we wait. My Sergeant is contacting an old Inspector General (IG) for advice on what to do next. We would rather keep this out of the real IG office, but will use that resource if necessary. Foster decided to read his commander into the situation and the Colonel is going to try and pull some of his resources and attack it from the top down. I guess he knows some people who work up at state. If all else fails, I am going to have a heart to heart with the TAG in August, and see what she has to say.
Don't worry, I will be out. The question at this point is just to what extent.
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago