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Monday, May 11, 2009

My "Help Us" Plea

Josh and I have been looking with assistance with deleting the orders to Kentucky. We have tried everything it feels like! Today, I got the papers to get Stephen into the EFMP here at Fort Hood, and I also put in the paperwork to get him into one of the Head Start programs here. I am crossing my fingers and praying that we will be able to stay here and to utilize Head Start. The director was the one to take our paperwork today, and she was very friendly and positive about the ability to fit Stephen in.

This is the letter that I have forwarded around and put on the Army's ICE comments. It explains our situation pretty well as well as politely points out some "flaws" to being a military family. Here goes:

I am Stephanie; I am not military myself, but I am a dependent. My husband has been deployed to Afghanistan for over 12 months now with the 3d IBCT, 1st ID; We are hoping he will be home in 30-45 more days. I spoke with a nice lady today named Angela Oakley; I think she is a sort of assistant to General Lynch. She suggested that I come to this website and leave my messages through ICE.

My husband is part of the HHC BDE, 3-1 IN DIV where he works as a Battle NCO. He is an E6 and has been in the army a little over 10 years now. During this time, this deployment is his 5th deployment (1AD-Kosovo, 3ID-Kuwait & Iraq 02-03, 172nd SBCT-Iraq, 1ID-Afghanistan) and 5th duty station. His MOS is an 11B32S2B.

About three months ago he received “non-permanent” orders (a list with his name on it Identifying him to go to Fort Knox, KY) that said he was slotted to move with his unit to Kentucky. Ever since then, my husband has been trying diligently to find assistance to stay here at Fort Hood. His chain of command has signed papers (DA Form 4187) releasing him from his unit to be re-assigned to a different unit at Ft. Hood.

Where we are hitting a wall is with the civilian at branch (Branch Manager); She has replied to him saying there are no jobs for my husband here at Fort Hood, but when he went to his S1 they have been able to show my husband available jobs. My husband has then gone back to this woman at branch, and she has responded "You are currently stabilized with your unit thru the end of Oct 2010. There are no positions avail anywhere that far out on the system to consider you for. Recommend you check back with branch after the first of the year." I am confused at why she would insist on stabilizing him although he has already had the paperwork signed waving this. I am also confused why she would not let him take a job before December, since that is more than 90 days stabilization. I am also confused because he would most likely be moved to Kentucky before December, which I don’t understand how this could be called stabilizing.

My husband’s chain of command very supportive in trying to help him, but as they are all deployed and doing so many things, this cannot be their greatest importance. He has been told that he cannot go around DA and that they has the final say and not to make her mad. It confuses me that just one civilian at branch would have so much power over our family. I also thought the army had open door policies, so I do not fully understand why we are told to fear that this woman gets mad. Neither of us are trying to make her mad, but it is detrimental to our family that we stay at Fort Hood. We are both trying to be reasonable; My husband has even offered to re-deploy if need be to keep our family here at Fort hood.

Our son turns three in August, and he has speech delays. I have been receiving help for roughly 9-10 months with ECI services to help him. ECI is currently working on getting us into the EFMP, but we have not yet been accepted.(5.11.09 paperwork was turned in). I was only told about EFMP yesterday by the people at ECI. No one my husband spoke to or anyone I have spoken to about this in the last three months ever shared this program with me or we would have applied much sooner.

The speech pathologist, myself, and my husband are hoping to see improvements with my son’s development when his daddy returns home this June, but we fear that uprooting him to Kentucky and leaving his friends, his schedule, his home and the people that have been working with him for so long will set his development backwards that much further. We also fear the obvious financial strains.

With my husband returning in a month we should be excited, but it seems to be putting more strain on us because we are worried and feel like we’re running out of places to go to help us. The closer it gets to him coming home means the closer we are to moving to Kentucky and the less amount of time we have to get anything done. We fear of having a hardship with our son and our finances and the stress is putting a large strain on our marriage in addition to everything else. My husband loves being a part of the Army and I accepted his duties when I married him, but it scares me that we are having all of these problems due to a move, when there are jobs that should be open to my husband here at this base. I do not understand how the anyone would benefit by moving us again when it would hurt everyone in my family. My husband is willing to accept any job, even to redeploy, just to keep us here at this base we would be so thankful.

Another thing that baffels me, is I thought when you came to a duty station you were to stay there a minimum of three years, but we haven't evne been here at Fort Hood two years, much less three. Why are we being forced to move AGAIN so soon?

I hope I have explained things accurately. I apologize; I am not trying to “pester” anyone, nor am I trying to get my husband into trouble in any way. I am just really looking for any outlets there may be that we do not know about.

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