A few days ago (Wednesday) Gunnar graduated from WTC (Warrior Training Course) in Oklahoma. The WTC course was designed as a replacement for Basic Training for prior service recruits to the Army and also gentleman that were prior service in other branches of the military and re-enlisting in the Army. After graduation Gunnar traveled to Georgia on Thursday to go to Fort Benning where he will complete his Infantry Training. Infantry training at Fort Benning is unique in that it is a combination of basic training and MOS training. Because of this, it was understood that Gunnar and some of his fellow WTC grads would be jumping into and existing training class mid-stride. However that might not actually be the case. There are rumors going around that they may make all of the prior service fellas go through basic training again. I was mostly infuriated when Gunnar told me this. I was figuring it up and he should in theory be gone for another 9 weeks (based on his contract he signed with the recruiters) but this basic training set back could mean he is gone for another 12-15 weeks! Talk about not being able to plan for anything ever!
I was really stressing these details till my pal Rachel put things in perspective for me. She pointed out that the longer he is in training, the longer he is stateside and not actually fighting on the front lines somewhere. Good point Rachel! That completely made my day. I would rather Gunnar be 4 states away marching around GA than fighting bad guys in Afghanistan.
Gunnar won't actually find out what their plans are for him until next Friday. This may actually be the biggest waste of a person's time to be in limbo for more than a week. This seems really quite disorganized and I am learning to not have very high expectations for the people in charge of planning these training courses. So in the meantime he is doing silly busy work, cleaning barracks, formation a few times each day, texting me non-stop. He sent me a message today saying he was done for the day at about 6:54am. Why oh why couldn't they send him home for a week if he isn't even doing anything?!
There have been other puzzles to figure out this week like figuring out how our new health insurance benefits paperwork mysteriously never was submitted, how to get insurance after the fact, which doctors to see, how to get prescriptions filled, etc. I had more than one crying meltdown with very friendly customer service representative at Tricare. After all was said and done and sorted out, it did all get straightened out. I took a deep breath and had a glass of Chardonnay with my parents and all was right with the world again.
I knew none of this was going to be easy, and I am becoming more accustomed to being flexible as dates and times and training schedules change constantly. I am really ready to have my family back together but have an undetermined amount of time to wait. But I'm ok with waiting because like Rachel said, Gunnar is safe where he is, even if we are all homesick.