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Letter to JoAnn A., Re: I think I learned a lesson(long)

JoAnn Amber <elmtreeacademy at yahoo_com>
Subject: Re: I think I learned a lesson.... 
This is long due to it hit home with me and two of our units in our command 
left this weekend from Florida.  I hope that JoAnn can square things up with 

As I work full time in the Army National Guard, (Yes Virginia, there are many 
"Full Time Weekend Warriors") I have seen a few NG and reserve families hit 
the wall since 9/11. Many do not know that they have hit it until it's too 
late.  Then they think, they are the only ones that have hit it and are alone 
in doing it. Beyond the odd and longer duty hours that have been placed on 
many of us, many have spent time away on duty with the Homeland Defense, 
before that it was the "Safe Sky" and "Safe Harbors" programs.  Many, as I 
did, had to pull extra weekends on duty.  This is the first year in 22 that I 
ever had reached the maximum time that I can stay on weekend duty and still 
get paid. Many that have been called to full time duty also have had the 
stress of their income dropping to the level of a full time military person.  
There are many who are owners of small business or high paying professionals 
that had to make many adjustments, like the spouse going back to work or 
taking on a second job to afford a lifestyle that they were living and will 
return to when these events are over.  Now we all have another matter that is 
placing some more stress on family and jobs, which is mobilization.  My 
unit's next three duty weekends have been changed to adjust for any upcoming 
world events.  Then there are factors that add even more stress into our 
lives.  I just moved and changed my full time duty station, due to my wife's 
job needs.  You have a family member that has medical needs combined with 
distance.  When we combine all this with other things that we are doing in 
our lives, some things may fall off.  When I moved 161 miles from one house 
to another I spent the first two and half months of any free time I had 
traveling back to the old house to get things that didn't come with the 
movers or to cleaning the house.  My weekend duty station was still there 
too.  I messed up and missed a month of my bill payments on some of my 
accounts.  Once I realized the problem I called the major ones and explained 
the problem and they forgave the late fees and didn't penalize my accounts.  
I found that you have done the same thing as I and realized the problem and 
now you must attack the problem one step at a time and later learn to be 
aware that it could happen again.  In the past it has always been said that a 
military family is more unique then a family outside our system.  It could be 
a single parent or one with both parents; we face separations and hardships 
that are not faced on the outside world.  In these times we face them on the 
NG and reserve side too.  I think I have gone on too much on this subject (I 
had two units leave FL this weekend and they are a part of our Command), All 
I can say is what I tell the younger troops under me; Oh well, learn, adapt, 
and move on (to better yourself always).  Good luck, you have faced the 
problem, kick it and move on.       

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