Monday, April 6, 2009

Army Life

This is the only picture I have of Brent in uniform. His residency class took a trip to the Dental Lab in Augusta last fall. (He's the second from the left).

Only four months left in South Carolina! YAY YAY YAY!!!! While our experience hasn't been entirely miserable (we have great neighbors and a great ward), we don't plan on EVER returning :). This is just not the place for us. Brent will graduate from his Advanced General Dentistry Residency Program on July 29th, and has been assigned to Fort Lewis, WA. We are so grateful to be going home to the west coast, and we were surprised at the assignment. Fort Lewis is one of the nicest Army bases and it seems like everyone wants to be stationed there. It was our top choice mainly because it's only a 13 hour drive to Grandparents in Utah County.

About two weeks ago, Brent found out that his new unit is being deployed to Iraq in May. Once the shock wore off, we both felt good about the assignment. Here's why:

1) We've known for five years now that he'd most likely be deployed at some point. It's a relief to just get it over with.

2) Since his deployment and our move coincide, it's easy for me to just move to Utah where I can have family support. Rather than moving to Washington and then to Utah and then back to Washington, we'll just find a home in Washington when Brent gets home.

3) Army dentists in Iraq have it pretty good (compared to Afganistan). Iraq is relatively safe these days. The dental clinics
there are at established bases and are well equipped (AIR CONDITIONED). I hate to think of Brent practicing dentistry in a tent in Afganistan.

4) Because Brent doesn't report to Ft. Lewis until August and his unit is leaving in May, he'd only be gone for 9 months, rather than 12.

Today Brent finally got in touch with his Ft. Lewis counterpart, the Dentist he'll be replacing. He called me with the bombshell...

He's going to Afghanistan, and his unit doesn't deploy until July. Aaaarrrggghhhh!

I really wasn't scared about Iraq. Afghanistan scares me.

Also, he'll be gone for a whole year.

They're not sure where exactly they'll be stationed there. If they're on an air field, the conditions will be pretty nice (read: not a tent). Please pray for us!

As I was cleaning the kitchen floor this afternoon, I started thinking about the reason Brent accepted the Army scholarship in the first place: he wants to serve his country. He doesn't want to leave his family for a year, but he's grateful for the opportunity to serve. He loves this country, and through service can express his gratitude to live in this Promised Land. Remembering this softened my frightened heart. I'm grateful to serve too. By supporting him I can express my gratitude.

I enjoy so many freedoms:

I've never had to worry about my safety.
I have never questioned whether I could or would receive a college education.
I practice whatever religion I choose.
My every need has been provided for, in fact I live in abundance.

I didn't do anything to deserve my freedoms. Every child of God deserves them, but not many receive them while on this earth. Really, my husband leaving for a year is nothing!

I just hope that I can remember my blessings in November when I've been practicing "single parenthood" for three months. Brent's biggest fear right now is probably leaving his sweet children alone with their crazy mother!


Kerri said...

I am really proud to be able to call you a friend! You are making a huge sacrifice, one that most of us could never fully understand. Thank Heaven for people like the Bethers who care so much about our country and the blessings we enjoy!

I have a really great friend whose husband served in Iraq for 18 months. He is in the Reserves and was called to active duty. He has been home for almost a year now, and they totally survived. They are an amazing family and just made it work. She has 3 kids as well, so her story reminds me of yours. You know you will always have a home you are welcomed to stay at if you need a vacation to Southern CA!

easydoesit said...

Kerri, you are so great. Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm really grateful that I can live near my parents while Brent is gone, because I don't think I could face it otherwise. How do all of these women do it? I have a friend here whose husband just got back from his THIRD deployment!