Question for Kevin...

  1. I just want an answer, not lookin' for a showdown here (LOL).

    On GMA today, they profiled a husband and wife who were both at the front; they have 3 teenage sons at home. Now, I didn't think that the military would take BOTH parents at the same time. I'm just not understanding why they would take both parents, putting the kids in the position of potentially becoming orphans.

    Just wondering...no flaming meant
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   kmchugh
    This is one of the problems with the military, Fab. One could make the argument that both parents joined the military, and therefore both took the attendant risks. By that argument, it is the parents, not the government that is risking orphaning the teenagers.

    However, I'm not sure I buy that. One of the problems with almost any deployment is that unit commanders want EVERYONE. As a result, those who often should not be deployed are deployed, sometimes with devastating results. In the Gulf War, people who were physically unable to cope with the stress of the desert for one reason or another were deployed. Unit commanders took the attitude that "we'll take them all and sort it out when we get there." Then, some of these people are sent home by medevac, which hurts, believe me. Also, while in the military, there is often no animous for those who are not deployed, when one is deployed, then sent home for a pre-existing condition, there can be some hard feelings on the part of those left behind. It is a problem.

    Short answer? I think this is one of those things the military could do better, and should do better.

    Kevin McHugh
  4. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I had been wondering the same thing. I saw something on our local news a few weeks ago where two parents were deployed and left their 2 little boys, 2 and 4, home with grandma. I am wondering what happens to these kids if they don't have family to look after them.
  5. by   emily_mom
    My brother and sister-in-law were both in the Air Force. They had children, but thankfully, only she was sent to Desert Storm. He said that he knew this when he married and had children of what could happen.

    It IS terribly sad, but really, they do know the risks when both are enlisted. My brother got out after Desert Storm so that wouldn't happen.

    I agree with Kevin about choosing people to go to war or overseas service. Personally, I would feel guilty if left behind while others who don't have children are sent to fight. Likewise, if I didn't have children, I would feel my team wasn't living up to their end of the agreement when enlisting in the service.

    Kristy

    I pray that EVERYONE comes home, not just the moms and dads.
  6. by   fab4fan
    Thanks for the answer!
  7. by   fab4fan
    PS: Kevin, for the love of Mike, get rid of that "Member without a heart". Whatever our differences are here as members, that is just so untrue
  8. by   WashYaHands
    I know the question was addressed to Kevin, but I'd like to respond. When both spouses are in the military, they are required to file a "family plan", which details a plan as to who will care for their children while they are deployed. If the family does not have this plan officially on file, one parent is then considered "non-deployable". And, (I could be mistaken here) one parent can be discharged from the service.

    I'm not sure if the family plan considers fatalities of both parents, but I do know that it is a plan to be in effect while both parents are serving.
  9. by   ShandyLynnRN
    Well, that's good to know. Atleast they have a plan.
  10. by   mario_ragucci
    When i did my bit in the Core, CONTRACT MARRIGES, were common. In other words, 2 service personel would marry for convienience and for the increase in pay. i never liked that BS...To pay someone more just because their married. Anyway, if your gonna be in the military, just like nursing, it would be nice to live with someone who understands. Plus the extra money is important to consider.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I may not be Kevin, but as a 10-year Air Force vet, I feel qualified and compelled to answer. I was in during the first Gulf War and yes, husbands and wives deployed, leaving kids to friends and family. It was a fact that was very clear all around. And it was why I got out of the Air Force in 1992. (before my first child was born).

    You see, I did not elect to place the military and its duties first before my family. I knew if I remained, it was likely both my husband and myself could be called up, (both of us were deployable); our kids would have to be shipped back home to relatives to worry if they would lose both parents in a war. I elected NOT to allow this to happen, ever.

    One thing civilians who have no military experience need to understand is, when one raises his/her right hand and swears that oath, he/she gives their life first and foremost to the military, government, and its whims. Period. No one is exempt from deployment when needed. You don't take exception cause your spouse is also deployable (or brother, sister whatever). You make plans for the provision of your kids in the horrible event you both die in service (the military sees to it you do, trust me; I witnessed wills being hurriedly written in deployment lines in 1991.) It was sobering.

    It is a personal decision, and no right answer exists for everyone.....but you make NO mistake about it. When you swear your allegiance and life to the military, you meant to uphold your end of the bargain. I saw so many people scramble, shoving kids on air planes and trains, to relatives' homes, with 24 hours' notice. They did not stop to believe they and their spouse would ever be asked to deploy at the same time, but they were regardless. It was a hard lesson for us all.

    The military does not discriminate that way. You are needed, you go; really it is simple as that. In so doing, you realize the military and its duties come first, not your family. You accept it and so must your family members. It is not an easy way of life, obviously. But, That is the way it is. It's not for everyone but if you swear you will go, you go. Or you separate, like I did.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 20, '03
  12. by   kmchugh
    Well put, Deb. And my wife, another tempermental redhead is REAL glad you aren't me. Good Lord, two tempermental redhead's in one house??! I'd have to move!

    Kevin
  13. by   nurse-in-boots
    Its called a "Family Care Plan". We have one because both my hubby and me are military and in a deployable status.

    I've already done a POA for the one taking temp. custody of the kiddos in the event we go. Discussion was made as to how much money is sent into a bank account set up for the kids, and what day care they will go to while the caregiver is at work. Good thing I have a tight family network.

    I pray every nite that we will not have to utilize this care plan.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    Well put, Deb. And my wife, another tempermental redhead is REAL glad you aren't me. Good Lord, two tempermental redhead's in one house??! I'd have to move!

    Kevin
    ROFL Kev, my husband would be with you on that one. He also always used to say one redhead in the house is enough. Welp, we DID give birth to a temperamental red- head daughter, however, and she is now 4 and promises to OUT-DO me in EVERY way. I shudder to think what life will be like around here in say, 10 years. EEK, glad my husband will be long-retired by then! Yow!

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