Sunday, August 9, 2009

Apparently We're Moving...

"Oh crap."

Tom's voice wafted in the air as I carried Natalie down after giving her a bath. I set her beside him and didn't think much of it. Tom had his laptop balanced on his thighs as he sat on the couch and he was staring at the screen in horror. I assumed that he was losing one of the video games that he plays on there.

"Oh no," Tom said again.

It was on the tip of my tongue to remind Tom that it was okay if he lost; that he didn't always have to win.

But then Tom went, "I just got orders."

A prickly feeling went down my back. Orders. Orders, for those who don't speak military, basically are papers that tell us where we move to next. We had been waiting for orders ever since Tom finished his K-9 school. Our hopes were that we'd get Texas or Ohio.

"I just got orders to Malmstrom," Tom said sounded somewhat pinched. He looked as though he had just been sucking on a lemon.

Wait a minute. This couldn't be right. Malmstrom was in...Montana...who wants to go to Montana? Plus, Malmstrom is another missile base. We're currently at a missile base. How can we be tossed right back to a missile base? That certainly wouldn't be fair. That certainly wouldn't be...he had to be kidding...right?

"Tom," I snapped. "That's not funny. You don't JOKE about things like that." I gave him a dirty look for good measure. Shame on him for teasing me! Shame on him for...wait...why was he looking at me like that? He had a look of pity across his face...why...why...

"I'm not kidding," Tom finally spoke, swiveling the screen towards me. He pointed to his virtual military page and there it was in black letters:


My heart dropped.

A lump instantly formed in my throat.

This couldn't be right.


Montana wasn't even on our list of bases that we wanted. Of course I knew it was long shot that we'd even GET a base that we wanted but I assumed it would at least be a NON missile base.

"But.." I sputtered. "But..."

The words wouldn't form in my mouth. It felt as though I had been sucking on cotton.


"Maybe you'll see a bear!" my Dad said cheerfully from the couch. I hadn't even realized he was there.

Okay. Don't panic. You have to be a supportive wife. Squeeze Tom's shoulder and say that everything will be okay so long as we're together. So it's Montana. Who cares? Yes, we'll have to go through cold winters all over again. Yes, we'll still have the strong winds that rattle our windows. Yes, there may not be a Target around but surely that's okay? Who needs a Target anyhow? I need to cut back and..and...

Suddenly a sob escaped my throat.

"I don't WANT to see a bear," I gasped out and then huge tears started dripping down my cheeks.

Stop Amber. Stop. You're not being a supportive wife. Stop crying.

I tried to force a smile on my face but I ended up frightening Natalie.

"What Mommy doing?" she asked Tom, staring at me in shock.

"Mommy is..." Tom began but I didn't hear what he said because I darted into the guest room and rushed for the shower. I had to get away. I couldn't let Natalie see me distraught. I turned on the water and stood with my back against the wall as the water spilled onto the shower floor. Then I slowly slid down and hugged my knees to my chest.

This can't be happening. Why? Why is the Air Force doing this to us? Is it so hard for them to send us someplace warm? It doesn't even have to be warm. I'd settle for anywhere but Malmstrom or Minot, which is in North Dakota. Please....why...

The sobs kept coming.

Okay. Think of the starving children in Africa. People have it so much worse than I do. Crying over this is ridiculous. At least it's not Europe. At least it's...

Fresh tears dripped onto my knees.

Stupid Air Force. Why? Tom is a hard worker. Why do they keep giving him crap assignments. He got Top Dog in his K-9 class for craps sake. Shouldn't that account for something?

I stood up and shut off the shower and backed up onto the bed. I settled down as Natalie walked in.

"Mommy?" she asked timedly.

I quickly wiped away my tears and pretended that everything was fantastic.

"Hi darling," I croaked out as my Mom poked her head in the door.

"Are you okay? I just heard," she said, her voice masked with sympathy. I knew a part of her was crushed too. She was so hoping we'd get stationed in Texas.

"I'm..." Another sob came up. Mom hurried over and settled beside me and pulled me into her arms.

"It's okay," she said in a soothing voice. I suddenly felt as though I were seven and not twenty seven. I tried to calm myself down but I kept picturing bears wandering around and the cold winters in Montana and I couldn't.

The thing is, Tom can't deny the orders or he'll be kicked out of the Air Force. Or really, it just means he can't re-enlist next year.

But Mom mentioned that we could try to argue them. She gave us a list of numbers to call. She suddenly looked like the Colonel she used to be as she ticked off the things we could do to try and get the orders changed.

"It may not work," she reminded me. "But at least you could try."

My heart lifted a bit. "We could try," I repeated. I was suddenly inspired. Why SHOULD we just lay back and take this?

So Tom is going to call some people.

I'm going to write letters.

We have to do something. It's just not right for them to send us to another missile field. That should be illegal. I'm tired of the Air Force treating my husband horribly after all he's done for them.

We've got to at least try. We have seven days to at least try.


  1. Oh my gosh! I would be freaking out and crying too. I hope you guys can get a different location.

  2. Crossing my fingers and toes for you in hopes that you don't have to go there or N. Dakota!

  3. Wow, good luck Amber! I was always a combination of excited and terrified when it was time for orders to come out. We always got relatively lucky though - we ended up at Sheppard, Ramstein, and Nellis. And yes ... I used to PRAY we wouldn't get Minot!

    I hope you can get it changed, but even if you can't, you'll make the best of it - and remember that, like everything else in the Air Force, it's only temporary. :)

  4. You poor thing, I'll be praying it all works out. And thank you to your entire family for serving!

  5. Praying, hoping, and sending my thoughts to you. My family is based on five generations of Marines. I feel your pain.

  6. I am sending hugs to you right now! I don't know what else to do . . . except pray that your letters reach the right people and Tom's phone calls make a difference. So, I'll send hugs and pray.

    You were right you know, being. . . "Down with Jesus" is a great place to be. . . if you gotta be down.

  7. I'm crying for you right now. I hope everthing works out. Please keep us updated.

  8. What's so horrible about a missile afb? (No, really. I don't know!)

  9. Good Luck I hope your efforts work! I here Montana is beautiful and I have survived without a Target for a year is a close second.

  10. Oh baby....sorry you're upset....maybe it's a case of "one door closing, another opening"? Just hope and pray....

  11. Montana is a very beautiful state. Think of it as an adventure. And you never know - your best friend could be waiting for you there. Good luck in whatever the future holds for you. Think positive thoughts!

  12. At least it is an accompanied tour! Hopefully they can work something out. I wouldn't be too quick to leave the military behind with how scare jobs are in our current economy.

  13. awww bummer! well i hope that everything works out for the best!! i'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  14. Oh good luck in trying to get a better assignment! I will keep my fingers crossed along with everyone else!

  15. Wow...that must be rough on you and the family! Keeping you in my thoughts. Hugs from the east coast!

  16. Keeping my fingers crossed that someone listens to you.


  17. oh dear. I forgot that you can't choose which base you live on. To be told to go to Montana just like that isn't very nice! I hope you and Tom can figure out a way to get it reversed somehow!

    Thinking of you and thank you for yesterdays post!

  18. UGH. I hope and pray your efforts in the next few days pay off!

  19. I hope every works out for you. BUT, Montana is gorgeous - even though cold. AND remember, everything happens for a reason. You could find unbelievable happiness under that great big Montana sky... you just never know.

  20. Oh I'm so sorry. I hope you can get everything worked out.

  21. I am so sorry. I know all about getting bad orders (hello 29 Palms!) I'm praying for ya that your letters do some good.

    {{hugs}} to you!

  22. I wish you could have gotten Texas or Ohio (I'm assuming it was WPAFB that you were wanting, which is really close to my hometown and the shopping in the area is amazing). Hoping the letters and phone calls work out. There is a Target close by, though.

  23. WaitASecond. S E V E N days? Please tell me that is not how long you are given to move your belongings??

    If you don't go down fighting, you'll regret not exhausting your options. If it ends up being Montana, it just IS.
    It'll be great. Perfect. Wonderful.

  24. Good luck with that, says she who lived in EFFIN MINOT for 15 years.

  25. I can see you're in turmoil here, so first of all, I wish you good luck. And I will be with you in spirit now because ...

    OH MY GOD I'm so excited to have found your blog!!! I used to read you back on Open Diary and I absolutely love you and I'm a huge huge fan! *hyperventilate*

    I was "Mrs. King" back then.

    So now I'm not going to be getting anything done at my desk job all week because I'm going to be catching up with you.

    Amber, you are such a talented writer. You were five years ago, and now I see that you are even way better than you were then!

    So if you have time, I'd be thrilled to have you stop by my blog. Oh, and I wrote a book, too, which is on Amazon. Girl, you should too!

    So hopefully my little fangirly comment cheers you up a little bit. :)


  26. Oh gosh Amber, please keep us posted. I wish you all the best!

  27. oh no! i'll keep my fingers crossed for you. good luck!

  28. I am glad you are trying to change things. I really, really hope it works.

  29. Yeck! I'm sorry you may be moving to Montanna. Hopefully it will work out for you guys.

    I have an award over at my place if you would like to pick it up

  30. NO!! I am sorry to hear that. There can't be much worse than being told on short notice where you are going to live. Yikes. I hope it works out for you.

  31. Fingers and toes are crossed... knocking on wood... throwing salt around... not sure if any of this will help but doing all I can.


  32. Did I miss when you're supposed to move? I feel for you, I really do. It seems like the air force can't send you guys anywhere were at Offutt for a while, right? and then Wyoming and now least England was sort of semi-interesting? (I don't know England seems like it would be boring to me.) I really hope you can get your orders changed. I'm so sorry they're crappy orders :( You guys deserve to go somewhere interesting for a change.

  33. Aww Amber I'm so sorry they are trying to send you to Montana! I really hope you get the location you want. Don't stop trying!

  34. I totally feel for you... we just got orders to Barksdale AFB, La and we are Army... go figure.

  35. Gah, I really hope you can fight it! My fingers and toes are crossed for you!

  36. I am so sorry. Long winters suck. Mountains are cool, but Minot's probably on the wrong side of the state for that, huh? Are there even any gymboree's in Montana??? I feel for ya.

  37. Awww. I'd cry too. But...if it can't be changed, make the best of it (which, I know you can do).
    I will keep you all in my thoughts...wishing for happier winters.

  38. I don't know if this will help, but I did some research. Malstrom AFB is near Great Falls. And Great Falls is home of a Target. There are also two Gymborees. There are two malls, Rimrock Mall and Southgate mall.

  39. I sure hope the letters help. I don't know anything about Montana, but if you say there are bears...I'm going to guess it is cold!

  40. I hope it all works out for you. Hang in there!

  41. I betcha never thought you'd say it but:

    Even the underwater city of Bikini Bottom sounds better than Malstrom - but I don't know if Bikini Bottom has a Target either. You could try the "Locate Nearest Store" thing on their website.

    Damn, now I have to Google to find out what the zip code is for Bikini Bottom.

  42. Um, I'm pretty sure it's highly illegal to not have a Target near a military base. I mean, really.

    In all seriousness, I pray your letters and all of that reach the people they need to. Texas is's hoping!

  43. I think I'm missing something...what's wrong with a missile field?

  44. Crap. As a civilian who has no clue about military lifestyles, I can't begin to imagine going through my daily life waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for someone to tell me to uproot my whole family and move them to East Jabip. I swear, I don't know how you do it---I have nothing but the utmost appreciation for families like yours making that kind of sacrifice in service of our country.

    And I'm with the Boob Nazi. I really don't know what makes missile afb worse than regular afb. Please shed some light!

  45. OH... I wish it would have been Ohio. Where is the base in Ohio?? Columbus. I would love to have you in my neighborhood to visit. And... Columbus is so nice - zoo, waterpark, art museum, conservatory, and of course gymboree. OH I wish it would have been columbus.


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