The Show MUST go on…

I know most people don’t care. That they just look at the numbers in a budget. They don’t care because they have no connection, they do not see the value in something.

Don’t let this happen, don’t let the theater be silenced, The show must go on, it is vital to the families and the military community.

Budgets are not easy, cuts need to be made but read this quote from IMCOM spokesman Scott Malcom,

“Our intent is to use our limited funds to provide critical base operating services and sustain the infrastructure that makes the Army ready,” Malcom said. “Is quality of life a child development center or a community theater? Are we in the humanities business or are we in the warfighting business?”

Stars & stripes article

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http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/the-show-won-t-go-on-army-expected-to-close-community-theaters-1.417910

 

Here’s the link to petition this decision and to have the voices of the community heard. Please sign it…

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fund-us-army-theater-entertainment-program

Anger blurs the words that need to be shared.  The Army asked for my families service and we gave it, with honor and respect. This is not about me and mine. It is about how we coped with the daily pressures of “serving” our country. We served the best way we knew.

The closing of the community theaters for families is wrong and  will harm the development of family members everywhere. Community theaters are a place where all are able to somehow transform to a different place and release the daily stress and pressures that consume a military families daily life. The release from the pressure of living in the Army is needed. Let me remind you, we are not talking about large oversize building that you find in most “civilian” communities here in the States. We are talking about Army base block buildings that are “converted” into places that allow families and kids to get an “idea” about the theater.  The overhead budget is not a large operating budget, this is not a building housing a “Hamilton” production.

The argument can be made that 1.96 million dollars is a lot of money for funding. We do know that the government can spend money in crazy ways BUT I am sure there are other places they can pull money from before taking away this very important community service. For a small bleep of time we could forget the worries of the world and go somewhere else.

I am hoping that this decision is not fully made and that somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow, there is time to change the decision and have these funds put back into the budget.

You can do something to prevent this from happening, to have your voice heard, sign the petition….

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fund-us-army-theater-entertainment-program

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On this day…Valentines Day

cupid[1]The New Year has brought so much change. Over the last year Cupid’s arrow seemed to stray away from the foundation of a long-term relationship. Just like the crazy course we had taken, his arrow seemed to have missed its mark, splintered under the stresses that life brings. It is not that he is to blame. Maybe, he too, was lost with all the changes that had been made. Another thought, could be that the roads that were traveled did not allow for him to find us amongst the road blocks and detours. It could be that Cupid did not have a GPS.

Blame it on Cupid could be easy. To blame someone would be a great way to finger point. Cupid knew what was going on. Enough said on that…..

To remember a loved one, to reminisce about the good times could lead to depression on this day. BUT it also can allow for the birth of a new love. Cupid will always find a way to shoot his arrow and all you need to do is be open to its placement on your heart.

So, on this day when many are upset that they do not have a “loved one” to share the day with may in someway be missing out. Just take a moment and walk with me on this thought, love comes in many ways. The smile you give to an older women, the gesture of, go ahead of me in line or maybe it is as simple as saying thank you to the person who helped you today. Being nice, giving a hug, smiling at someone or just plain old being nice can lift the spirit of most anyone.

So…on this day. Valentines day. Let Cupid do his work, marvel in his ability to shoot arrows and know that he will always find you.


Exhausted…

the houseWe filled six cargo crates and now living with borrowed furniture. There are suitcases filled with clothes and we are eating off of paper plates. We have shipped a car and have another one for a few more weeks before it heads back to the States.  We are exhausted.

Exhausted would be an understatement but as many other faithful military family wives have said to me,” The light at the end of the tunnel is here, cheer up.”  It made me stop and think about the families that do this as a career. They move all the time, every three years to zig zag around the world to serve our country. They do it with kids, animals and husbands who sometimes are heading off to the latest war. It made me wonder, how many people really realize what goes on within the military family unit?

It is truly a way of life. One that is full of ups and downs that can not be defined or explained to someone who has not been there or lived the experience.  I never really gave it much thought before we, I mean, he, signed up to serve in the Army.

And that brings me to the point of, when he serves, the family serves too. We are subjected to the ups and downs of deployments, changing of duty stations (PCS) and all that goes along with being uprooted from family, friends and even ones own country.

Frankly, it has not been easy and in many ways I am extremely grateful to have had this experience but am really looking forward to going home  in more ways than one. Home means that we will no longer be subject to the ways of the Military. I do not have to wake up to bullets being shot at ranges that are near by, hearing mortars that make the houses shake, seeing soldiers everyday running in formation and chanting while running PT (physical fitness) at 5:30am, trying to negotiate driving behind a convoy of stykers or military vehicle’s, learning military time ( which I never really got), showing ID’s at checkpoints  or standing at attention facing the flag at 1700 (5:00pm) everyday.   I also will not have to watch the busses of soldiers leave in the morning going to war and knowing that some may not return, will not need to learn how to explain to my daughter that some of her friends dads/moms are not coming home, that I had a special letter for her in the dresser draw in case I get a visit telling me her Dad is gone. I can stop worrying about being blackout from the internet and wonder who was just injured, hurt or killed. Better yet, I will not have to go to another funeral. I will not have to worry about getting a speeding ticket on post and have it affect my husband. Mostly I will be able to go about doing what ever I want, where ever I want because I live in a free country, I live in the United States.

How do I go about thanking all those who have helped me go though this experience?

How do I tell them that the kind words, the help, the smiles and patience they had for me truly made me see a small picture of a world that so many judge, justify or do not even acknowledge exists?

All I can say to them is THANK YOU! It  is simple, pure and full on the love that the words are meant to share.  I know that I will see some of them again, somewhere, either on face book, on television, in person or by chance. I have built a new family  that shares a special bond .

With a tear in my eye and pride in my heart, I am grateful for them and the great nation they serve.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.


A Trip to the Deli…

So, I went to the commissary / grocery store yesterday to get a few things.  Feeling a bit upset about the election, I decided to get a  couple of sandwiches to “lift” my spirits.  So, I went to the  deli counter  and I noticed everyone was in the backroom.

I shouted out, “Excuse me, I would like a couple of sandwiches.”

They yelled back, “We do not make sandwiches till 10 o’clock.”

I looked at the clock  behind the counter and it read 2 minutes after 10.

I yelled back, “The clock says it is after 10.”

One worker came out from the back room, extremely frustrated that I interrupted his conversation and yells at me, “Not till 10 lady! Sandwiches are not made till then.”

I point to the clock on the wall , “But your clock says it is after 10.”

He took down the clock and mumbles, “Its battery operated.”

And proceeded to change the time to 5 of 10.

“See, it is 5 minutes to 10, we do not make sandwiches till 10!”  He walked away shaking his head.

I am left standing there. Mind you, I still want a sandwich, nothing seems to have changed except the time.

I guess when you are the only game in town it is okay to behave in such a matter and customer service does not need to be a concern of yours. I mean really, who is going to fire you? You are a government employee who has the right to work as fast or slow as you want. No one needs to tell you that you are being rude. Why care, the government will provide.

In some ways his actions made me think about the election. He no longer has to work for me. The government will keep him employed and give him the benefits that he needs in order to continue living.  As a society we are heading in this direction, people like me are just an interruption in his day.

As I was pondering these thoughts another employee decided to step in and asked me what sandwiches I wanted. I looked at him with hope and smiled.

“Oh, thank you, I appreciate you helping me. I would like…”and I completed the order.

Maybe all hope is not lost.

Maybe he is just a new government worker.

Maybe …..he voted for Romney.


Rationed Gas…

The other day I read this post, “Could we please get gas for under $3.20?”  I realized that the question was an innocent one, one that was full of exasperation as gas prices are extremely high. Though my response to the post was probably not exactly what the person asking the question may have been referring to.  If you want to to get gas Overseas at United States prices and you are in the Military, you are rationed it or pay double the price; the economy price.

Rationed gas? Really, you ask. Yes, it surprised me too when I first landed overseas but now it is an everyday realization that if you want to get gas your option is to go to the military installation gas station and fill up. There is only one station and the price, is the price. No options, no competing stations, no specials. You get what they have at the price they post and that is it. Period. Another option is to go to designated gas stations that accepts your ration card and not all gas stations accept the rations card.

When you get your gas and pay for it you need to present your card that has your rations for the vehicle predetermined on it and it will calculate how much  gas you have left for the rest of the month.  Your predetermined amount is granted to you when you register your vehicle and is calculated by an average monthly usage for the type of vehicle you own.

If you go over the rationed amount you pay what everyone else does on the economy and that price is usually double. Sounds fair, right?

I am not so sure but Here’s the thing, Americans love their big SUV‘s. I love mine as it carries everything. Over here, we have stopped using it as much as we did in the States and have taken up a more conservative view on gas intake. Using public transportation when we need to, think twice before we travel somewhere and make many stops along the way and even have bought a more cost conservative vehicle that gets great mileage.  So, in one way by being “forced” to think about my gas consumption has made me more aware of how much I use.

On the other hand, I miss the freedom that I had to “shop around”  to various gas stations and use my vehicle as I wish and not have to worry about how much it will cost me.  I miss the days of taking long drives to where ever. That freedom seems to have been taken away and admittedly I miss it.

I am not sure if it is because I am locked to a certain rationed gas amount or that I enjoyed the freedom of doing what I wanted, when I wanted without the concern of how much gas I used.

Then again, with gas at $3.20 or more in some States, I may be more compelled to think before I hit the “freedom of the road.”


Truth or Bubble Gum?…

To the person who said:

It is not that hard to have a Soldier Deployed.

Yes it is! It SUCKS!

You have no idea and in a way that is okay. You are lucky to not have to deal with the overwhelming wave of uncertainty that follows you around like a thunder-cloud that will not go away.

You are not thrown into the unknown when that news story becomes “breaking news” and comes from the same place your loved one is residing and protecting. To boot, you are trying to remember when you spoke last and if you will get a call soon so you know they are okay.

Your day does not start with wondering if someone will come knocking on your door and tell you they are hurt or worse, dead.

You can go ahead and just know that the world is being taken care of by those who go out there and actually walk among the bad guys and attempt to make things better.

So, when you are complaining about how bad you have it, know that there are those around the world who are taking care of your selfish behavior and yes, dying for it too.

Not the reaction you were looking for? Well maybe next time you need to stop and think about what you are saying and decide if you want  a true answer or a bubble gum one.

Here’s the Thing….you mean well but your statement can be answered in many ways and often times it is glazed over and filled with positive, flowery comments.

You are not going to get that here.

It is no fun.

Deep down inside most would agree.


Why do You?…

Thoughts to a Mom Grocery Shopping:

I do not know you very well as a matter of fact, I only know you by the products you buy at the grocery store/commissary. I was the one standing behind you in line waiting for you to finish paying for all the groceries. I loved your new handbag and your well manicured nails that looked like you just had them done. Your kids, well, they were driving me nuts as they ran around screaming while carrying the candy you just bought them. You did not seem to care that they almost ran into a worker trying to move a shopping cart out of their way. Nor did you flinch when one kid started climbing on another cart. You just said, “Let them be.”

I began to wonder what you were feeding them to have them so crazy and that is when my eyes shifted to the food being scanned. I noticed the Chips, then the soda and yes, the candy. I figured, we all need a treats every once in a while. Then  it was the sugar cereal and the energy drinks. I started looking to see if there were any fruits and vegetables, maybe  something, anything that was not processed or artificial….these products seemed to be missing.

A child’s high pitch scream brought me back to the Mom who seemed to be in another world and I was about to say something to you when I heard you scream, “What do you mean I can not use these, they are for food aren’t they?” You were waving your WIC checks around as if to fan the red-faced cashier.  It was your kid crashing to the floor that made us all turn our heads and stare at you.

The cashier quietly tried explaining to you that there were certain products that were WIC approved. Foods that were to help with nutrition and such…you looked surprised, almost embarrassed but pointing…… “I want these foods.”  Your voice cracking like a 2-year-old.

It was then that I realized you have no idea how to take care of yourself, let alone the kids that were causing havoc in the store. You continued to argue with the cashier and before long I had to tune you out.

Here’s the Thing….I wanted to help you, bring your kids under control and give you some guidance that you so desperately needed. But, I could not go there. If I had, you would have told me to “Mind my own business.”   Better yet, “Who told you I wanted help?” I even began to question if you really needed WIC and questioned if I should help you anyway since you did not seem to understand the purpose of the program.

Your kid screams went ear piercingly higher and were running up and down aisles in the store but under the watchful eye of another person.  It was at that point I decided the store has this covered. I saw another cashier wave me over to her register with a bright smile. I walked over to her and cashed out. I was finally on my way.

As I got into my car I began to go over the ordeal that had unfolded in the store.

“What were you thinking?” I started to say out loud.

“That’s right, you weren’t for had you thought about what you were doing you would not have done it.”

“And, nothing I did could have changed your behavior.”

I continued to drive away and turned on the radio.