I asked my husband what military lingo made the most sense to him given our circumstances- and the first words he said were "Frago" or "Changeo" and he said because it means: "they screwed up and now everything's up in the air and no one knows what the heck is going on because the unexpected happened"... that's the best way I know how to put this site- and ultimately, our lives.
Frago and Changeo both are milspeak for "a change of mission to reflect a change of circumstances"
To me, those two terms suit the past 3 years of our lives quite well. Even though I grew up with a Vietnam Vet father with 20 years in the air force, and a brother in the service for 18 years already and also a vet, I've grown up a civilian in more ways then not. So don't worry about getting lost in all the military lingo- I know very little of it, but what I do know of it can help to sometimes convey more then civi-speak. I apologize for the explanations after every bit of lingo- but I don't want anyone to feel lost in the maze of acronyms.
I'll be going into more detail over time about everything that's happened, but I always find a short bio nice to start off.
My husband, Edward, was deployed to Iraq in May of 2007. Our daughter was only 10 months old at the time. We had only been married 3 months before he left. He served as a Combat Engineer Mechanic in Ramadi, Iraq for a year as their wrecker guy. He spent more time out of the wire (off base) then all the guys in his unit. So he was there for all 3 of their IED (improvised explosive device- a really freaking big bomb meant for vehicles) hits. Thankfully, everyone survived all of them, and they came back with a full battalion alive, although a few were badly hurt.
The thing we didn't expect, and that the military doesn't tell you- is that the war doesn't end when your soldier gets home. You can't just leave it behind and you can't just 'get over' it... There is no 'readjustment period'- the 6 months to a year that they push on you before 'everything gets back to normal'... Normal ceases to exist. What they don't tell you is that no matter what your solider endures over there- however little or however much, they WILL NOT come back unchanged. No matter how much they tell you they're still the same, no matter how much you want so wholeheartedly to believe it- it's impossible. You don't live that life for a year plus and not come back deeply changed.
This blog is about our journey as a family, struggling to get back to some semblance of ourselves after Iraq. We're still in the midst of it all, so I'm not doing this as having 'been there, done that'- but I do hope this helps at least another family member who's struggling to get through this same time period, or maybe hasn't even gotten there yet. There's so many things I wish I'd have known.
I hope our story at least sheds some light into some very dark corners...