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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No homecoming for us

Jody was due to leave Iraq today, after a grueling 12 month deployment. Instead we got word late Wednesday night, just days from our homecoming, that his brigade was being extended in Iraq for up to four months. We're heartbroken, angry, frustrated, defeated, and feel deceived. After enduring so much, we hoped that this nightmare was finally over for us.

The command didn't even have the decency to notify us first. Most of us discovered this painful news through the media!! There were reports that Strykers were headed to Baghdad. We were all certain, however, that it was the brigade that was set to replace Jody's. Because, of course, they would never extend a brigade that is in the process of leaving; the first soldiers had already returned to Ft Wainwright the Sunday prior. Boy were we in for a rude awakening. The Strykers the news talked about included both the new unit from Ft Lewis and the 172nd, the unit Jody belongs to.

Emotions are running raw throughout the post. We went to a brigade briefing, and it turned into an episode reminiscent of the Jerry Springer Show. Wives shouting and screaming at each other, and there were reports that things actually got physical at one point. Instead of the families coming together during a time of great need, they went at each other like animals.

Kids are faring terribly through this mess. Mothers have ended longterm friendships between kids over the silliest of things. Two moms on our street have become invisible, shutting themselves into their houses, and allowing their very young children run wild and destroy property. When they happen to be outside, you hear swearing and threats being shouted at the kids. We were told by the medical command to bring our kids to their pediatricians if necessary to be drugged. These poor kids don't need drugs, they need a stable and nurturing family environment. The troubles run so deep in these families, and this deployment just adds another layer to the problems.

As for T and I, we'll continue to plug along just as we have these past 11 1/2 months.


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