Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Family and Friends

Not too long ago I put up a post about how Stephen and I were deciding what future would be best for us. It came down to two things that Stephen wanted to do. (I say Stephen because as long as what he does is enough to support us financially and makes him happy, I'll support him.) The choices were either to join a police force or join the military. We have since made the decision to join the military. I think I need to specify to anyone reading that this is a choice we made. This wasn't made out of desperation of not knowing what to do, or that we didn't have any other choice so we chose this one. Stephen has actually wanted to do this for a very long time. But, in the past when he had mentioned the idea he was met with opposition. I admit when he first told me I was strongly opposed to the idea as well. If he wanted to join a police force, despite his lack of CA or Washington state license (which were the two states we were leaning towards), we could have made it happen. It might have taken some work but we could have made it happen. My sister just moved into a rather large house with an apartment downstairs in Washington and has offered the downstairs to us temporarily if we needed it. Hypothetically we could have moved in, soon after got a WA license and started applying to police departments up there. Or we could have done the same thing in CA because we have family there, one has already offered to let us stay with them as well for awhile if needs be. We looked at those options, and I asked Stephen "Do you want to do that, and work as a police officer? Or do you want to join the military?" He said he wanted to join the military. He had a few options and he chose that one. As I mentioned earlier, when he first told me about how he was interested in joining the military I was strongly opposed to the idea. The idea of him going to war and my becoming possibly a young widow with a child was not appealing. But the more I thought about it, all those feelings of anxiety have gone away, and I don't feel scared anymore. (And anyone who really knows me knows that is not normal Melinda behavior, and I'm actually a rather paranoid person.) We've thought about it, and have prayed about it, and we feel good about it. We feel a pull that that's where we are supposed to be. If we like it, then we'll stay, if we don't then after 8 years we'll leave. But, as for now we both feel strongly that that's where we're supposed to be. We are telling people that is our decision and I'm begging people to respect it. Please please please don't try and talk us out of it, and if you have anything negative to say, please keep it to yourself. We are adults now, and we have our own family, and we are making our own decisions. When we decide something we council with each other and the Lord. Three's company four is a crowd. So, please be supportive, and keep us in your prayers that everything will go well, and if Stephen ever does get deployed that he will be safe and protected and come back home to the family and friends waiting for him. And please, don't give us some big spiel about how you heard about a guy in the military that went A-wall and killed some innocent Arab woman and her child, because honestly there are psychos and corrupt people in every occupation and it's a little insulting to the thousands of good people there are that serve or who have served our country in the military. It's unfortunate that a lot of them get a bad rep just because of a few nut jobs. Besides that, Stephen would never do something like that. We know the risk, and we know what we're getting ourselves into. So, don't be surprised if you tell me why we shouldn't join the army and I bite your head off 'cause... I will. I'm sure we have all known people that were in the military and hated it. My dad was one of them, but that kind of life wasn't his thing. Plus, he was drafted. Anyone who knows Stephen can see how this is something that he was meant to do. He loves war movies, (i.e. Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, The Patriot, Independence Day, etc) and not because of the violence. Because he likes to see good conquering evil. He has always idolized war heroes, and could spend hours, and has, talking to war veterans. Hearing the good and the bad. He likes the idea of fighting for freedom and for something you believe in. He likes honor, freedom, and he loves America.



On Monday we went and talked to a recruiter about Stephen becoming an officer, and we are currently getting together all the necessary paperwork to turn in as soon as possible. They give them a practice test to take just to give them an idea on how they would do on the real test. Stephen scored an 82 on the practice test, which the recruiter said was very good. There were 4 sections, 2 were math related and 2 were more literary type stuff. On the 2 literary sections Stephen got 100%, it was just the math that he has to brush up on. We checked out the ASVAB (The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) book from the library to help prepare him for the real test. I think once he's practiced he could score really high on the real test. The recruiter said that people that practice with the book before the real test usually improve their score anywhere from 5-50 points. The highest score is 99, which means he'd need to improve by 17 points to get 100%. So, that's what we're in the middle of doing right now, and I hope you all can keep us in your prayers that everything will go alright. Thanks!

8 comments:

Megan said...

Actually, I really think you guys should reconsider. Because according to my stepdad, there's currently a clown school opening up in Portland to prepare students for the upcoming internationally recognized Rose Festival. And I really think (because I know Stephen ever so much better than he or you know him) that Steve should look into that. I mean, really...the army, or clown school? You know EVERYONE that joins the military snaps and goes on a shooting rampage, while it's documented as FACT that clowns have never hurt ANYONE.

Just kidding!!! I think Steve will do well in the military--I have many friends and family who have served honorably and have been well taken care of in the armed forces. And several of my most interesting and well-rounded friends from college were raised as military brats and were quite well-traveled and world-savvy. I just pray (please, oh, please) that when Steve gets started and is issued a firearm, that he does something (legally) about our country's clown problem. Child molesters, all of them!!!

Megan said...

We'll miss you, you know. :)

Katie and Ken Baldwin said...

When I heard from Megan that you and Stephen had made the decision to join the military, my first thought was a feeling of, well, rightness. I don't know of anyone more passionate about the freedoms of our country or more qualified to exercise his Second Amendment right and teach me to exercise mine. Seriously - I LOVE going out shooting with that guy! I'm going to miss his stories about great literature and history (he inspired me to pick up Matthew Lewis's "The Monk" - and what could be better than a gothic tale of sinister monks, helpless nuns, labyrinthine castles, and even incest?), his hilarious reenactments of some of my favorite books, shows, and movies, and our mutual love of customer service gone very, very wrong. Plus the fact that he is my brother-in-law and I love him to death.

Stephen would make a great FBI agent or a real-life Mitch Rapp. He would also make an excellent army chaplain, like a former professor of ours that was really, really cute, but that is totally beside the point. Ahem. Right, Megan?

Megan said...

That professor was HOT. And he loved being an Army chaplain. He served two tours, I believe, in Afghanistan while his wife and four children stayed at home (and his youngest has severe autism). We all make sacrifices in the careers and lives we choose. Steve's will be a particularly honorable one. Though think about it, Melinda...clown school...

Katie and Ken Baldwin said...

Do you get to ride the tiny tricycle and get shot out of the cannon? This is looking better and better.... Plus, you get to wear makeup!

A Wink and a Smile said...

Megan, I can't believe you! You of all people. Now it's inevitable, I must bite your head off. So warn Karl that come this Saturday you will soon be missing his most favorite part of you. Hopefully it is...ok I'm shutting up now. :)

linda said...

We love you and support your decisions. I'm glad that you two are united in your commitment to this choice. It will make all of the difference when the road gets rough or uncomfortable. We will continue to pray that it all works out for the best for you.

Summer Lewis said...

How exciting for you! Ben says you have to come to Japan. There's an army base kind of near by! BTW-James is super cute.