Saturday, May 21, 2011

Could the Army give me a break PLEASE!

In January Richard decided he wanted to retire, after 21 years in the Army he was ready to move on, leave it to a younger generation, settle down and stay in one place I agreed and so we started the process, our plan was to retire in October of 2011 at that point he would have served 22 years.  during the initial process a doctor told Richard he was going to insist he have a med board, based on his medical history, problems developed while in service etc. we were not sure we wanted to do this but after researching decided that yes that would be the best way to go.  We were told this takes 230 days, we would still be close to our goal of Oct. and hoped to leave Fort Riley as early as Aug with leave time etc.
About a week ago (on day 132 of the process) Richard got a call that he was to attend a mandatory briefing about med boards there he was told the Army is stream lining, they are going to combine the process and let the VA handle everything from here on out, so all his appointments now have to be repeated and this process takes 295 days, this was day 1!!!! That puts us into March of next year before we can leave, he will have served 23 years by then, the kids will be 2 months from the end of next years school, I am not thrilled about moving them with only 2 months of school left and once the process is done we will loose our house so staying an extra 2 months in not an option.  I was pretty depressed for a couple days, everything was based on moving this year and because it is the Army I had figured it may be as late as November but never thought it would take until March!  Our plan had been for me to quit working in June or July get ready to move and then go to school full time once we were moved.
After I got over my initial depression of not moving as quick as I wanted I decided to make the best of it, I decided to sign up for some classes here and we went in to see about transfering Richards GI bill over to me, our plan was that would pay for my masters degree.
Well....It seems as now the Army has also changed the rules on that, now if you had served 19 years or less on August 2009 (Richard 20 years was Oct 2009) so he is considered 19, you have to agree to serve one more full year in order to transfer your GI bill, well he can't agree to that because the Army initiated the med board AND he times out at 23 years meaning he would have to promote or get out at 23 years, there is nothing he can do to promote it is all done by needs of the Army at his rank and his MOS is being fased out there are only 230 people in the ENTIRE Army who have made his rank with his MOS so to go above that is next to impossible, and with is medical profile making his non deployable at this time his choices are limited.  Without that money we cannot afford a masters program everything was based on transfering that to me, moving, retiring, and finally getting to decide for oursleves what we were going to do, but it seems now that even with retirement around the corner our choices are not our own.
Richard still has to call the VA see if there are any loop holes so I have not given up completaly and in the meantime I do qualify to take free classes at the university here but I have to take the day classes in the classroom, if I want to get them for free so that will make it a little more challenging with work, however we have determined we will somehow make that work, I hope it does!!!!