Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Role Is Changing

It's a little disconcerting, this transition from being the dad of a kid to the dad of a soldier.

His last post screwed up some paperwork so he couldn't get issued some important equipment, cold-weather gear being on the list!  My initial instinct was to go all grizzly dad:  this is what you need to do, this is how you handle this, etc etc etc.  But then I remembered it's not my fight anymore, he has a team leader and the rest of a chain of command to work out those kinds of problems.

He didn't have a meal card so he's spending too much money eating out.  Why doesn't he have a meal card?  Why didn't he have a sponsor to work with him like every other new soldier in every unit in the army does? Why...

Let it go, Darren.  The army's been doing this a long time, your son will be OK.  That's what I tell myself.

He still needs me, though.  I'll be driving grandma's car up to him, and I'll have the 2 days I'm there to teach him how to drive a stick.  I asked if dishes would help, and he rattled off a few things he'd like me to bring him if I have them (and of course I do)--dishes, silverware (they have what seems to be a kitchenette in the barracks), a couple of his books (I'll take a few more), his civilian clothes, an electric blanket.  My mother's neighbor gave me a bag of snacks to take him.  He and I are very much looking forward to seeing each other.

When we talked tonight he told me his paperwork was squared away today, and he got his meal card.

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