I don’t normally comment on service members’ deaths, despite my desire to express my condolences to the deceased’s family and community. I know several men and women who have paid the ultimate price in war, and many who have suffered grave consequences of war. In their name, I am a vocal and stalwart supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.
However, I would like to make a few comments about the recent losses that the military has suffered during training exercises.
Our Naval and Marine community has had 3 separate training exercise deaths in the last month, with a total loss of 9 military members; many others are severely wounded.
That’s right. We have lost loved ones due to training exercise mishaps and accidents.
I have always harbored fears of training accidents. A few years ago, someone whom I knew well was accidentally killed on a training trip. Recently, someone whom I knew very well drowned during a training exercise. He was later revived, but he was dead for over 40 minutes. And, those are just people whom I personally know. There are countless other service members who have been gravely wounded or killed during training exercises.
Military training involves new maneuvers, new technology, and new complexities. Training isn’t taken seriously (as it should) by all, and careless mistakes occur. Training isn’t safe. Yes, nothing in life is completely safe, but training for the military involves real, dangerous things, not sitting in the safety of a conference room in a hotel, as it does for civilians.
I hesitate to tell (civilian) friends of my worries while Michael is away on a training trip. Most civilian friends tell me the same thing: “It’s just TRAINING, Rebecca. It’s not like he’s deployed.” This month’s events have reminded us military spouses and families that training isn’t safe. They train for war by practicing war.
So, to recap – if I confide that I am worried when my husband is on a training trip, please don’t remind me that it’s “just training”. I realize that deployments are less safe, but please don’t tell me that I shouldn’t be worried. I will always worry about training trips. I know the cost of military training.
On to a happier subject:
Michael and I are in Seattle at our last hotel!! This is our 5th hotel we’ve stayed in over the last 13 days. This is also our 3rd Marriott; at least we are racking up our Marriott points for our honeymoon! Bora Bora is still our top choice for our honeymoon, but I am going to check-out the Maldives too. We hope to goon our honeymoon in December.
We just spent the last few days in Redmond, where some of Michael’s family lives. We had a great time, and we even tried to stay at that location instead of moving to this location today. We went out to dinner with my brother in law and sister in law, and got to see their son, James, one last time before we move! James just turned 1, and we don’t expect to see him again until he’s 3!! He’ll be like a whole new kid by then. Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime.
We have officially accomplished all of our errands that we needed to do before we left. It was very difficult to find open stores today (it’s Easter Sunday), but we found our way over to the University of Washington, and everything we needed was open in that area. One of our errands was to purchase an external power source for Michael’s iPad. The one we purchased will give us approximately 15hrs of iPad time on the flight, which is perfect. We downloaded many episodes of: Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, and Sherlock (I think we have about 8hrs of shows to watch so far!). I downloaded 6 new books to my Kindle, all of which I’m really excited to read (namely, Joseph Anton and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife).
Most importantly: Norma made it to San Diego safely! She will be staying with Michael’s parents for as long as it takes for us to situate ourselves in a place where she ca join us. We really, really appreciate that they are able to help. here are a few pictures of her arriving in SD and moving into their home!