I think one of the most frustrating responses I get as an Army wife is “But…it’s different for everyone.” When my husband left for Basic Training, I had so many questions. When would we find out his next assignment? When would we get dates for moving? Would he be allowed to come get me and help me move or did I have to do it myself? Would the Army make the arrangements for moving or did I need to? Etc…etc…etc!
Whether I was reading an article online, or talking to a representative on the support line, often the answer was cushioned with the precaution…”but, it’s different for everyone.” That nebulous phrase was a difficult one to handle because all I wanted was an exact answer, and nobody could guarantee one! But after I found out the answers to all my questions (though more still arise as the year goes on) I finally understand why everyone kept telling me that.
If the question related to how my soldier was going to be treated, it “varied” because the chain of command varied by individual. So at Basic, if I wondered if my soldier would get to call me, it varied on the personality of the drill sergeant, and how well the rest of my soldier’s platoon buddies were behaving. If my question was about moving, it varied on the timing and situation of my move. So if my soldier was currently in an Army training school, then no, he couldn’t just stop and come help me move. However, if he was assigned to a unit, then his chain of command would give him the opportunity to come and help me PCS. Lastly, if my question was a more broad one, like “what are our options for places we could get assigned to?” it all just depends on your soldier’s MOS (basically his position in the Army). Infantry typically get assigned to certain stations, and Tankers get assigned to other certain stations, etc.
Maybe no one will ever be in the exact same situation as you, but there are often social media support groups where you can try to find someone who has been in a similar boat–or is in it too! Always be careful not to post anything too detailed or private, depending on the situation, as it might endanger your soldier. But don’t be afraid to find a battle buddy…and remember you can always ask me! I might not know the answer, but I may know someone that does!
While it didn’t help at the time to hear “but…it’s different for everyone,” at least now I know why people always said it. And even though I still don’t enjoy hearing it when I’m trying to get an answer, at least I know they are right! Hopefully, the next time you hear it, you won’t mind as much too!