I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but life has gotten in the way several times. I wrote this post a while back. I was lamenting the fact that I could not contact my husband to let him know how things were going with Thing1 and his appointments. I finally caved and sent an e-mail to the lieutenant in charge of his company the week before the appointments. I sent it on a Thursday evening. I got a very polite response on Friday morning informing me that I could contact her and she would make sure Armydad got all information. On Saturday morning, Armydad said the platoon got yelled at because family members had been contacting the company about stupid things (like is my soldier doing okay? Are they going to call this weekend?) Immediately after this, Armydad was called in to the office. They told him they had heard from me. He assumed the worst and thought he was about to get in big trouble. Instead, they told him I did the right thing, got a little upset with him that he had not told them what was going on, and then asked if he wanted to have a discharge arranged. Since this had all happened since he signed, they said they should be able to push through a discharge if he wanted it based on Thing1’s medical status. He said “No.” Then they asked if he wanted to go home and get things in order and do his training at a later date. Again, he said “No.” He told them that we do not know what is going to happen with Thing1 or what timeline it will occur on.
The week following this, Thing1 had his appointments. On Tuesday of that week, all of the soldiers got to make phone calls. (Due to an ice storm, the drill sergeants had not been able to make it to work on Sunday, so they did not have access to their phones for a call.) I was able to update Armydad on the appointments on Tuesday and let him know what was to come. He said they told him he would be allowed to call again after the cardiac catherization. Wednesday evening, he called again. I told him that Thing1 did great, came through with flying colors, and no transplant at this time. Then on Thursday, Thing1 had one more doctor’s appointment. Armydad called again that day! He said they asked him that morning if there were any appointments scheduled. When he said there were, they told him he would be able to call later.
Armydad said after each call, they would send him off somewhere alone for about 10 minutes. He suspects this was to allow him to process, cry if needed, and not have anyone see or make fun of him. Then they would ask him how Thing1 was and what he had found out. He also said at about the same time, the drill sergeants backed off of him a little. He is not sure if he was just doing a better job or if they were feeling bad for him and the additional stress he was already under.
I was so impressed with the way this was handled. They were caring and compassionate to my husband. They made sure he was informed and in the loop. I am hoping this is a good sign of things to come with the Army.