Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our thoughts behind reenlistment.

Rob and I have been together almost four years.  Six months shy of his entire military career thus far.  For years the topic of reenlisting has come up more than once.  More often than not the outcome of the discussion is that getting out is the best option for what Rob wants to achieve in life and what our goals as a family include.  We've always talked about doing the six original years and then returning to Kansas as long as Rob could find a career.

Even though I strongly believed that was the best option for us, I've always had doubts.  Six years is over a quarter of the way to retirement.  What happens if things don't just fall into place?  If there is no job in Kansas then we end up settling somewhere else.  Our dreams are huge, but our fear of the unknown is greater.

A few weeks ago we started exploring reenlisting a little bit more.  Ultimately we knew we had to do what was best for us, but coming to that what-is-best decision is harder than it seems.  Finally we sat down and wrote out our pros and cons about both staying in and getting out.  Believe it or not there are more pros FOR US to staying in then there was to getting out.

It went something like this:

Pros to staying in- Healthcare.  Automatically building to a retirement (versus having to set money aside on your own).  Military discounts on various large items.  Having the opportunity to travel and live else where.  Can use leave instead of hoarding it.  But most of all a guaranteed income.

Cons to staying in- Living overseas with the dogs (they have to be quarantined for a time period in order to stay with us) and children.  Deployments.  Living away from family more often than not.  No guaranteed safety (although I am not sure you can guarantee that in the civilian world either).

Pros to getting out- Freedom.  Living and doing whatever.  Ability to grow hair out.  Ability to quit when you want to.  Potential for more money.

Cons to getting out- No retirement. No healthcare. You have to pay the cost of living to live where the job is (in the Army you are paid more based on where you are stationed and the cost of living there).  No guarantee on finding a job.

[[If you are military, your thoughts on what are important may differ from ours.  Obviously these are our comparison lists, and yours may look differently.]]

The bottom line is that financially it makes more sense, maybe not now, but later, for us to stay in the military.    Granted we will lose out on a few major things like being around our family and friends.  It still was something we had to think about in regards to our future and not here and now.

As a result, last week Rob got the ball rolling on a new contract.  There were 3 slots available and he took one of them with today being the reenlistment ceremony.  As of about 11:05 this morning Rob is reenlisted into the United States Army for another six years.


Now we get to look towards our future with excitement.  While again nothing is a guarantee there are several opportunities that Rob has the option to explore especially in regards to becoming an officer.  I am excited and my husband is as well.  In time these new doors will open and with them a new world of potential.  All that we can hope for is the support of our family and friends as we navigate this new path in our life.  We acknowledge it may not have been the ideal option in your eyes, but please know we are content with our decision and ready for our future and what it has in store for us.



Always,
Amanda

9 comments:

  1. Ah the reenlistment question. Daniel really wants to get out. He wants that freedom. But, it's the exact same thing for us, when we sit down and actually use our heads instead of our hearts it makes no sense to get out. Plus, we have seen so many people really, really struggle when they get out. In the Army, they were NCOs with soldiers under them, real responsibilities, respect, leadership. And, when they get out none of that translates over and they are jobless with their wives and kids living in their parent's spare room. Yikes!

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  2. Sounds like a good decision for you two :)

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  3. I love pros and cons lists. That's how I like coming at decisions like that. Y'all are such a good-looking couple! Congrats on the reenlistment. I think it's great. :)

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  4. I think it was the right decision for you both. :) My husband is going to stay in for another 20 years.

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  5. As the wife of a soldier that did 30+ years, I think it’s great. No life is perfect, civilian or military, I've had both and the military has safeguards that make it all worthwhile. The pay can be both good and bad, and the health care can be excellent as well as less than ideal. Nothing is perfect but it isn't a bad total package. Please always know that Rob like so many others is appreciated for his sacrifices, and so are you because only another military wife understand exactly what they are. Rejoice in you decision.

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  6. Congrats on the reenlistment! Your pros and cons list looks a lot like ours. It's not an easy decision.

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  7. Congrats on the reenlistment! Yes you two have to do what is right for YOU. I have to agree with Anonymous, no life is perfect. I live both the military and the civilian and I have seen a LOT of soldiers get out of the military and have a hard time finding work and such. Sounds like you guys made the best decision for your family. :)
    Cute pics!!!!

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  8. Congrats on the reenlistment! It's a very hard decision and one we are contemplating at the moment since P is half way to 20 years. It's a hard decision and I seriously applaude you on being able to make it!

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  9. Congrats on deciding what was best for you guys. Also, regarding one of your cons, it depends on where you live overseas. Our dogs were not quarantined for Germany. (And really as much as I love my dogs, if a quarantine was required I'd still go for it because there are amazing pros to living overseas)

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