Monday, April 2, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

Being a military spouse, I would say that I have spent a great deal of time playing the waiting game.  In between trying to get orders, deployments, moving, and everything else we do, it seems like waiting is what we do most.  I really thought that when we started to transition over to civilian life, that would change, but in fact, it seems to be at its worst.
My husband has decided to go into law enforcement.  He wants to be a police officer.  I totally support him in this.  I think this is a great career move for him.  He is totally dedicated to the idea, and having spent the last decade as a military family, I think the lifestyle will be more like what we already know.
Since he was deployed until close to the end of February, we have been working on getting him a job since he came home.  The problem is, everything from here on out is a waiting game.  There are a lot of steps that you much go through to get a law enforcement job, much more than a normal job.  We do one little piece, then wait.  Something else, then wait.  You get it. First, we built his resume.  Then we needed references.  Pretty much all the people he works with were on leave.  So, we waited until everyone came back to work to ask to use them as references, or at least until we could actually get in touch with them since so many were traveling.  We submitted his application, and then found out we needed his diploma and things like that.  We waited for it to come in the mail.  We sent that off, and waited for an email confirmation from each city.  After that, we did some secondary tests.  Some cities we are still waiting for that step on, more than a month later.  We are finally onto the written in house tests for a few places that he must go to each location for, and in one city past that, but the wait after those is excruciating.  It takes weeks to get your test results back, and find out if you passed with a high enough score to move on.  Each an every step has a wait in between and the waits can be a week, a month, or more.

We have very little time left.  He has just under one month before we go on what is called terminal leave.  That basically means he saved up a lot of vacation days and gets to use them all at the end of his final enlistment to give us time to move and get settled in.  Of course, when you don't know where you are going, that time doesn't do you much good.  We have only three and a half months total before he is totally out of the military.  That's it.   All done.  Three and a half months is nothing when it takes up to a year to get a law enforcement job.  WE would have started earlier, but its nearly impossible when deployed.
Then, on top of all that, we have one of the largest bureaucratic oversights ever made to deal with.  When you want to apply for any job, and that job gives veterans preference, the job requires a copy of your DD214, the form military members are given when they get out.  Problem is, you don't get it until you get out.  That actually changed recently, and you can get the form, for the purposes of getting  job, a little bit before you get out.  My Husband will get his in May.  Again, we need it before May.  Each time he applies somewhere, we have to explain he is military, but active duty.  So, he doesn't have the form.  Then, he may or may not be eligible to claim veterans preference, based on the sole discretion and understanding of whomever answers that phone.  Some places have accepted a letter from the command stating that he will retire with an honorable discharge.  Some have not.  So, we wait.  Longer and longer, making it harder an harder to find a job, let alone the right job.
This all blows my mind.  You would think that being in the military, already having his government clearance, and being exactly the kind of person that any law enforcement agency would want with all the training he already has, that this would go fast, but that simply isn't true.  So, I sit here this morning, waiting, to see what we can do next.  I'm tired of waiting.  I'm over it.   I want to be able to tell my children where we are going to live in a couple of month.  I want to start looking for a house, and not just dreaming about a house.  I want to move on with my life.  Hopefully soon, because seriously, I can't wait.