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Thread: Defence Force Families

  1. #91

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    Ladies, I just think the whole notion of "You knew what you were getting in to when you married him" is a crock of stew - whoever thought that one up needs a good slapping! ... by a bunch of outraged shrieking defence wives! LOL The only ppl I've ever heard say this are people who are not or have never been Defence families. Thereby proving they don't know what they are talking about.

    I've been a RAAF wife for 19 years this July - and no one EVER can prepare you for the sorts of experiences that this lifestyle throws at you. Things like - the complete lack of understanding you get from your civvie friends. Or the hoops they make you jump through sometimes to get things you're entitled to approved (like...having DH home when baby's due). Or the palaver that goes on when it's posting/finding a house time. Or the reality of waving your most precious loved off for a deployment in a dangerous war zone. No amount of even having done it before can prepare you for doing it again!

    So ladies, be kind to yourselves. Yes it can be a difficult lifestyle sometimes. No point pretending it's not. Instead celebrate the survivor in you that gets through the hard times!!


  2. #92
    Shalou Guest

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    I agree, every person who's told me that I made my bed by marrying a man in uniform and now I have to lie in it has been civvy (including my own famiy). I distinctly remember when we posted in to Townsville at the end of 05 & I was 7.5 months pregnant. I didn't know anyone at all when hubby came home and announced that he was deploying to Cambodia 3 days before my due date. I hadn't even booked into the hospital yet so I felt completely alone. I didn't know how I would get to the hospital when I went into labour, who my midwives would be & being a first time mum I had no idea who would show me to feed and bath my new baby. I couldn't stop crying and everytime I tried to talk about my fears with my family & friends down south I got the same response all the time "That's what you get for marrying into the military" or "get used to it" That feeling of being alone and scared is not one I ever want to go through again & I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I stressed about it so much I ended up in hospital 3 weeks early after my waters broke prematurely and labour had to be induced. I needn't of worried about getting to the hospital though, I ended up driving myself, lol. This time around my hubby has made himself unavailable for any deployments until 6 months after the birth of our son in July. I suffered from PND after the birth of our daughter and I think being on my own in a new posting locality with very little support and no friends or family to help out played a big part in that so this time around we are doing things differently

  3. #93

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    Sheesh!! Shalou - I am surprised they wanted to deploy him if they knew your EDD!!! DH has told his platoon commander and there is no way he will be going away for anything until at least November after he gets back from his IETs at the end of April.

    I got a call from DH's platoon commander earlier - They want to help!!! DCO have spoken to Gecko's, who have sent a lady to do a little bit here and there of the everyday stuff, she helped with the washing and cleaned the bathroom for me today.

    MD - I totally agree!!! after the caffufle of getting in and posted I am not really too surprised by much to do with the defence now. 'Hurry up and wait' has become a regular saying in this house now.

  4. #94

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    I suffered from PND after the birth of our daughter and I think being on my own in a new posting locality with very little support and no friends or family to help out played a big part in that so this time around we are doing things differently
    Yes I hear you loud and clear. I have a friend in the ACT who is heavily involved in PANDSI (PND support organisation) who said she's surprised how many of their members seem to be defence wives. So now, every opportunity I get, I get in people's ears about how a comprehensive survey of defence family mental health needs to be carried out ASAP because families are routinely falling through the cracks!!! Inexperience of knowing what you can or cannot ask for is something that disadvantages lots of families. Like Shalou, I've had experiences in the past where we've "worn" the decision that was made that I would not tolerate 5 or 10 years later (Like my DH being given ZERO leave when my first DD was born - he was on course FFS, it's not like he couldn't have done some make-up time)!!

    BTW - the decision of whether a member will proceed on a deployment given other family circumstances (like a baby due) is sometimes a complicated one. Members often fear the impact on their careers if they are seen to be wriggling out of a deployment/exercise/course. Esp in infantry where loyalty to your Unit or "brick" is drilled into them as a survival skill.

    Ali, I'm soooo pleased that the nearly-mythical "help from DH's unit" has come through for you!!

  5. #95

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    Hi all another defence wife here. DH is Army Intelligence up here in Darwin and recently transfered over from Combat Engineers, in his 9 th year. We have done several postings between Darwin and Perth and back to Darwin. Have to say we are pretty lucky up here with our entitlements, we get 2 sets of RLLT a year. DH has done several overseas deployments, it's hard when they are away but somehow you just cope with it. We live at Defence Establishment Berrimah which I hate. DHA up here is a joke and do not look after the houses. If you come up here go RA over DHA any day.

    I am mum to a little boy who turns one at the end of the month with another on the way. I do have to say there is a great community up here. The base has a community house where we meet for play group each week. Also a great Aqua aerobics groups at the base pool which is fantastic when the weather is hot. All in all it's not too bad.

    Just adding on I had a terrible battle with PND. DH went away for 4 1/2 months when DS was 6 weeks old. It was very hard having to learn on my own with out his support. I got no support from DH's unit or even DCO untill after 3 months. I don't think anyone really realises what we go through.

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca79 View Post
    Just adding on I had a terrible battle with PND. DH went away for 4 1/2 months when DS was 6 weeks old. It was very hard having to learn on my own with out his support. I got no support from DH's unit or even DCO untill after 3 months. I don't think anyone really realises what we go through.

    Hi again

    I didnt have PND with my first - but I don't know how!!! We moved here when DS1 was 6 weeks old and then DH was deployed for 3 months - so here I was moved away from all support in a place I didnt know, with no family, a new baby and no husband. Awful. I got through of course though - with no help from Defence.

    I had to fix a prob with the phone number but I had no authorisation (something we forgot yes ) as the utilities were in his name, so I was left without a phone until I cried and carried on and someone finally helped me. It was humiliating to be treated like that.

    Ok - rant over LOL

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamiH View Post
    I had to fix a prob with the phone number but I had no authorisation (something we forgot yes ) as the utilities were in his name, so I was left without a phone until I cried and carried on and someone finally helped me. It was humiliating to be treated like that.
    That's why most things are in my name. Only the mobiles, credit cards, and car loans are in his name and I have authorisation on everything except the credit cards.

  8. #98

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    I don't think anyone really realises what we go through.
    Spot on, Macca.
    Also agree with your assessment of DHA up there - we lived through 4 wetseasons in a "newly renovated" house whose roof leaked torrentially for weeks EVERY YEAR. Don't forget you can always escalate your issue to head office if you're not getting any satisfaction locally.

  9. #99

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    Hi girls,

    You have all been through so much. I thought it was bad enough that Jeremy was away during the pregnancy. At least he's back for the birth. Although his unit is due to go out field on the 20th, 3 days after my due date. He contacted them and told them I'm due around then and they said they'll sort it out when he comes home. They have also said it's unlikely they'll deploy him to Afghanistan in November because he's just been in the Solomons and it's too clost to his last deployment. He's a little annoyed, but I'm really relieved. I really didn't want to loose my husband for 8 months when Peanut was only 6months.

    Anyway, only 3w to go.

  10. #100

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    Yikes. Well I myself was contemplating joing RAAF but after reading this thread I'm not so sure! Though it will be very different for me and my family because I won't be deployed or any of that jazz (I'd be doing managerial/accounting)..

    I'm sorry that the support for you all is extremely inadequate!

  11. #101

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    Hi girls,

    I got so upset this morning. I was watching Sunrise and they were talking about ANOTHER soldier who has been killed in Afghanistan yesterday. And they had these politicians on there talking about how we couldn't just pull out of there and how it would all be worth it in the end. And I'm sitting there thinking "yeah but it's not your father, brother, husband,son, wife, daughter, mother or sister" over there risking their lives and I started to cry.

    It makes me so cranky sometimes to hear them talk about it and it's so impersonal to them. They say the soldiers have sacrificied for their country and everyone acknowledges that, but it doesn't impact their lives. They make decision every day to send more and more of our soldiers over there without thinking about us. And I know that this is the choice that Jeremy made when he joined the army, but still show a little compassion for the families left behind. Those of us who sit and wait and worry for months on end while our loved ones "fight for their country".

    Grrr, anyway's that's my rant this morning!

  12. #102
    Shalou Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by nella View Post
    Yikes. Well I myself was contemplating joing RAAF but after reading this thread I'm not so sure! Though it will be very different for me and my family because I won't be deployed or any of that jazz (I'd be doing managerial/accounting)..

    Don't be fooled into thinking that because you have a desk job you won't be deployed. If you enlist in the ADF and wear an ADF uniform you can be deployed at any time for any reason. I know of people of all positions who were deployed after the Tsunami to find dead bodies. Your position in the RAAF doesn't mean anything when they need all hands on deck. Everyone does the same recruit training & ongoing training for a reason no matter what your actual job details are. Troops who work in payroll (accounting) are currently serving in the middle east as well as alot of troops involved in administration. It's not just combat troops who get deployed, the support staff are also deployed. If someone told you that you can't be deployed and don't have to move around if you have a managerial/accounting position then they are having you on, unless your going to be a civillian working for the RAAF (public service employee - but not actually enlisted in the RAAF) Even reservists can be deployed.

  13. #103
    Shalou Guest

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    I agree Tara, it upsets me when I hear people taking about the troops and they have no idea what we go through at home. I got particularly upset a few years ago when we were based in Richmond & hubby was away and it came accross all the television stations that an "Australian Airman Has Been Killed in Combat" Immediately you think of your own hubby or if it's someone you know. It was all over all the television stations but I couldn't get any more details. It was later released that the Airman killed was born in Australia but actually was serving with the british airforce and lived in the UK. I was so mad that the media had portrayed this death as something other than what it really was. For hours I was beside myself thinking someone from the RAAF had been killed. If the media had reported it as an Australian serving with the RAF had been killed it would have been so less traumatic for the families watching at home. Surely when the info was first released to the media they would have heard that this man was serving with the british RAF before they found out that he was born in Australia, but the media twisted the story around to get the most reaction from the general public & politicians not even thinking about what the families and wives at home are thinking when they see this splashed accross all the television stations as "breaking news"

  14. #104

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    Tara. They just wont get it until they are the ones affected and that sucks!! sheesh I have been worried while DH is on training because of the bushfires!!

  15. #105

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    Shalou and other ladies, the only reassurance I can really give you is that Defence holds onto this sort of information very tightly, the family always hears first, and friends & coworkers etc tend to find out pretty quickly from that point on...well before the media gets wind of it. And it's in days like this that you just have to remind yourself how well trained and well equipped our forces are. They are a lot more clever in the way they go about things - so our people are much safer in that regard than many of the other country's forces who are serving the same country. You just have to take a deep breath and remind yourself of that and don't dwell on the what-ifs.

  16. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marydean View Post
    Shalou and other ladies, the only reassurance I can really give you is that Defence holds onto this sort of information very tightly, the family always hears first, and friends & coworkers etc tend to find out pretty quickly from that point on...well before the media gets wind of it. And it's in days like this that you just have to remind yourself how well trained and well equipped our forces are. They are a lot more clever in the way they go about things - so our people are much safer in that regard than many of the other country's forces who are serving the same country. You just have to take a deep breath and remind yourself of that and don't dwell on the what-ifs.

    I can't agree more with MD. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. If you compare the numbers (broken down as a percentage), Australia suffers far less casualties than any other country. This has to be attributed to the training that our men and women endure.

    Ali - my DH was serving with the bushfires and I worried about him all the time - even though it wasn't a combat situation, the threats were very real and very dangerous - just a different kind of dangerous...

  17. #107

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    I had lunch with my mum today and she pointed out exaclty the same thing. Really in 6 years we have only lost 9 soldiers. Even though I'm sure this isn't any comfort to the family.

    But as MD said, they are an extremelly well trained military force as each of us can testify to.

  18. #108

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    Hello, Ladies i have just been reading mostly but thought i would drop in and ask you all for advice...
    My DH is due to deploy to afghan in june for 8mths, we have 2 sons, 2.5yrs and 1yr..they are extreme daddy's boys..

    Would you or have you gone back home for the whole time DH is gone...do you feel it is more beneficial to be around your family than to stay in your posting and daily routine...my thoughts are still all up in the air..I have a great support network where we are so it doesnt phase me too much but i am concerned for the children....

    Also what are some things use have found worked well for you while partners are away like videos of dad reading them a story or photos on the pillow case etc..

    As the time gets closer and closer i am freaking out a little bit more...8mths is a long time....The other thing too is the leave in the middle should DH come back to see us or just have time somewhere else so as to not upset the kids again....sooooo many decisions to make and i dont know where to start..

    Sorry and i hope this made sense to someone, if you can drop me some ideas it would be greatly appreciated.

    shauna

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