My phone was vibrating violently against the granite counter-top. I re-entered the kitchen area, confused as to why my phone wasn’t ringing but only vibrating. “Oh crap”, was my first thought because I realized that I had silenced my phone while I was playing solitaire on it earlier since it makes this annoying clicking sound whenever I make a move. I forgot to turn the ringer back on. My husband HATES it when I silence my phone. Before he enlisted, he would get so frustrated at me because I am notorious for silencing my phone or only putting it on vibrate and walking away from it. “What if I’m trying to get a hold of you?! What if it’s an emergency and the paramedics or police are trying to tell you that you need to get to the hospital?! Dang it, woman, keep your phone on!” His serious but playful banter was echoing in my head as I continued to hear the phone screaming its vibrations at me. Why was it still vibrating? “Oh crap,” was my second thought because this was not a vibration alert telling me of a text message, I was receiving a phone call…from Omaha, NE? What the?
Tears. Tears falling down my face. “Shut up!”
Laughter. Oh, my husband was laughing on the phone. I could only imagine how sweet his face was on the other end of the line, but his laugh was breathtaking. It literally stole my breath and thought processes and words. My husband was calling me, and he was laughing, laughing at me like he always did. God, I missed him.
It had been 3 weeks and 1 day (but hey, who’s counting) since I last heard his voice. When he called that day in early July, it was an 8 second call (literally eight seconds). But now, now I was getting laughter.
He called me at 4pm California time, so 6pm Illinois time. On a Wednesday. I for sure thought his first call to me would happen on a Sunday sometime since that was their “liberty” day at Basic Training. I imagined that first call happening during church and I would run out of the sanctuary and lose it in the parking lot. But here he was on the phone with me, laughing. On a Wednesday.
“How much time do we get?” My first full sentence.
“I don’t know, it depends on how the RDC’s feel. I was told it could be up to an hour.”
The Recruit Division Commanders (RDC’s) are the NAVY’s instructors at Boot Camp (and possibly other places, too, I’m just not sure) and according to my husband, all they do is yell and curse. Apparently my husband was placed in a group with a bunch of young, immature, lazy, disrespectful men and the group as a whole was constantly getting punished for the misbehavior of the few. He said he had never heard so many “f-bombs” in his life, and he said that he was getting super ripped and sore from all the “drop and give me’s” that his group endured.
He told me that he was given a “promoted position” and couldn’t explain it to me over the phone, but I could read more about it in his letters. He said that as a punishment for the group’s disrespect, the RDC’s took mail liberty away so my husband had to stockpile all of his letters and couldn’t mail them out till last Saturday, so I should be getting them any day from now.
He informed me of a new development in our ever-changing NAVY life plan. He said that he had just came back from the doctor and his chart was flagged. Nothing was wrong, don’t worry. Apparently everyone at Boot Camp sees the doctor for a physical towards the beginning of training. You see, my husband was born with a life-threatening defect and this problem was corrected when he was months old. He had 12 years of follow-up visits that included ultrasounds and lab panels and all other sorts of procedures and was issued a clean bill of health based on all of those tests. When he first enlisted in the NAVY, they ran him through the same tests to make sure he was indeed healthy before they accepted him into the service. Clearly he was healthy enough to sign his life away to the service of his country.
However, now at Basic Training, his medical chart was flagged. Apparently, because he is training for a spec ops position they want to run the same tests again. No big deal, right? Well he’s already had the tests performed again while at Basic Training, but it takes 3-5 months to get the spec ops medical waiver signed. So after he graduates Boot Camp in August, he will stay in Great Lakes till the end of January when the waiver is finally signed. Once he passes the exams and gets his “special waiver” he will go to Pensacola, FL for Aviation Rescue Swimmer school. Not in September 2012 like planned, more likely February 2013.
So he will stay in the holding barracks (nicer beds and more freedom) from September until he gets another clean bill of health. He will work as a dive motivator coach alongside the rescue swimmer instructors from 6am to 1pm, work-out, then retire to his bunk or go out on the town with a buddy that he trusts (if he finds one). He will have access to his cell phone, laptop, TV, and whatever technology he wants. He’s sure he can get leave time to come to California to visit during the holidays. However we work it, I think he will come here for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and then I will go there for whichever holiday he doesn’t travel here.
He sounded excited, not bummed (“I’ll get to see Chicago in snow!”) and filled me in on all the details of boot camp (food, sleep, what the days are like) and how much he misses me. He inquired about something I had written in one of my letters and as I passionately described what he wanted to know, he interrupted, “Oh, babe, babe, sorry, I have to wrap this up. The RDC’s gave us the one minute warning.”
He said he would be able to call me again in 3-4 more weeks, around August 20. He said that I should start getting letters every other day since beginning the following week he would be able to send mail on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. So we wrapped it up with all the mooshy-lovey-dovey stuff that makes my heart swoon.
The RDC’s allowed for a 26 minute phone call. Not an hour like we had hoped, but 26 beautifully sweet minutes with my favorite person on this earth. He sounded happy and tired and that encouraged me immensely. I would start getting letters soon, and I felt so much peace knowing that he was doing fine in Illinois.
I took the phone down from my face knowing full well that I needed to start calling our moms to let them know about the conversation, but not until I turned my phone’s volume back on. I almost missed my husband’s call. I’ll leave that little detail out when we’re together again…or maybe I’ll let him know. I love his playful banter and Lord knows that will fire him up!