As soon as I found out that Kyle had pneumonia, I immediately started to worry.  My heart was so burdened by the fact that my best friend in the entire world was so sick (like hospital sick!) and was over 2,000 miles away from me.  I felt helpless and it took all self-restraint I could muster to not blow our money on a flight out to hold his hand.  He made it seem like it wasn’t that big of a deal and that I shouldn’t worry, but I lost LOTS of sleep over this.  I wrestled with bringing up the idea of him re-classing into a different, non-spec ops job, but I didn’t want to put any pressure on him.  After hours of biting my tongue, I brought it up and I was relieved to learn that he was thinking about it, too.

 So we discussed why he should consider changing NAVY jobs:

1He confessed that his heart wasn’t really in Aviation Rescue Swimming anymore.  He found out recently that many of the rescue swimmers who actually pass the program end up pushing cargo for the US NAVY and never actually jump out of a helicopter into the ocean to help people.  That bothered him.

2His health is deteriorating.  Like I mentioned before, Kyle hardly ever gets sick or hurt, and when he does it’s minor and he bounces back very quickly.  He got a cold over a month ago and it turned into pneumonia.  PNEUMONIA.  My husband doesn’t frequently get sick enough to land himself in the hospital.  In addition to being ill, he also hurt his shoulder back in September.  In fact, he hurt it bad enough to land himself in Physical Therapy.  Either God is trying to teach him to toughen up, or maybe He’s trying to show us that Kyle should get into a different program.

3This distance really sucks.  If he were to keep his current contract with spec ops, he could be in Great Lakes waiting for his medical waiver till sometime in January.  At that point, the NAVY would fly him to Pensacola to WAIT AGAIN to start his aviation rescue swimmers program.  He wouldn’t start it till around April, and I wouldn’t be allowed to live with him till June since he would need to “phase up” before he could live off-base.  That means that we would have only seen each other four weekends in literally ONE YEAR.  And he’s not even deployed! This is just his time WAITING for his training!

4He is having a difficult time training to prepare for the arduous Rescue Swimmers Program.  This time living separated would actually mean something to him if he knew that he was benefiting from it.  He’s been living in the Temporary Holding Unit at Great Lakes and the main thing that the sailors do when they’re waiting for their spec ops waivers is workout so that they are very fit when they begin their programs.  Well, since Kyle hurt his shoulder and got pneumonia, he has to sit everything out.  Sitting out during all the PT means that he won’t get in good enough shape for Florida.  If he were to get his medical waiver signed and miraculously left for Florida anytime soon, he doesn’t believe he would pass the first physical tests if he’s still in this kind of physical shape.

5All this waiting is postponing off his education.  One of the main things that Kyle wants to get out of his military service is his Bachelor’s Degree.  The NAVY will not allow you to take any courses until you are completely done with their job training.  If Kyle stays with spec ops, he won’t even start his program till June 2013, and it could take up to 2 years till he completes the program. That puts him at starting his 4 years of college in June 2015 and graduating June 2019.  Mind you, it’s better late than never, but Kyle doesn’t want to put it off that long!  He’d rather start on his education NOW.

6His living environment depresses him.  Most of the guys that he’s waiting with annoy him.  They’re all considerably younger, single and have nothing better to do than run their mouths.  They stay up till the wee hours of the morning, are ridiculously loud while Kyle tries to sleep; they keep the lights on all night and they run the volume of their video games super high; and sometimes, they’ll even go and physically shake the sleeping sailors till they wake up just to mess with them.  So he never gets a full night’s sleep.  He also says that the beds themselves don’t allow for comfortable rest since they’re completely broken down.  He’s grateful to have a bed, a roof over his head, and food to eat.  But I think all that has added up and makes him miserable.

7If Kyle were to tough it out and stay in the program and if he re-lapses with pneumonia, NAVY spec ops would void his contract and make him re-class anyway.  So, why not take matters into his own hands and get a new job now?  October is the beginning of the NAVY’s fiscal year, so there’s bound to be more jobs available to him now than there would be later on.

Now that we’ve convinced you that it’s a good decision for Kyle to re-class, we should let you know that there’s one nerve-racking component to all of this:

If Kyle does decide that he wants to get a new job, we have heard that he needs to forfeit his spec ops contract BEFORE the NAVY shows him the available jobs.  This doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be in the NAVY anymore, it just means that he would have to pick one of the jobs that they present to him that day and sign a new contract.  Well, what if they only offer him a lame job that he doesn’t want? Or what if there are no jobs that day? He would have to go “undesignated” for up to two years, which means that he would give the NAVY a wish-list of three places he’d like to move our family and we’d move there within 2 weeks and he would be given whatever job that ship needs him to do. He could get a good job, but he could get the unfortunate job of literally scraping paint of the side of some ship.

Kyle’s conclusion:

He’d rather scrape paint of the sides of a ship for 2 years and live with me, than wait to start the aviation rescue swimmers program till June, postpone his education, and not live with me so that he can do something he’s guaranteed not passionate about.  So, this week, Kyle’s going to go out on a limb and forfeit his spec ops contract.  We’re believing that God will have something amazing waiting for him there, but please say a prayer for him.  I really want him to be happy in whatever job he gets.  Pray that God provides him with lots of open doors and that he makes it obvious which one Kyle should take.  Also pray that he doesn’t have to go undesignated.  We’ll keep y’all informed! Thanks!