October 19, 2007

Individual Augmentation (IA)

If you are in Navy circles, the title of this blog probably sent chills up your spine. It's what every Navy family is trying to avoid (or single Navy members are volunteering for if they want to ensure a promotion). To help with the increasing number of troops needed, the government is hand selecting random sailors to go on 1 year assignments on the ground in Iraq. I have no idea how they decide who gets picked, but someone in their brilliance decided they would pick Navy guys who are on shore duty. It's the 2-4 years of working you get to have your family all home together and "re-energize" for the next 4-6 years of the sea schedule. People are evidently being selected more and more often. Dan even started prepping me a couple of months ago that in 2 years (when we're up for shore duty), we really may want to consider extending sea duty. Yes, it would mean deployment(s) I hadn't hoped for, but they would only be 6-7 months, and he would be safely on a SHIP. Plus, we would be given fair warning.

So, why am I bringing all this up? We found out last night that a precious family we know has just been leveled with this awful news. He was was told this week that he will be going IA. They have 2 sons, and a beautiful 3 month old daughter. My friend waited until her husband had shore duty to have a 3rd child AND get a long-awaited degree. He will get back from Iraq 2 months before his shore duty is up, and then will go straight to sea duty. It's AWFUL. I'm sick to my stomach.

I'm sharing because 1) I want you to know that IA is happening and will probably increase & 2) that you can enter into prayer on behalf of my friend and her family. Please pray for them. Your prayers for someone you don't even know will do more good than any words any of us could speak to her.


Stephanie said...

Yikes! Thanks for sharing. That is just rotten!! I had no idea. And yet, isn't our media telling us the number of troops deployed over there are decreasing?! You really have to wonder about the common sense of some people making decisions for so many lives.

Friends of ours are Army. He just returned from Iraq. He deployed at the beginning of her second pregnancy and has returned to her being due any day.

Let me again thank you for the sacrifices you make in your family on behalf of my family. My words can't begin to be enough. Just know you are appreciated.

jill said...

hmmm - reminds me of Job and his "friends". people often mean well, but i think when people say that it's only to help themselves feel better, w/out really acknowledging what that person must be feeling. gosh, i feel for her. i hope she has family close, or at least an opportunity to visit with them once he leaves.

Shayna said...

One of the worst things I heard after the tornadoes in Arkadelphia in 1997 was "All things work together for good..." I don't know, I guess some people find that comforting, but I felt terrible at the time, and that made me feel worse.

The other thing I picked up on here is that it sounds like Dan is planning for this to still be happening, maybe even more frequently, in 2 years? Sigh. It seems like things are just getting harder and harder for our military and families. Love to you and Dan and your friends.

Alicia said...

Oh, Shayna, I know exactly what you mean. It's funny because I've never witnessed someone being closer to the Lord because of those comments.

Dan does expect for this to get more frequent as time goes on. He was starting to see it more and more on deployment, which is why he's prepping me now. If we see by that time that this is happening to every shore duty person we know, then we'll just extend Sea Duty 2 more years to give the govt more time to get the troops home (and not replace them with Navy). To be honest, when he told me about it, I thought of it as something far off that wouldn't affect me. And the first family I know that this is happening to is one that means a lot to me.