Chapter 27: 1st CivDiv

1st CivDiv. The orders a lot of Marines look forward to. Colonel Sanders is your Commanding Officer, Captain Crunch is your officer-in-charge. No more Physical Fitness Tests, weigh-ins, or Field Day Inspections. I could now wear flip-flops to the mall, wear my hair down without bobby pins securing it, and I could leave my house without having to ask for permission. Ah, yes, the perks of being in 1stCivDiv.
It was a hard transition. I would freak out, thinking that I had to prepare for a PFT, or that I had to wake up at 0500 in the morning. I walked the same; pounding my heel into the deck as a walked. Heel, toe, heel, toe (I still walk this way and it irritates me. I walk so heavy that when I wear heels, you can hear me miles away).  I would weigh myself every morning to make sure that I was within my weight class. My uniforms were still hung in the spare room closet, inspection ready. My ribbons (all three of them), were ready to be mounted. My boots, still shined and my cammies, still ironed. I would still buy a can of starch on my weekly trip to Wal-Mart. Yes, it was still in my blood. I still bled and breathed Marine Corps!
Now the downside. I had to find a place to live, get a job, and find a babysitter for not one, but two kids, as I was two months pregnant when I was discharged. Talk about awesome planning. Since I was in base housing and only had two weeks to move out, I was rushed to find a place to live. So I looked for apartments around my parent's house that we could afford with one income since I was soon to be unemployed. I heard three bedroom, two full bath apartment for $605 a month. I took it without looking at it. I knew where the apartment was, but I didn't know what they were like in the inside.
I signed the contract by fax and dropped off the deposit. Still hadn't seen our apartment. Huge mistake. On moving day, I saw our new home - it wasn't clean at all. When I spoke to the landlord, she said I had high standards. I, on the other hand, said that I live a clean life. Let's just say, once we brought in our second load of belongings, the apartment was spotless. Ha! The Marine in me took control and won that battle.
Now to find a job. I started as a temp at a title company. Had no idea what a title company was, but I was desperate. Within months, I moved up in the company. I hatched the other baby, came back and was then promoted to management. Within 8 months of working there, I was already a manager. Sweet.
I was paid well. More than I ever expected, and life was doing well. Moved into a house that fall after giving birth, and was living the American Dream.
In 2003, the War on Terror was starting to become reality. I still had some inactive duty time on my contract, so I was still able to be recalled back onto Active Duty. But really, when does that ever happen? Well, it did. For a person who had two Career Planners that screwed up her extensions/reenlistments, I was recalled in the first round of inactive recalls to Active Duty. Awesome!
I received a call at work from my old Sergeant from I&I Duty. It was a Friday, and I was winding down my day when I took his call. He asked if I voluntarily wanted to come back onto Active Duty. I sighed, telling him that I just wasn't up to it. I had a good job now and the pay wouldn't have been the same. Plus, I just had a baby the previous June, so I declined. He understood and continued making calls.
I went to tell my boss what happened and we laughed about it. I just found it odd that people were being recalled. I figured reservists would be called up first, etc. Not me! I went home, still giggling about it.
Then Saturday came. My Dad called me and told me that a telegram had been delivered to their home. Telegram...who sends telegrams? Headquarters Marine Corps, that's who. I read the orders, over and over again. I was shaking in absolute shock. I had 14 days to report to MCAS Miramar, California. I had 14 days to get everything in order with my family. I had to take a leave of absence from work, teach my husband how to give my baby of seven months breathing treatments for his RSV, had to teach my husband how to pay bills. Had to call my creditors to get my interest rates reduced to 6%. I had so much to do and I only had to two weeks to do it.
I was also a tad overweight. I had a baby in June and wasn't too worried about losing the weight. I weighed myself in. I was six pounds over my weight max and my cammies couldn't be buttoned. How was going to make this happen? Panic. That's how.
In a matter of two weeks, my life was disrupted. I woke up at 4 am on a Tuesday, held my babies for the last time and kissed them good-bye. Boys, mommy is going to war. And my journey back into the Marine Corps began. So long 1st CivDiv, hello War!


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