Posted by: CeCe | May 10, 2012

Why I love our country but hate our government, part one

Over the last few years, my view of the United States government has done a complete 180.  Some people who didn’t know me or my views before may think that I’m an extreme liberal, or an anarchist.  I’m neither.  I’m a former military spouse who is fed up with the way our government treats the people it is supposed to serve.

A couple months back, I hinted at what happened with my husband (here).  Now I think it’s time for those who don’t know to read the full story.  Let me state for the record that I don’t want or need anyone’s sympathy.  What I want is change.  I’m hoping that what I have experienced will put a human face on the problem that our men and women in uniform face, and perhaps help grease the wheels a bit.

When I first met my husband back in June of 2002, he was fresh out of basic with lots of confidence and hope for the future.  I’m not sure if I believe in love at first sight, but something definitely happened at the moment I laid eyes on him, and in spite of my declarations that I would never, ever marry an Army guy, we were married in September of 2003.  We had been discussing our options as far as his career went, and we decided over the course of the next couple of years that he would go ahead and do the full twenty in the Army, and retire after that.  In August of 2004, we received orders for Germany.  In December, we hopped on a plane with what we could fit into two suitcases and one carry-on each, and made the thirteen hour flight (and nine hour time difference) to Frankfurt am Rhein, Germany, where we caught a bus to Baumholder.

At first, everything was tolerable.  It wasn’t great, but it was tolerable.  The break-taking beauty of Germany, the fascinating history and amazing architecture all helped, as did the entertaining taxi drivers I had the pleasure of getting to know.  Shawn spent most of the first eight months we were there in the field, and I was okay with that.  I was lonely and isolated and it was hard to make friends, but I did okay.  But things started to change in July of 2005.  That was when I received a call from Shawn saying that he had had a seizure and was on his way home from the field.   I was glad he was coming home, but it was more than a little scary.  We didn’t know what caused the seizure.  He was almost 27, and had no actual history of seizures (other than an isolated incident when he was young, but that’s fairly normal), so it was a little frightening.  He came home, and underwent some tests, and it was basically determined that it was a fluke and no big deal and he was fit to go back to work.  Our relief was short-lived.  As he was preparing to go back out to the field, he had another seizure.  Once again, he underwent some tests, and once again, he was returned to duty as though nothing had happened.

The thing that was most frustrating about this second seizure is that in spite of the fact that it was witnessed by quite a few soldiers, some had this idea that he was somehow “faking” his condition.  He was actually on the verge of facing disciplinary action because his sergeants did not believe that he was actually having seizures, in spite of witnessing them, and they believed that he was just trying to get out of deploying.  Which he most definitely was not.  We didn’t like the fact that he was going to be deploying, and in fact it was causing both of us to have nightmares about him dying almost every night, but he was ready to go and do his job, even if it meant leaving me behind to worry.

And then, in September, he had another seizure.  This time I was the only witness.  I was back in the spare bedroom on the computer, and Shawn was packing his bags, getting ready to go out to the field the next day.  I heard him hit the floor, but thought he had just dropped something.  However, when he didn’t answer me, I decided to see what was going on and make sure he was okay.  As soon as I realized what was going on (which took only a couple seconds), I ran over and placed my hand under his head so he didn’t bang it on the hardwood floor.  It seemed like the seizure went on and on, but he was probably only under for a couple minutes.

After he was still and conscious and I had gotten him a glass of water, we decided it would be best for us to go to the krankenhaus (German hospital), since we knew the clinic on post wouldn’t still be open, and the main hospital in Landstuhl was just too far away (and we had never really driven there, so we were afraid of getting lost).  At the krankenhaus, they asked a bunch of questions about his past seizures, gave him some pills, and sent us home.  We called one of his sergeants when we got home to tell them what had happened, and he was told that he wouldn’t be going out to the field.  When he went to the clinic, they decided he needed to be hospitalized, so he was sent back to the krankenhaus and admitted for tests.  After a week, they weren’t any closer to getting answers, so he was released.

We had no idea what was wrong with him.

Wow, this is much longer than I thought it would be.  This will be the end of part one.  I will post the links to parts two and three once I’ve published them.

Part two:

Part three:


  1. […] army, Army spouse, cardiac arrhythmia, epilepsy, medical discharge, sleep apnea, VA, WTU « Why I love our country but hate our government, part one Why I love our country but hate our government, part three […]

  2. […] Why I love our country but hate our government, part one […]

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