New Opportunities for Petty Officer Uhler

There never seems to be anything too exciting to write about.  Nothing that other people would care to read anyway.  And when there is something to write about, I’m not sure I always want it publicly proclaimed on the world wide web.  But, I guess at this point I really don’t have that many readers so here goes…

Derick found out a couple of months ago that he has the opportunity to volunteer to be deployed to South America… well… anywhere south of America, technically, starting as early as July but hopefully for him it would start in January.  Here’s the deal.  He would be digging wells and doing some kind of guard duty, not going to war.  They are looking for 2 groups of 85 US Navy Seabees from the midwest to voluntarily be deployed in 2 consectutive 6 month time spans.  It would be 6 months overseas plus 3 months of training previous to that.  If Derick were deployed he would be opting for the second of the 2 6-months.  And if that were the case we would figure on him leaving for training in January and for South America in April. 

There are pros and cons to leaving and to staying.  Of course, I don’t want to be without my wonderful husband for 9 months.  And I will have a baby to take care of as well.  And he doesn’t really want to miss that much of his new son’s life.  But if he goes, he will be fulfilling his duty as an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy.  (I think that is something that men will understand better than women.)  And if he is gone for that long, the Navy will pay for all of his remaining college when he returns.  That means when he gets home, there will be nothing to stop him from signing up for classes and finishing his degree in secondary education and getting a job that he really wants not just keeping one that will get us by.  Plus, once he is done with his bachelors degree, he can start working tward becoming an officer, something that he has talked about on and off since he enlisted.  Then he would have 2 jobs that he really wanted and the potential to have a third of sorts.  1.)  High School math teacher  2.) Officer in the US Navy Seabees and 3.) high school baseball coach – well, if he is teaching he would have a better chance at coaching.

I guess the only downside would be the time spent away from his family and all the things that he would miss that go along with that.  He would miss 4 of our birthdays. (Christian, Feb. 9; Aida, June 22; Mine, July 26; baby Uhler, August ?).  He would miss our anniversary.  (I guess I would have to go to a Cubs game without him… maybe me and Christian could go.)  And he would miss going on the biketrip.  I would, once again, have to go without him, but I definitely would go anyway.  First, to have a weekend to myself, and second because it will always be my goal to be in the best shape of my life when he comes home from deployment. 

I suppose any sane wife would be crying her eyes out and begging him to stay and wait until his scheduled depoyment in 2012.  Then I would have older children and not babies to take care of.  Instead, I find myself encouraging him to take this opportunity and run with it.  This one trip south of the boarder could provide so much opportunity for him and, thus, for our family.  I don’t want him to miss any of that, and then come to regret it all later. 

To be honest, I believe God has been preparing me for this over the last few months.  It has been weighing heavy on my heart, the possibility of Derick going active duty.  I have talked with him about that, but just deciding to be active really wasn’t an option because of how many kids we have vs. the amount of pay available at his level of service.  Plus, at this point in time we are not able to move out of Illinois and take Christian with us (long story) and if he were active we would most likely be moving to California or Mississippi.   Anyway, to me it seemed very similar to when God showed me that he initially wanted Derick in the Navy.  I feel passionate about the Navy, just like I have seen missionaries from other countries feel passionate about their mission field.  I believe 100% that this is the mission field that God has given to us, (no matter who the president is, and what happens in our country over the next several years).    But, ultimately this deployment is Derick’s decision and I don’t want him to feel forced by me one way or another to leave.  I know that while God will give me peace and strength to stay, Derick also needs to feel that same peace and strength to go.  It is much easier, I think, to feel called to stay (even to stay and be a single mom of 4) than it is to feel called to go and be without any of one’s family.   

So, if you are reading this, please pray for direction for my family and mostly for my husband.  Just because I feel one way about this doesn’t mean he feels the same way.  And I know that God has placed him as the head of our family.

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3 Comments

Filed under Derick

3 responses to “New Opportunities for Petty Officer Uhler

  1. pensivecontemplation

    Good to read up on you, Les! At least one person cares to know what is going on in your world!! ;-P I will try to keep you in your prayers–I can only imagine how tough it would be to face 9 mos with 4 kids “alone”…. Thumbs up to you for being so courageous!! Love, Liz

  2. Sarah

    Leslie,

    I think it is great that you see this as an opportunity for outreach, for you and for Derick. So many times people don’t think about what God wants to use them for at any given moment. It sounds like you and Derick have really thought this through and sought God’s direction for what is best for your family.

    The first four years Terry and I were married he was in the Marine Corps. It is so hard to be away from your guy – especially for months at a time – not to mention once kids are in the picture! However, I totally agree that if there was any opportunity other than war to fulfil his requirement, I would pick that too!

    Terry and I will pray for you and your family, as well as Dericks safety when he is deployed. God Bless!

  3. Sara Uhler

    I had been wondering about this. Michael said he saw a twitter about it from Derick, but we wanted to be sure.
    I think the fact that you are not trying to keep him home shows that you really love him in a selfless and God-trusting way.

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