Havar, fall, 2017
Brandon is 39, Ilila is 38, Jude and Brooklyn are 8; Audrey is 5
narrated by Brandon
I sighed again and wished that I didn't have to have this conversation with my family.
It was a part of being in the military, but it didn't make things easier.
I tried to explain that daddy was going away for a while because of work and that they would have to be good for mommy.
I could tell Ilila was trying not to cry and put on a strong face during the conversation. Our earlier conversation went much differently when I told her the news.
We were at war and the battle had gotten so fierce that they were calling soldiers from Apple Valley. I, along with the Officer Lainey Herendez and Officer Verde Herendez would be going to the battlefield to lend our expertise.
I couldn't help but think that this deployment was more punishment for my decision years ago. When I was an officer, I had quietly pardoned the General's son. Well, during a routine investigation and disposition news broke about about my involvement. I had to pay a fine of $10,000 which was better than being unhonorable discharged, but my family had to take a loan to cover the fine.
We're now broke and the news of my deployment doesn't make things better.
After I told the children about the deployment things rapidly changed in our house. Jude became more sensitive to everything
even the games he used to play with his sister would cause him to burst into tears and leave Audrey so confused.
Then the girls' grades dropped. Drastically.
We've been on top of them with homework and studying
and it seems to be making a difference.
Especially since we said no more ballet or TV until homework is done. It broke my heart to see the girls get up early to struggle with homework before catching the bus,
but Ilila was much better at getting things turned around with them. They're smart girls, but children respond to news of deployment differently.
I feel awful for the situation that I am leaving my family in. Broke, poor grades, over sensitive feelings and Ilila being a single parent. Especially since I don't know if I will even come back. That part is never guaranteed.
Brandon got an unlucky chance card as well and cost the family $10,000. They now have less than $500 in their family funds.