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Paul Joins The Army

On March 7th 2006, Paul joined the U.S. Army.
But he should have joined the Navy!

We really have been praying for you son, In fact it seems that there is always so much stuff going on,
that we haven't had a chance to stop praying for you.

First sinusitis, then tendonitis, then pneumonia, and then a bum knee. There for a while I was beginning to wonder if he was even going to survive boot camp. But through sheer determination, and the power of prayer, Paul graduated from basic training on 05/19/06.

Hey, Dude, after all that it should be a Piece of Cake from here.

Paul left for his AIT training immediately after boot camp. Here he will learn how to either disarm things that go boom, or blow them up in a safe place?
Safe place for everyone else maybe.

Well, so much for the piece of cake.
In early July of 2006, Paul changed his MOS. He is now in his new AIT schooling for Water Treatment Specialist. However, since he changed his MOS, he has lost not only the bonus for the explosive ordnance disposal, but all 3 of his enlistment bonuses. Something about they were all attached to one contract. But at least he has a better chance of staying alive.

09/15/06 Paul continues to have problems breathing, and is now on a Medical Review Board. Due to these medical problems, Paul has now learned that he will never be able to become a commissioned officer. It seems as if he is losing his dream one piece at a time. Needless to say Paul is becoming depressed. See His Poem

Walking On The Mud

On 10/05/06, Paul graduated from his AIT Training. However since he is still under a Medical Review Board, he is being held over at this training base. Yep, this means that he loses yet another benefit. The Army is now refusing to pay the first installment of his student loans. They say that he must be assigned to a permanent duty station following the completion of the AIT training. Guess that makes it official, Paul has now lost All of the benefits he was to receive when he enlisted. All he has left now is his integrity and his rank. The Army is now saying that they hope to have Paul discharged by Christmas, January at the latest. But we have been hearing this since September. The worst part is that some of the units on this base are still treating these young soldiers like they were still in basic training. Basic Training is only supposed to last for 9 weeks, not nine months. There is only so much of that boot camp lifestyle a soldier can handle.

As if Losing everything isn't bad enough. After providing the Army with some information against some NCO's above him, Paul is now in a V.A. Hospital in Richmond Virginia for "Psychiatric Observation". As a result, Paul is being told that his medical discharge date will be delayed again. Now they are saying that he might be home by March, but it could be sometime in May? Man, a Year is a long time to be treated like you were in boot camp. Below is a copy of the letter we recently sent to a Senator in our district.

On 01/06/07 we received a letter from our Senator. Attached was another letter with the Army's response to our questions. The information we received was very general and did not give us any real answers. Unfortunately, the specific information that was given was incorrect, or Paul would have been home by the time we received the response.

02/15/07 - The final response from Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC was received and Paul has signed the papers for his disability. According to what little information he has, it will take about a week for the official orders to come in. Once they arrive, it will take another 2 or 3 weeks for the Army to process Paul's discharge. Ok, let's see if they can do it by 03/06/07. That would be exactly one year from the date he enlisted.

03/01/07 - We received a phone call from Paul today. Sounds like he will be discharged on 03/09/07.

03/02/07 - Paul called again today. He will be discharged on the 9th, Nope, on May 23rd, Yes, No, Yes, No. Ok March 9th. Keep that thought!

03/05/07 - Another phone call from Paul. The Army has purchased his plane ticket home. He will be discharged on Friday 03/09/07. There is still no information yet on if the Army will give him his other benefits, but he's coming home. PRAISE the LORD!

03/07/07 - The last two days have been spent running around going from one place two another. Paul had 23 different places to go to on base to complete paper work and get signatures and so on. Tomorrow will be another long day. He still has more people to see and thing to get signed. Then of course there is the really important stuff. Time to finish packing his personal stuff & make taxi arrangements to get him to the airport. One more day, and 1 more minute and it will officially be March 9th and time to sign off base for the last time.

03/08/07 - It's now 23:15 in Ft. Lee Virginia. He's packed. Everything is done, everything is signed. Arrangements for a taxi cab have been made and confirmed. Less than an hour to go. (46 minutes to be exact, but who's counting:)

03/09/07 Paul is Home. A little tired and worn out, but in good spirits. Now it's time to relax for the weekend and enjoy each others company. Then we will start the process of finding out what needs to be done to get him well again.

08/12/07 After being home for several weeks, Paul continued to have problems breathing. In fact he seemed to be getting worse. He looked ok, but he moved around like he was at least 80 or 90 years old. During the day, even attempting to do normal activities would wear him out. He would need to stop and catch his breath after walking about 25 or 30 steps. By evening he was to exhausted to do anything but sit and watch T.V. At night he would wake up after an hour or two of sleep coughing and wheezing so hard you would think that his lungs were going to explode. Once awake, he would be unable to get back to sleep for several hours.

With a friend living out in New Mexico, Paul decided to move out west for a while to see if he would be able to breath better. If not, at least he could visit an old friend. So off to a dryer climate he went. Like all of us, Paul has his good days, and his bad days. However, although we wish he were home with us, We Praise the Lord that he is breathing much better in New Mexico. He also says he does not wake up at night coughing like he did in Illinois. He still has problems with MERSA, but overall he is doing better and is able to do more of the things that a person his age should be able to do. He now has a job, and a new girl friend?

Thanks for all your love, support, and your Prayers.

01/02/10 Paul continues to live in New Mexico, and is now engaged to Melissa:) We are pleased to welcome Melissa to our family. She is a fantastic young woman and is very good for him. Paul still has problems breathing when he tries to do to much, and he continues to have some serious problems with MERSA. Things may never get completely back to normal, but overall, things are going pretty good:) Thanks for all your prays and support. We appreciate and thank Jesus for each and every one of you :)

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