Friday, April 20, 2012

Fort Riley Flashback

Our family was stationed at Fort Riley, KS from 1999-2001.  It wasn't a long time but we sure did seem to have a lot of stuff go on in our short time there.  Our time at Fort Riley was some of the toughest times in our marriage.  We dealt with a hard transition of being full-time dual Military to part-time with me transferring out of Active Army to Army Reserve.  I was miserable.  I knew I wanted to be home with our boys (Michael and Neil at the time) but I still really wanted my career and I admit that I resented Kevin and the boys during our initial 6 months of living at Riley.  It didn't help that I had arrived at Fort Riley months after Kevin and was promptly left alone with these two boys 24 hours after arriving in KS for 45 days as Kevin went off on a field exercise.  I remember sitting on the couch looking at my boys and wondering what I was supposed to do with them.  I had never spent more than 24 hours alone with my own kids before then.  It's a sad thing to admit but it's true.  I called my mom crying telling her I didn't know what I was supposed to do with them!  She was a great comfort and told me that I would be okay.  My first 6 months as a SAHM and Reserve Soldier was ROUGH!  I was hoping that my kids could see I was trying, even if it was a half-hearted attempt.  But as most people know, kids are smart.  Michael told that he thought I should go back into the Army because I was a better Soldier than a mom.  Yes, it broke my heart and helped to me to pull myself out of the pity party I had thrown myself into.  I made the decision right then and there that I would be the best mom I could be for my kids and I haven't looked back since.
Kevin and I decided shortly after being together again that we wanted another child and began to try.  It was met with disappointment after disappointment.  Going through miscarriages was a very rough time for us.  We had resolved that we were going to be happy with the two beautiful boys the Lord had blessed us with when we found out we were expecting Daniel.  What followed was a cycle of fear.  We were afraid to hope that this child would go to full term and join our family.  It caused a lot of pain and stress in our little family.
We did manage to work through that time and we are stronger for it but it has left not so fond feelings for Fort Riley.

This past week I had some training to do for Boy Scouts just outside Kansas City and I decided a follow-on visit to my friend Sandy afterwards was in order.  I miss her and she was only 2 hours away at Fort Riley.  I have been through the post on a couple of occasions since moving from there over 10 years ago, so I was not prepared for the mix of emotions I felt while there.  On my previous visits, they were very short, literally a drive thru and on our way we went.  This time I was going to be there for a few days.  It was nice to see the changes that have been made and to see our old houses.  To this day our second home we lived in at Fort Riley is still my favorite house we have ever lived in.
I didn't always enjoy the flashbacks to the painful times in our lives but I was grateful I could look back and see how far we have come.
Aside from memory lane, it was nice to hang out with my friend Sandy and be spoiled by tours of all the awesome, historical houses which she happens to live in and near.  I took a few pictures but wanted to respect the lovely ladies who were gracious enough to let me come snoop at their house.  If you want to see some really awesome pictures of Quarters One (the Commanding General's house), you can always check out the CG's wife's blog, she is an amazing decorator and posts pictures of her beautiful home.  I really did have a wonderful time at Riley and am grateful for good friends who share their friends with me.  I even got to chat with the current Deputy Commanding General for 1st Infantry Division (the Division Kevin's unit falls under).  I had a great time talking to him and hearing him read at an event for Families of Fort Riley. 

I have no idea what I was saying to BG MacWillie here, but it was quite amusing from the looks of it!

Overall I had a great time, but as always time goes too fast and soon enough it was time to come back home.  Here is a video with pictures of my time at Fort Riley.  

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!


Bethanne said...

OH, I love memory lane!

Jen said...

Thanks for your insight on Fort Riley. We are moving there next year. We also another thing in common is that I used to live at Fort Leonard Wood 2004-2007!

Jen said...

Thanks for your insight on Fort Riley! And on the transition from active duty to stay at home mom. We are actually moving to Fort Riley next year,so I like to hear anything about it. Also, I used to live on Leonard Wood from 2004-2007.

Jen said...

Thanks for your insight on Fort Riley, we'll be moving there next year. Also, I used to live on Leonard Wood 2004-2007.