Thursday, December 04, 2008

Uggggh! The Guard is driving me insane!

December 4, 2008 - Thursday

Things are crazy
Current mood: crazy

Okay for most of you this is going to be utterly boring, but give me a second to vent, would ya'?

Here's a chronology of some of 2008's significant events for me:

February – April 2008 Pvt. Charles K. Byrne deploys to Warrior Transition Training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma, Santa Fe New Mexico, and White Sands Missile Range New Mexico. His unit, B Company, 86th BDE, IBCT (Mountain) is scheduled to deploy to Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) around February of 2010.

March 22nd, 2008 Realizing he hasn't been paid for training to date, Pvt. Byrne files form 2142 "Pay Inquiry" at White Sands Missile Range. Through investigation, it is found that although Charles updated his pay information at the National Guard level, the Regular Army had directly deposited paychecks dated March 17th '08, April 1st, '08, and April 9th '08 to a pre-paid credit card Charles no longer possessed.

April 4th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne graduates from Warrior Transition Training and returns to Denver. Moves into his mother's new apartment while arranging a new place to live for himself.

May 19th, 2008 After weeks of trying to resolve the pay issue, Pvt. Byrne enlists the help of Sergeant Patton of the 86th MI Company.

June 2008 Pvt. Byrne is selected to be a member of the Joint Task Force for the 2008 Democratic National Convention and begins training for crowd/riot control and chem/bio attack response.

July 11th 2008 Pvt. Byrne and the rest of the 86th MI unit are informed that due to their exceptional readiness and training levels, their deployment date is being "bumped up" from February 2010 to February 2009 – 8 months away, it will also change from Afghanistan to Iraq. Upon receiving this information Pvt. Byrne reassesses getting an apartment of his own. Of the eight upcoming months, no less than four will be required for his MOS training as an interrogator. Another month will be spent as part of the DNC detail, leaving three months "at home" before a 1-year deployment to Baghdad. Charles and his mother agree that it would be easier all around if Charles were to stay at the apartment and find a new place after returning from Baghdad in 2010.

This announcement also completely blows apart the plans Tess and I are making for a 2009 wedding.

August 22nd – August 30th, 2008

Pvt. Byrne and the rest of the DNC detail are placed on "lockdown" before and during the Democrat National Convention. While training for the Democratic National Convention, Pvt.Byrne is assisted by SFC Tyler in tracing down the $960.00 + in lost WTC checks. Also during this time, the health of Pvt. Byrne's 79-year-old mother deteriorates.

August 31st – September 2nd, 2008

Pvt. Byrne is in Kiowa, Colorado performing for the FCRV Statewide Convention. Charles returns to Denver to find his mother (Dorothy) has been taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with multiple system failures.

September 9th, 2008 Dorothy Byrne is taken to The Hospice of St. John's and given a prognosis of "weeks not months."

September 5th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne receives confirmation from ATRRS (The Army Training Requirements and Reservations System) that he will be attending Interrogator School at Camp Williams, UT from October 3rd – December 17th, 2008.

September 10th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne receives confirmation on travel to and from Camp Williams. At this time, he cancels a number of shows and instructs his agent (Terri Fisher of 5-Star Talent and Events) not to schedule any workdays during his training period.

September 10th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne completes his "E QIP" application for security clearance (An interim 'Secret' clearance is required for Interrogator school). Charles is also informed that "the unit" will be going "on orders" on November 1st. "Going on orders" means those involved will be transferred from "one weekend a month" to fulltime Army and will be paid the full monthly allowance their rank earns. Also, when one "goes on orders" they are given a reimbursement for rent/mortgage.

October 2nd, 2008 On the day before he is to leave for Camp Williams, Pvt. Byrne is informed he will not be going to school as planned. This decision was based upon a faulty understanding of the requirements for Interrogator school. It was assumed that a "Secret" clearance and "interim Top Secret" clearance was required to attend. However, those restrictions do not go into effect until October of next year. Currently, only an "interim Secret" clearance is required. He is assured at this time, however, that he will still be going "on orders" November 1st.

October 12th, 2008 Charles requests information and an application from the Colorado National Guard Foundation – an organization designed to help Guard Soldiers in temporary financial straits.

October 15th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne faxes his request application to the CNGF.

October 16th, 2008 Pvt. Byrne learns from his squad leader (Sgt Tracy) that he will in fact NOT be included in the group that is to "Go on orders" November 1st. Pvt. Byrne also receives an email from the CNGF stating that they are unable to release funds at the time due to an end-of-the-year audit. He is referred to EANGUS "We Care for America" Foundation.

During the following weeks, Pvt. Byrne applies to Target, ACE Hardware, Starbucks, Home Depot, Blockbuster Video, Hollywood Video, Rent-A-Center, as well as several convenience stores and a number of bars. Many (such as The Cheesecake Factory and Hard Rock Café have current hiring freezes until January) On October 21st, 2008 he applies to Able Body Labor attempting to gain temporary labor employment.

November 14th, 2008 During drill weekend, Pvt. Byrne learns from SFC Tyler that the paperwork of August 22nd was returned to her due to an error in the paperwork. She further stated she corrected the error and resent the paperwork the last week in October and Pvt. Byrne should be receiving a check within three weeks.

Situation as it currently stands:

When contacted, SFC Tyler said I should be receiving the WTC checks "any day now". Furthermore, $300.00 bonus money for each drill in October and November is also outstanding. This is not a problem unique to me, but unit-wide and is being pursued by the unit command. So this adds a further $600.00 I should be getting "anytime now." As I am working on resolutions to these challenges, I am also working to resolve my security clearance issues. Once my "interim Secret" clearance is resolved, I will be attending Interrogator School. Upon graduation of Interrogator School, I will receive my $20,000.00 enlistment bonus. Searching for employment in the civilian sector is also ongoing. On December 2nd, Lisa Cooley of Family Readiness Support provided me with more contacts to help in the job search.

So excuse me for a moment.......


Okay I feel much better now!

Currently watching :
The Usual Suspects (Special Editon)
Release date: 2002-04-02