I Guess it Rains Down in Africa


“I guess it rains down in Africa” blares through your dreams and jars you back into consciousness. At first you look around thinking you are still sleeping, because why on earth would that song be playing? Then, realization sets in. You enlisted into the military. You deployed to Africa. It indeed rains in Africa. Then you see that your possessions are floating beside you. You then realize that your tent has flooded, and that it not only rains, it floods down in Africa.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis enacted new rules that were enforced in the United States Military on February 15.

One of the rules that is now being enforced is to deploy or get out. Meaning that military members that are non-deployable for more than 12 months will be discharged from the military. This does not pertain to members that have been injured in the field.

“If you can’t go overseas [and] carry a combat load, then obviously someone else has got to go. I want this spread fairly and expertly across the force.” Mattis stated.

When people do not deploy it forces other people to deploy in order to cover their deployment. This means that more soldiers are having to deploy several times in a short span of time.

The first year of my marriage my husband and I spent a total of four months together for the whole first year, because he was gone for the rest of it. I wish that he hadn’t had to leave me constantly, and that we could have enjoyed our first year of marriage. I found myself wishing that he would not have to go anywhere anymore, and I wanted him to get out of the Marines. I wanted the endless training exercises to end. I wanted him to stop being taken away from me. I wanted my husband home with me, but I couldn’t because someone else somewhere decided that they also did not want to deploy.

Mattis stated: “They need time at home, they need time with their families. We may enlist soldiers, but we reenlist families. That’s the way it is. If you can’t keep the family together, then you’re either going to lose the family or you’re going to lose the soldier, and that’s a net loss for our society and for your military.”

When I married my husband I was enlisted into the military, without ever knowing it. I suffered through deployments, and training exercises that took my husband away from me. I waited home, alone, for him to return. Every day I constantly worried that my husband was not going to come home to me. Waiting is the worst part of a deployment. Waiting to know what is going on. Waiting to know what happens next. Waiting to know when they will come home, and when that date changes 11 times, waiting to have something concrete. Waiting to just know something, anything because very little information is shared with the wives of our nations military, for our safety and theirs.

When an enlisted individual does not deploy it makes others have to leave more often, and that is not fair to the military members who break their backs carrying the load for those that just do not want to go.

So, this is for those brave men and women that are tossing and turning at night inside of your poncho liner just trying to stay warm, while some boot decided they didn’t want to leave their mother for more than a day.