Sunday, September 25, 2011

To Re-enlist or Not To Re-enlist: That is the Question

I know I am not alone in this question: Should we stay or should we go?

Dustin's EAS is coming up in December 2012.

I know, a long time away, but he is probably going to be deployed for all of 2012. So we kind of need to come to a decision soon.

Does anybody else feel like they keep going back and forth - and back and forth - and back and forth on this issue?

I am incredibly proud of my husband being a Marine, but we know that this is a decision that doesn't just impact him, but also impacts me, my career, and both of our families. I know that there are teachers no matter where you go, but moving around a lot has a negative impact on a teacher's career. You typically don't become vested in a retirement program until 5 years in a county, so moving often will mean no pension when I want to retire. Also, if I move around a lot, it is harder to become stable in my career. Every time you start in a new place, you have to learn new teaching standards and crazy acronyms, develop new bonds/ties with coworkers and parents, only to leave again soon after.

Photo from

But there are a lot of positive aspects in the military as well. Like a guaranteed job, healthcare, and the awesome sense of community in military towns.

Dustin has been taking online classes during his enlistment (so proud of that), which has helped him get a lot closer to finishing his Bachelor's degree. I am pretty proud that by combining tax credits, tuition assistance, and GI bill benefits, we haven't had to pay a single penny toward the classes he has taken these last two years. He probably won't finish during this enlistment, but if he joins the reserves and trains in a new MOS, then he could probably finish up his last few classes while doing that. We both know that he doesn't NEED a degree to become a police officer, but there is an increase in pay if you have one, and it would probably give him an edge in actually being hired for a position. I certainly think that having my Master's degree helped open the door for me being interviewed at my current school!

I just don't know what we should do! I think we are leaning toward moving back home to Georgia, but then the question also becomes when to do that? Summer of 2012 or 2013? And should we buy a house right away, or wait until we both have jobs? Oh, so many things to consider! Expect me to re-post about this, oh, about a dozen times between now and then!


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