Recycled

The moment I saw my fiancé’s mother’s name on my phone, I knew that it wasn’t going to be good news. My fiancé was slated to graduate Basic Training three weeks later; I’d booked my hotel room, my flights, and I was counting down the days until I’d see him again.

Those hopes were immediately crushed. He’d been recycled, and wouldn’t graduate for another seven weeks.

I spend the rest of that night and the day after reeling between sorrow, anger and fear, coming to terms with the fact that the day I’d been waiting for was pushed back another seven weeks. I didn’t know how to handle it.

If you’ve gotten that phone call and you don’t know how you’re going to make it, you’re not alone. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel numb, and it’s okay to want to hide from the world for a bit. It’s even okay to wish that he never went in at all. These feelings are normal, and you should feel them as much as you need it. It’s okay.

Just remember that, no matter how badly you may be feeling, your significant other is feeling the same way.  Maybe even worse. Just like you, his dreams of finishing have been dashed. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling for a little while. Cry it out. Talk to people closest to you- don’t cut yourself off from the world forever. Then sit down in front of your notebook and write him a nice, long letter. Remind him that you love him and you’ll still be there for him when he does make it to graduation. Tell him that you’re not disappointed in him.

It’s also important to remember that the drill sergeants’ job is to make the most qualified soldiers possible, mentally and physically. So, even though it sucks, they chose to recycle your trainee for a reason. That can only help him in the long run, at his duty station or on a deployment. Just keep in mind that he’s getting the extra training that he needs and he’ll become a better soldier for it. It might not seem that way right now, but it will be a good thing in the end.

And most of all, remember that basic training won’t last forever. He’ll be there for a little longer than both of you expected, but you were strong enough to go through so many weeks, so you’re strong enough to go through a few extra. You will see him again, and that moment will make all of this waiting worth it.

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