When soldiers return from a deployment, they are to have 90 days off drilling (and work if they choose to take it). In Minnesota (and other states now, too), they get that 90 days off typical drill, but it's replaced with reintegration workshop day type drills. We all refer to them as the 30-60-90 because they're intended to take place 30-days, 60-days and 90-days post homecoming. Due to timing, venue availability and other factors, our 30 day was this past Saturday...at the 78 day mark. I don't think any of the soldiers complained since it just meant a much longer break until putting that uniform on again. And for the men "putting that uniform on" includes shaving and getting a haircut, too. Soldiers are required to attend all of these and family members are encouraged to attend the 30 and 60 day events. Often times soldiers and family members complain about going, but I really do think it's beneficial. Last reintegration didn't go so well and it was good to have heard all the information. It helped me realize I wasn't crazy, this was common and have some tools to help us along. This time, even though things have been going very well, I was still looking forward to it. It's always good information, for now or in the future, for ourselves or for a friend who may need it. Besides all that, it's fun to catch up with everyone-the soldiers with whom Trevor deployed (well, his battalion), the friendships that got us both through the last year+.
The day went like this. We got up as if it were a work/school day and headed to the Civic Center in Rochester. Everyone was together for the opening session in the auditorium for some housekeeping announcements and the first two sessions, suicide prevention and resilience or "hunt the good stuff." Suicide prevention is a very important one and, no matter how many times we've all already heard it, is worth repeating. Some may disagree, but I think it's important. Maybe it isn't a concern for me specifically, but I know someone who needs the information. And maybe I didn't know that person the last time I heard this presentation, or maybe they didn't need it then. The point is, you never know who will need to hear this stuff or when, so pay attention and take it seriously. The second general session was about resilience, specifically optimism, and showing us how to find the good stuff, no matter how small, in life.
Throughout the rest of the day we had to go to "Provider Alley," where many resources/providers had booths as well as attend three break out sessions. We chose post deployment pay and benefits, stress management and stretching your dollar/money management. To be honest, I was more impressed with the sessions offered at the 30 day after Trevor's Kosovo deployment. The speakers on Saturday were good, I just didn't feel like there were as many relevant choices for us this time. There was a lot of focus on job search/employment which is great because that's a big issue, just not for us.
After the long day, Trevor and I were excited to have a nice quiet dinner planned with my dad. The shrimp truck was in town again so my dad made jambalaya and got some sweet corn. I'm not actually a fan of jambalaya, so I enjoyed some plain boiled shrimp and plenty of corn on the cob instead. The men had fun picking hot sauces to try. More and more I'm realizing I married my father, but he's a pretty cool dude so I think we'll still call it a win!