Thursday, April 20, 2006

Frustration and delays

Thought that Friday would be the day when John would go off to take his job tests and we would finally sign his contract, but Sgt Deane called this morning while I was at DMV with my youngest getting his picture ID. His supervisors are questioning whether or not my divorce papers actually give me full custody.

So I took the day off from work and went to the court house. I talked to the clerk and they told me that it does indeed state that (but as I read it myself, I can see where the Army may wonder about this a bit). I also learned that the circuit court clerk was supposed to have filed it in the juvenile and domestic court but never did. My first panicked thought at that point was that my divorce wasn't really final and I was actually not legally married to Ken! But they assured me that my divorce really was final. The ladies told me that if the Army had any questions they were welcomed to call and they would explain it all.

So then I called Sgt Dean. He needed a copy of the whole file at this point and told me he would come by and get it next time he was in the area. Well, he only gets up here once or twice a month so I told him I would bring it to him. It was noon. I was at his office at 1:05 p.m. No one was there but then two soldiers drove up and hopped out of a car. They announced that they had gone to lunch and shut the car. Instantly one of them realized that he had locked the keys in the car. The other one then told the first that his only set of keys were in his desk drawer. Sgt. Deane had left to see a recruit in York and would not be back for an hour.

I wondered to myself if I really wanted to turn my son's future over to these people who could barely manage to get around town and pondered on how they managed to survive battle. But perhaps it was battle fatique or post tramatic stress that was causing these brain lapses.

I told them I was going to go shopping and would return later. I left them standing in front of their office trying their best to look like they were supposed to be there.

An hour later I returned to find the two soldiers gone, the government cars gone and Sgt. Deane inside the office. He told me he had sent the soldiers away and would call them later when he had his temper under control. I think he is very fed up with his little crew of non-coms.

He made copies of the paperwork and told me it would probably be a week or more before we heard anything else. I just know if the decision is that I do not have full custody (which I DO), then John will have to wait until he is 18 to sign up. He turned 17 in March. That's a long time for him to wait, bagging groceries part-time at the Food Lion and riding his bike to get to work. (As a high school drop out in Virginia - despite having his GED - he cannot get a driver's license until he is 18.)

I also learned this a.m. at the court house that in order for him to be declared emancipated, he has to petition the court and prove to the judge that he can fully support himself. Right now he can't do that.

Well, I am going to keep knitting the black socks. I am about 5 inches into the first one. Nine more inches to go before I make the heel flap. Then it will be 9 inches to the toe decreases. These soldier socks are LONG!

If he doesn't go, I will send them on to the Socks for Soldiers Group on Yahoo.

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