Note: I don't really want all the Privates to die, but when we were waiting on orders for Japan, Mike, who knows more acronyms than anyone else in the military (only a few of y'all will get that joke), taught me that acronym to remember the phone number to see if we had been updated. It's still the only way I can remember the number.
We got an email from EPMD (which stands for Enlisted Personnel Management Director/Directorate) last night about our orders to Italy. It contained a lot of useful, normal information (you need a passport and a visa, etc), but it also contained some real gems of information:
- SPOUSES ARE NOT PERMITTED TO WORK ACCORDING TO THE SOFA AGREEMENT THERE IN LATINA: Wait, seriously? I haven't worked the better part of nine years and now I have a legitimate excuse not to? BEST GIG EVER. "Why don't you contribute to your family?" (because "I'm a housewife/stay-at-home-mom, I take care of my family." is never a credible answer when someone asks that question, despite my husband fully encouraging me)…I can actually, legitimately say, "UNCLE SAM SAID NO WORKEE FOR ME!" Hot. Love it.
- PRIOR TO ACCEPTING THIS ASSIGNMENT TO THIS REMOTE LOCATION, SOLDIERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONSIDER SETTING UP AN INTERNET BANK ACCOUNT TO AVOID POSSIBLE BANKING DELAYS: Really? We had to put this here? Does ANY bank not offer internet banking (if so, I am traveling there and signing up for an account just because)? No worries, though, we switched to USAA months ago.
- SOLDIERS/FAMILY MEMBERS MUST ARRIVE WITH A CURRENT CIVILIAN DRIVER'S LICENSE: I have never seen this on an information sheet (CONUS or OCONUS) before and IT THRILLS MY SOUL. I knew so many people in Japan who didn't have licenses, both spouses and soldiers. You're independent enough to live overseas, but you're too lazy to get a license so you have to be toted everywhere? Ridiculous.
- THERE ARE NO INTERNATIONAL/ENGLISH SPEAKING SCHOOLS IN LATINA; HOWEVER, BUS TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FROM LATINA TO ROME TO THE NON-DODDS SOUTHLANDS ENGLISH SPEAKING SCHOOL IN ROME (K-8). THE BUS RIDE EACH WAY IS APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES EACH WAY. HIGH SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN (K-9 TO K-12) MAY ATTEND BOARDING SCHOOL IN ROME OR THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN SWITZERLAND (TASIS) OF WHICH BOTH REQUIRES TESTING AND AN INTERVIEW PRIOR TO CONFIRMATION OF ADMISSION. THE AMERICAN OVERSEAS SCHOOL IN ROME IS ALSO AVAILABLE BUT NO TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED FROM LATINA AND THE SERVICE MEMBER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME TRANSPORTATION COSTS SHOULD THIS OPTION BE SELECTED. (here comes the best part, folks!) THE OTHER OPTION AVAILABLE IS HOME SCHOOLING AND IS GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT ALL LEVELS (K-12). Let's just ignore the boarding school talk for a moment and focus on that last sentence right there. "Generally available"…what the heck does that mean? I'm assuming it's just poor (yet hilarious) wording. "Oh, hi, we don't allow home schooling for children born under the Aquarius moon. Sorry. Just the policy here. Everyone else is fine, though." And as for boarding school? If Seamus were 15 and REALLY mature, I might consider it (it would be an amazing experience), but my answer is NO WAY IN HELL. We've decided to opt for home schooling for Kindergarten and we may continue that depending on how well he does and how the schools available to us measure up.
(Ha, I just watched my neighbor back his extended-cab Tacoma into his wife's new BMW. Awesome.)