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December 11, 2006

H&I* Fires, 11 DEC 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite.

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The 2006 Weblog Awards. Vote for us... or MVRWC. Don't let those lefty blogs have all the glory... Once a day every day until the 15th.

MajMike and the rest of you treadheads - this link's for you.

The 2006 Warbloggers Awards are posted at Right Wing News. Kinda like a very unscientific Coaches Poll. Just how unscientific? Take a look at where Andrew Sullivan placed.

I got an email last night:

Mom gives up kid to join Navy. Holy crap, she gave up her kid to join the Navy. Man, that's some cajones.


GRANITE FALLS - A local mother's dream to join the Navy comes with a heavy price: She had to give up custody of her 13-year-old daughter.

It's the toughest decision 32-year-old Rebecca Tate has ever had to make, but she believes it's the right choice.

"To be able to serve in the military and defend my country and do what I know is good and right makes me proud," she said.

As excited as Rebecca is to join, she's doing it with a heavy heart. Single parents cannot enlist in the Navy, so she had to give up custody of her 13-year-old daughter Anya to sign up.

You can read the rest here.

Heh. Five more years and she still could have joined *and* let her daughter loose at her majority.

There's dreaming, and there's responsibility.

Absent any other information - I am not impressed. I've been impressed with soldiers who have given up their military careers because of family requirements. Giving up the family to join the service? I suppose I needn't have concern about walking away from responsibility in order to pursue personal needs on the part of a Petty Officer Tate. She'll periodically get reassigned away from sailors who are inconvenient to her pursuit of her dream.

I am not impressed. Just sayin'. Your mileage may vary. -the Armorer


*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Comments on H&I* Fires, 11 DEC 2006
Trias briefed on December 11, 2006 08:10 AM

The single mother story reads to me like it's incomplete. Some other factor is missing.

FbL briefed on December 11, 2006 08:22 AM

Trias, let's hope so. 'Cause like John said, I am not impressed. I honestly doubt a 13-year-old is going to see this as anything other than a personal rejection. And if her mother has primary custody, you gotta wonder about the role/impact of her father in her life (I'm guessing it's less than positive, and so she's already been hurt by one parent).

Situations like this are why I am comfortable with the idea that not all of us are "called" to be warriors. None of us are morally obligated to enlist. However, we must find a way to serve and contribute within the limitations or our skills, personal makeup, and outside responsiblities. I get the feeling that in this case it was not a matter of her finding her way to serve, but simply of her having her way and having it now.

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 11, 2006 08:28 AM

Trias - I absolutely hope so. Putting this up is trolling for info from other people in the region who may have more backstory.

AFSister briefed on December 11, 2006 08:42 AM

I am TOTALLY with you on the custody story, John. As much as I'd like to join the military, I have two young sons who mean more to me than pursuing a military career right now. Sounds to me like she was tired of dealing with a teenaged daughter and wanted an easy out. screw that... The more I think about that, the more pissed off I get. That's crap.

fdcol63 briefed on December 11, 2006 10:24 AM

Yeah, there must be something missing in this custody story.

Ms. Tate's primary priority should be fulfilling her parental obligation and responsibility to her daughter, not in chasing some personal dream or ambition.

If this is the complete story, then she is indeed too SELFISH to retain custody of her child, and will create a lifetime of emotional pain for her daughter who will understandably feel rejected by her mother.

Damian briefed on December 11, 2006 10:37 AM

There is a great deal to be said for having children see their parents strive to do something important, to "follow a dream," as Ms. Tate says. But this is taking it WAY too far.

ry briefed on December 11, 2006 11:34 AM

I think you all are being rather harsh and too quick to point the narcicistic or 'trailer trash' finger. 'Pappy' Boyington anyone? That man outside of war was a freakin' train wreck, both before and after the war. The only time he didn't screw things up pretty bad was during his time in the Pacific and even then he admitts to being a dangerous alcoholic---read his autobio. Is she any worse than this hallowed hero?

Sometimes the best thing a screwed up parent can do for their child is to just walk away---believe me, my nephew would be in a much better place if his father and my sister were smart enough to do just that---and let someone competant finish the job.

This woman sounds a lot like my sister Teri, but with enough guts and brains to FINALLY get her chit together. I'll give her some respect. It isn't easy when you're pretty messed up to begin with to get your life together---btdt. So cut her some slack. Perfect she isn't, but she's no worse than the drug conviction/drug running, wife beating, people that I know who have gotten in. What she did took some balls even if it is a type of courage you wouldn't normally recognize. You know, that whole parable about letting go of the rock in the river? She lived it.

Moving on, can someone bug SB to see if he's heard from the desultory butterfly lately? Haven't heard much about her in a while. We don't forget Denizens, no we doesn't.

Cricket briefed on December 11, 2006 11:46 AM

I think another piece is missing. All personnel have to have a Family Plan in place; the Armorer knows that better than anyone. Correction: Single parent type personnel. Which means custodial rights in the event of death or disability will be assigned to whom the parent designates it.

I see this as a spin of some kind...that the vile Chimpy MacHitler's GWOT is tearing apart families!

Of course, I haven't read the article; shoot from the mouth, that's me.

I would never give up custody of my children to join the service and she would have to find someone to tend her while she is in boot camp.

It just smacks of being fishy.

I will go read and maybe I will ask for a revision of my comments or not...

John of Argghhh briefed on December 11, 2006 11:50 AM

Ry - aside from mixing apples and oranges... okay.

Boyington was a dick. He was a good wartime Marine. The relevance to the issue at hand is...

Can she do well as a sailor? Certainly. She's going to have all the parenting she doesn't want to engage in herself, in an environment actually designed to help her succeed. Again, in re: Boyington... so what?

She *may* be doing the best thing by her child, again, I said "absent more information." That said, *nothing* you have said changes my mind one jot or tittle. I am not impressed.

Cricket briefed on December 11, 2006 11:51 AM

KOMO news. Seattle Washington. Need I say more?
The broadcast arm of the Seattle PI, a most liberal fishwrap.

Yeah, its spin and ignernce designed to play on the left's ideological base.

Seattle and the whole Puget Sound area are heavy Navy, Army and Air Force, with a base in Bremerton, McChord AFB and my beloved Fort Lewis.
They should know better, shame on them.

MajMike briefed on December 11, 2006 12:19 PM

but i think everyone is missing one crucial point here...

John put up a sweet video of tanks!!


Cricket briefed on December 11, 2006 01:49 PM

He may have put up tanks but right now we are supposed to be feeling some pain. I am trying to muster up the requisite feeling of sorrow for this pore mother, but I just can't.

And that makes me even sadder.

Barb briefed on December 11, 2006 04:12 PM

Just knowing the part that was in the KOMO article made me feel the same as you all expressed -- The Mother has a first committment to her daughter, and should not shirk that in order to join the Navy.

Now ... let me drop the OTHER shoe...
Turns out that the KOMO article didn't tell some other key items. (Cricket - you are on target, as usual)
1) In theory Grandma (the Mother's mom) is adopting her grandaughter to allow Mother to do her Navy thing. In reality, she says that she can't really take charge of the girl herself, so guess who gets effectual custody?? Why, the Grandmother's BOYFRIEND!
2) According to an article in the Everett Heraldnet, the youngster would rather her Mom didn't do this:
"I'm OK with it," Anya said. "I don't want her to go."

So, in my book, she's not providing a good environment for her daughter, leaving her in what could be a poor situation. I was against the idea before, this just makes it worse.

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 11, 2006 04:16 PM

Hmmmm. Well, if the poor kid is going to be in for Musical Parenting - I propose Brab and BCR go in for Joint Rotating Custody!

Barb briefed on December 11, 2006 04:35 PM

Geez - you wouldn't wish US on the poor girl, wouldja? Poor thing - that wouldn't help her one bit ... heh!

Bad Cat Robot briefed on December 11, 2006 04:50 PM

heh. My idea of childraising involves teaching the little darlings Making Improvised Devices from Household Appliances, with extra credit for creative use of duct tape. Although I must say Barb-lady and I have as much claim on custody as the grandmother's boyfriend. Sheesh, who comes up with these decisions???

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 11, 2006 05:31 PM

It might be unfair to the boyfriend... but I'm guessing I'd prefer the likely result of your work over the current set-up...

Cricket briefed on December 11, 2006 08:44 PM

She isn't my child, but before I pursued a dream that involved and demanded more of me that a mere child I would wait until that child was in a position to be an adult.

Not only that, the custodial arrangements leave a LOT to be desired, but the Navy isn't holding a gun to her head for this particular arrangement; it is a matter of law that single personnel have a family plan, but that only kicks in in the event of a servicemember's divorce or death of a spouse, in which case it is AFTER the fact.

In this instance the news story left out the juicy tidbit that her daughter can come and live with her after basic and IF her MOS is one that doesn't require her to be rotated in and out of sea duty until said daughter's majority or emancipated adulthood, whichever term applies.

I would like to see if they follow this through to see what happens to the daughter.

I am going to keep silent about the arrangements because in some instances, non family members have been a better situation. I hope I am right in this instance.

Justthisguy briefed on December 12, 2006 01:32 AM

Um, where is the kid's, like, actual Dad? Not a "donor" I hope.

This is in the Pacific Northwest, right?

I just have a feeling about wrong values of coefficients on the "what's good for me", "what's good for my kid", "what's good for the rest of my family", and "what's good for my country" variables in the

"what should I do with my life" equation.

Dennis Morehouse briefed on December 12, 2006 01:57 AM

I had a girlfriend once who was already in the Army Reserve but was required to make this same decision. I.e. not a 'family plan' as such, but actually signing over custody.

The legal result is that a minor is guaranteed a guardian if something happens to the service member. It's a protection for the minor. The day to day result was that, her two daughters still lived with her, and were cared for by her.

The Navy situation is a tad different in that pay and allowances will be affected, reducing her ability to provide care day to day, because she's no longer the legal guardian and won't be eligible for certain things.

BLUF though, it's incumbent on the service member to provide guardianship from a RELIABLE source. I would accept Mom, but making it Mom's boyfriend just doesn't cut it in my book.

ry briefed on December 12, 2006 02:08 AM

Apples to oranges? You think so? We have Boyington, serial divorcee and child abandoner, gaming the system to enter flight school despite rules excluding married men (and other transgressions). A guy who is chronically in trouble using the military to bail him out of his personal troubles. Apples and oranges? I don't think so. Different genders but the same breed of cat. One's a saint and the other's a goat because one lived 60 years ago and the others current? THey both ran out on their rather adult and parental responsibilities. So how are they apples and oranges then?

Next, an Army retiree and a G'ma about to retire getting custody. Sounds a lot better than living with a single mom to me, having lived that with all kinds of issues I couldn't handle with nobody around to help with(what's the kid going to do? Go ask mom when mom's working at the college?). Show of hands. Who else went that path? Who else has a sister who is a complete fuck up who shouldn't have kids, and yet has two, that's had the G'ma/their mother do the parenting while the g'ma was working full time? I have both and had to subsidize both with my own hard earned dollars. Anyone else? give me some credit for knowing what the hell I'm talking about with non-standard familial arrangements that tended toward the utterly crappy, 'kay? This isn't perfect but what is the other pathway look like? (Where's Phyllis Schafly with all those statistics about teen girls suffering in single mother households when I need her?)

The Army retiree? Oh yes, we know how terrible Army retirees are at being parents don't we? Drivel. Ad hominem drivel. Dude has grown kids of his own, and since none are listed as being total farq ups he can't be that bad a parent. If you are judging this by the first rule of parenting(is this best for the kids development and future adulthood) this can't be seen as terrible. Utterly non-standard, but not terrible as the kid is going to get more attention and supervision than she would otherwise---which if stats are correct means her chance of following her mother into tenn pregers is now less than a quarter of what it was otherwise. How terrible. Complete disaster. This is worse than adopting a child of no relation even.

This Tate chick understood she's a narcicist and the worst thing for her kid. So she ended the problem by realizing that and getting out of the way instead of buying the 'I can do it all' crap and subjecting her duaghter to the higher costs of the parents selfishness by staying---by joining the Navy instead of going to stripper college or the Bunny Ranch I might add. But hey, it looks like a parent abandoning a child so it must simply be bad, bad, bad. Bollocks.

She's serving her country, overcoming her major faults, and not dooming her kid while doing it. That's something.

Trias briefed on December 12, 2006 05:10 AM

Is there some kind of personal chord here for you Ry?

Beth briefed on December 12, 2006 05:22 AM

I was a child abuse investigator once upon a time. I can promise you that this little girl, being dumped by her mom at at age 13, is going to be majorly screwed up.

Just as her hormones kick in, her mom dumps her for the Navy.

There is absolutely nothing for the mom to be proud of here.


Cricket briefed on December 12, 2006 06:29 AM

I did mention in one response that I deleted was that the family plan offered protection to the minor child, but the arrangements were up to the parent and I was not going to touch it with a ten foot pole.

But the spin on the story is that she has to give up custody, not what the custodial choices were.

Looking at it solely from that POV, and with the demands of the Navy right now, she can wait a few years until the daughter is 18. If she can't wait due to economic circumstances, why not mention that?

I don't normally talk about social situations because I have seen circumstances where the mother was so toxic the children were nuclear.
Far better family to take care of them than the state.

And if either the egg or the sperm donor could not get their act together, the state could either terminate parental rights (that's another hot button I have) and either put the kids in foster care (statistically worse for the children's safety)or adopt them out or work for reunification with another type of family plan.

In this case, the Navy left the choice of custodial arrangement up to the parent and stayed out of anything else. This still puts a burden on someone to be accountable for the child, but to whom?

That is what worries me.

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 12, 2006 06:36 AM

Ry, I didn't profess to know Boyington's history. Okay, Boyington was a fuck-up. And so you're going to engage in the rhetorical argument of cherry-picking an outre' example, from a completely different cultural era, plop it on the table and say, "See? That justifies everything!"

And it's *still* apples and oranges. One is a pre-enlistment decision on the part of the mother, the other is a mid-career officer in whom much has been invested, in the middle of the war of the century, where the decision-making is held by the Marine Corps.

*I* never brought the Navy into this.

So yeah, Apples and Oranges.

My focus has been on the mother, and was based on the info provided. Some more info has come to light.


You're correct, Ry, this *could* be the absolute best thing to happen to the girl. We're correct, Ry, this *could* be the worst thing to happen to the girl. The truth will undoubtedly fall in the middle.

The mere fact that the boyfriend is an Army retiree with grown children does *not* mean that he isn't Gregory Boyington Jr., does it? Left-handedly tying the Army retiree comment to me is tacky and again, cherry-picking. By the way Ry, I'm a serial divorcee, too. Of course, all divorces are serial unless you live in a jurisdiction where bigamy is legal... ;^)

I'm more interested in the outcome - which I never said was automatically going to be bad. I said I'm not impressed with her decision. I'm still not impressed with her decision. It might be right for these circumstances, but only time will tell. But highlighting it up front? It may be good journalism, it may be a "cool story" but it isn't grounds to pat Tate on the back.

If that comes, it comes maybe ten years from now. And I'll be *far* more likely to pat Anya on the back than I will Ms. Tate.

You forget Ry - SWBBO and I have some actual experience with this situation in a derivative manner, regarding Andy's high school best buddy. The situation is not the same, but has some parallels.

Another reason that I will do any congratulating on the backside, and it will be focused on the daughter, not the mother.

Oldloadr briefed on December 12, 2006 09:05 AM

I would just like to mention that the article said the enlistee was giving up custody, not putting the child up for adoption. I had a couple of airmen assigned to me during my active duty days who had given up custody of a child to enlist, but they were then allowed to reclaim custody after they completed their basic training, tech school and 5-level upgrade (for most career fields; this take about a year to year and a half).
I’ll bet the Navy has a similar set-up. I’m not saying this was a sound decision on her part, but it is not the total rejection of motherhood as implied in the article…

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 12, 2006 09:07 AM

One thing we're all agreed on... the article sucked.

MajMike briefed on December 12, 2006 09:17 AM

...and no one has yet disagreed that it was a sweet tank video.

so we got that going for us.

which is nice.

ry briefed on December 12, 2006 10:13 AM

Actually, John I didn't take a swipe at you with the serial divorcee. While I do remember Andy and his bud Angus(?---or is it August, can't remember but I'm near to crashing right now anways, though I do remember some kavetching about getting the guy a computer a few years ago, about the same time you guys were looking for a new car.) basically being a quasi adopted child(of whom you can be proud), I'd forgotten that you'd had more than one other wife than SWWBO. That's a bit of projection me thinks. BUt if you're still tweaked by it I take it back. I'll rake the leaves of Argghhh! to make amends. I don't play that dirty(at least not off the basketball court)

John, it ain't all about you. I wasn't specifically targeting you. Relax. You're still a hundred times the Older Brother my flesh and blood one is(you've only threatened a privvy plack).

And what's with all the French phrases of late?

"Of course, all divorces are serial unless you live in a jurisdiction where bigamy is legal... ;^)" Better check on SWWBO's mood before you smile on that bigamy thing. She looks like she packs a mean right cross and we all know the woman can shoot.

"I was a child abuse investigator once upon a time. I can promise you that this little girl, being dumped by her mom at at age 13, is going to be majorly screwed up.

Just as her hormones kick in, her mom dumps her for the Navy."
SWWBO, the kid is jacked already(I'm sure we both would agree to that at this point. Jacked, but salvagable.). It's now a matter of degrees. Stats are in here favour now. Kids of single parents(guilty) come out neurotic to begin with. We have to(like anyone is going to deny that I'm eccentric at least and neurotic still being kind). The question is how far a destructive path would she go otherwise? Retiree grandfather who can watch her full time. Not a bad arrangement.

And I disagree Beth. There's something to be proud of her. Tate got over herself and got out of the way. That's an example I wish other parents would learn. Like that father who ran out onto the field and attacked the kid who cheap shotted his son. There's something to be said for the media to be shinging that light here.
"Is there some kind of personal chord here for you Ry?"
Trias, if you were any more understated I'd be sending you an Acme Anvil.
Gotta take The Wife to lunch now, and then grab some sleep(finally). We'll see how much butt kicking I take in the interim.

ry briefed on December 12, 2006 12:14 PM

Okay, now I'm home.
John, I'm totally capable of such tackiness and bastardy. 'I would never do that to you...' is not something that's true for me in regards to this. We both know that while I'm the guy who stuttered and was fairly shy at dinner with AFSis I'm also capable of being a real asshole too. Simple fact is though that I didn't do what you accuse me of. It really didn't occur to me at the time.

Sorry if it somehow hit a nerve, but I didn't set out to do it nor was it my intention. I'm totally capable of that(particularly now that I'm strung out and sleeping most of the day and working all night---you've got Jess's email somewhere so you can ask) but I didn't do it. I stand by those words as I didn't do them to be personally hurtful to you or specifically targeted at you.

"Oh yes, we know how terrible Army retirees are at being parents don't we?" 'Oh, we all know Jews are money grubbing shylocks, don't we?' Dirty trick? Yes. Meant to jab you? It ain't always about you, Hoss.

Serial divorcee. Didn't cross my mind at the time. That was just Boyington in the context of comparing Boyington to Tate. If you've got issues over it you've got issues over it, and that isn't my fault.

Of course I feel guilty about it, but this time it isn't my fault(unlike the other 999/1000 where it is my fault).

SWWBO: I'm really trying not to cruel here. There's something you've talked about being a real sore spot that handcuffs me when it comes to certain analogies I'd like to use. Maybe in avoiding those I went into areas that were worse. I'm not out to torment you and John over decisions that didn't work out as well as you'd wanted/hoped or decisions you had no control over.
This girl is going to suffer like an older adoptee would(sorry Beth, I know this is a touchy subject). Is that so bad?

Would the Mom be able to send this kid to college on what she's making at the U? Would the children of vets tuition discount kick in if she waited those 5 years like you all are saying?
I'm not the greatest in the world at seeing multiple angles, according to The Wife I actually suck at it, but there's a lot of things you, collectively, aren't looking at such as the financial and future securing. Yeah, there's that emotional and proximal factor----but it sounds like that was already messed up.

If this Tate woman was a HS drop out, was homeschoolng her daughter while going to UW, and other 'life sorting out' I wouldn't be surprised if the G'ma didn't do much of the parenting to begin with. So, at least in my warped view, it isn't like this kid is just now being abandoned by the mom. It's more like the physical component of that abandonement is finally happening.

The end of the drama is over because Tate finally got over herself. That's mega. I'm related to and know quite a few people who never did, and have drug quite a few people down with them(there's a reason why I went to UCD instead of UCLA and didn't have a phone for two years while I was there.). Getting over yourself, following the example set by Ram in the Appanishads and just accepting who you are, is a big deal. That isn't just me. That's the AA talking(and alateen, good organization by the way.).

BUt I didn't do that, John. I could. But not this time.

Now I really must get some sleep so I can pick up Jess in 3 hours.

Cricket briefed on December 12, 2006 01:22 PM

You know, I don't even CARE what Tate did or didn't do pre Navy. What has had me torqued is the way the story was spun about being forced to give up her so called custody.

I am concerned, as any normal parent or person would be about accountability for her daughter's welfare while she is in basic, or out to sea, but the article didn't talk about that.

Heck, if the public has the right to know the nasty Navy is making this pore single mother give up her kid, then maybe a little more digging would
show WHY she had to make this decision, and that she still retains custody until she ETSs. That simple.

Bully for her that she isn't on welfare. Let us hope and pray that the faith the Navy has shown in her is justified and that she can have it all.

Tempest in a teacup.


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