By Selena Conmackie
In true fashion, the moment your servicemember deploys, things “happen”.
I had an appointment with DEERs (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) to renew my Military ID. I will preface this by saying that it expired one day before the appointment — a previous appointment was canceled due to possible COVIDexposure, then DEERS was BUSY and since my husband deploying that was the first appointment I could get.
Also, let’s note that my husband deployed the day that my card expired.
For a moment, I contemplated if I really needed it. I mean, we live off-post and I don’t shop at the commissary or the Exchange. My medical center was also off-post… I mean… just maybe. No, no, nope.
So, it was time to drop my husband off (have you read my blog post about The Drive Home yet?) and we entered the gate… at which point my ID triggered a series of events that lasted me a week-and-a-half:
- The gate guard took my expired ID and gave me a paper that assured me I would still get my ID at my next appointment.
- I dropped off my husband to start his deployment, cry, go home and get ready for my appointment later in the day.
- I was on top of it. I had my binder of POA’s, his deployment papers, my paper that said my ID was with the gate foreverrrrr. Oh, and I brought my bestie!
- At my appointment, I was informed that the piece of paper the guard gave me does NOT do anything. Did I have another ID other than my driver’s license?
- I left defeated when my Sam’s Club Card, Credit Cards, my daughter’s military ID did not work. In my binder of awesomeness that I and my husband built to be prepared for when he deployed there was nothing essential like my birth certificate that would have helped. I did not understand the assignment. (TikTok fanatic? Then you’ll get that part.)
- I was told that because of my circumstance, I could walk in and not go back on the 38,574,958-day-long waitlist for my ID (a little win).
- I fell into that my-spouse-deployed funk and went back for my ID the following week.
- I popped back on post with that paper from the guard that lets me on post but won’t get me my ID. I also tried to tell the guard gate the whole story of why I had a paper and he graciously said, “Don’t miss your appointment.”
- This time I came with every official document that any government had ever issued me. My marriage cert, divorce cert from my previous marriage, Social Security card. You name it, I had it all.
- The wonderful DEERs person helping me was like “Oh, no, just need only one of those ma’am.” (Ma’am?… Really? Can’t I get “MilSpouse hot mess” instead?)
- It worked. I got an appointment slot and made it to the waiting room while I watched people come in with or without some issue and being sent away in massive frustration.
- I walked out of there feeling like I needed to show off to anyone passing me that I finally got it. (I didn’t do that, I promise.)
And all of THAT, people, was me just trying to get my military ID.
Navigating military life is always interesting. Please share your #militarylife story, too!
About Selena Conmackie
Some call Selena their Social Media Gal, Website Designer Extraordinaire Guru, Genius (their words, not hers). But she’s also a Military Spouse following her husband with her kid and dog in tow to wherever the Army sends them. So, just add Rockstar Mom and Ah-mazing Wife to her list.