Recently, I came under fire because I had advised a young airman’s spouse about unaccompanied tours to Kuwait. This young lady was desperate to join her husband on a 365 rotation in Kuwait at the same base Shane was stationed at. It was some time ago, while there was unrest in Syria, and the men stationed at the Kuwaiti base were working 6-7 days a week for 14 hour shifts. She was the spouse of a one-striper, she was pregnant, and she would not get command sponsorship. She wanted to leave in two weeks. I said, go to the State Department, but don’t ever count on it. The odds are not in your favor.
I’m of the opinion that military spouses should not join their husbands on a deployment. Even though I did for a short time in Guam, I don’t think it’s a good idea, no matter how adventurous you are. You see having been on the other side of the coin, there is thing called the mission. I want the mission to be accomplished, and my husband to come home. Spouses going places without command sponsorship in zones that have risks. Sure there are risks everywhere, you risk yourself when you go in your car and head to Hobby Lobby.
The risks in Kuwait are much different. First of all, there are Islamic Laws. When you go to a base without command sponsorship, you must be aware of these laws, and follow them. You may be an American, but you are not in Kansas anymore. There are also Personal Security risks. There is a risk of being kidnapped. As the family of an American serviceperson, you are at an increased risk for kidnapping and murder. The terrorists don’t care if you are an American. Finally, there is considerable financial risk. If ISIS spreads into Kuwait, you will be on your own for getting out of the country. Also, you will be responsible for rent, and the cost of living in Kuwait is considerably higher, so is the cost of medical. You are not a Kuwaiti, and without command sponsorship you will not have the luxury of giving birth at the US facility.
The military provides the unique opportunity for world travel, and I’m all for going, but not to a zone considered a “war zone,” and not with two weeks notice, and not while you are pregnant. If spouses don’t like that that’s my opinion, don’t ask. As the spouse of a combat pilot, any distractions put my husband at risk. A spouse and children in a war zone is a distraction.