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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snow and the hardest job in the Army

I've been a bad blogger lately. I've only posted for RTT and Dear So and So. I love them both, but need to post more...you know, other stuff.

This morning we woke up to several inches of snow. It was beautiful, but Indy has been sick (nothing major, just a slight cold), which meant he couldn't go out and enjoy it. This of course led to a chorus of "but I feel better, really" that lasted allllllllllll day. Not fun for me. Believe me, I'd have loved nothing better than to bundle him up and let him have at it, but if I had, I knew I'd have been up at 4am with a very sick kiddo and I value my sleep too much. I'd show you a photo, but I can't get my computer to read my card chip and the cord is waaaay over there in the hall closet and who wants to get up? Not me. Just imagine lots of snow.

Mr. HH (who, after reading Pocket Indy's blog, is now griping that he wants a new name-sigh) has been given a new duty. A terrible duty. He's now the Casualty Notification Officer and the Casualty Assistance Officer for his until. What this means is that if a soldiers dies he has to notify the family (in the role of CNO) and/or walk them through the process of funeral planning, help get them grief counseling, arrange details and really be there for whatever they need. Seriously, this is one of the absolute worst jobs in the military. CNO's are hated because they bring the news nobody wants to hear. He went through training today and came home so depressed. They had to watch all kinds of training films and go through different notification scenarios. He was told to be prepared to be slapped, spit on and punched. That did not cheer him up. Sadly the person who brings the news often receives the brunt of the anger. Poor Mr. HH. I told him that hopefully he won't have to deliver any bad news. Keep your fingers crossed for everyone's sake.


9 comments:

Sandy said...

Wow, I never realized that there was one soldier in a unit who handled that. That seems too heavy a job for one person. I, too, hope he never has to call on his training.

Captain Dumbass said...

I think every world leader and every member of Congress/Parliament/Senate should have to hold that job for a few weeks. Good luck.

Shell said...

Wow, that is a horrible job. I never thought about someone being responsible for it- guess I thought it got pushed around to different people.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What an awful job. :( Poor Mr. HH. People who have that job should get a raise.

Becca said...

My husband is deployed and I live with the constant dread of looking out the window to see the chaplain and the CNO walking up to my gate.

However, if you've seen the movie "We Were Soldiers", the worst part of that for me was when the taxi driver brought the telegrams to family members informing them that their loved one was KIA. I am SO grateful for the CNOs and the job they do. It's horrible and depressing and hard, but it is so important.

I hope and pray that Mr. HH never has to do a notification. But if he does, in spite of the grief and tragedy, his duties are valued and needed and appreciated.

These Are The Days said...

Poor guy, that IS rough. I'll pray he doesn't have to deliver any bad news too. Hope Indy gets better (for real) before the snow melts. :) Happy Friday.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Oh that job would be awful to have! I don't think there's any way that I can do that. I wouldn't be able to handle being the bearer of bad news. Hopefully he won't have !

Sarah said...

My good friend's Casualty Assistance Officer was such a help to her. She always spoke so highly of him, and I know how bad she was hurting. Yes, it can be a very sad and depressing job, but they are also a really good resource and help to many family members.

One of the things my husband does in his day-to-day work is write condolence letters to the next of kin for any solider assigned to USAREUR. He has a drawer full of letters he has written since he started in this job. That's also very depressing...

Rue said...

I'm sorry he has to be the one to do that job, but like Becca said, they are needed and I think appreciated by most. Here, the recruiters are asked as part of their duty to do it, but Rich hasn't been called on. My grandmother was in the Marines during WWII and that was her main job. She never talked about it according to my mom.

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