I supposed I need from the outset explain why I’ve maintained this website even though I rarely spend anytime updating it. Realizing it has been years since my last post I understand the need for an answer?
So why update now?
ChaplainCarson.com was always meant to be informational, not just on my life, but on things that those who share commonalities with me would find valuable. From the entry process into the Navy, to Officer Development School, this blog was about the process. Getting from here to there was important to me, as there was nothing that I could find online about the process when I started my own journey. So my hope has always been that this blog would, for others, at least give some answers.
Through my deployment to Afghanistan the words on the page became a window into my spirit and the sustaining power of the Most High during times of trial. This is not to say that I don’t cry out to God in the in-between, when life is less about loneliness and struggle and more about drudgery. I think, however, we all understand far too well the toll of simple survival and have in our own ways learned to adapt and cope with the day-in-day-out of life.
So here at last we arrive at the point of this post - in particular. God has, in his ways, begun a shift yet again in the life of this sailor, and the call of my family. Mid-July I received word from my detailer that my family and I are slated to head to Japan next spring.
I confess a bit of apprehension at the thought of it, seasoned of course with excitement at the unknown; I am after all filled with wanderlust. I think I inherited that from my father – the great desire to know this world in as many varying ways as possible so that in the knowing I might better understand the brush strokes of the Master. Isn’t that really why we are all here anyway? To know Him more.
Before I bore you with my own brand of poetry lets be off on what is next for the Carson Clan and what getting assigned to overseas duty entails. This is all through the eyes of a first timer, as I experience it, so forgive my ignorance if you have a better understanding of this process. My hope is through my own hurdles I can help bring some wisdom to those on the outside looking in and clarity to those yet to embark on the unknown.
Once the Detailer (The guy who helps me pick what I do next as a Chaplain) has penciled me into a billet (job) a Letter of Intent (LOI) is generated instructing myself and my family to begin the overseas screening process.
Based upon receipt of the LOI I have 30 days to complete all requirement to show I am able to serve overseas, my family has 60 days to complete similar requirements.
What I need to complete the screening process:
Interview with my command rep to insure I’m not a drug addict, felon, liar, murder, thief, etc. Generally am I a decent representative of the USA in a foreign land. Oh, and my spouse should be pretty awesome too.
Overseas Medical Readiness Packet. This start with a small Brazilian forest being turned into paper and bled all over with ink.
Education Form for my kids. A teacher led evaluation of the educational strength of each child. Since we homeschool, my wife will fill this out – which could be quite humorous based on the, shall we say, diligence-to-discipline ratio of our children.
Preventative Medicine appointment. This is a brief (and a few shots) that are specific to the destination country. For Japan I think it’s a warning against petting Godzilla or licking centipedes (look them up -scary!)
Medical Screening. Am I healthy enough to live in Japan? Is my family also healthy enough? Specifically all potential health issue that could arise are looked at to insure there are no emergent situations. The last thing the Navy wants (and I agree!) is for my family to be in a place where the medical treatment cannot treat our needs.
Dental Screening. Is my smile really good enough to represent ‘Murica? I’d like to think so.
My wife will also have to sit through a brief or two concerning the potential move to land of the rising sun.
Finally I will need a few signatures to pave the way. Once complete and the Navy knows that my family can move to Japan they will then begin the process to write PCS Orders.
My journey through this appointment will begin in earnest next week but for now we walk in faith that God who was brought us this far will see us further still.
In His Grips