I have the opportunity to "deploy" with my job to Kabul, Afghanistan for 9 months to work on one of the military bases. I will be working as a civilian and won't have to leave the base unless I want to. The work will be 7 days a week with 1/2 days on Friday so I'll be making big time overtime and should bring in about 3 times my yearly pay in 9 months.
There is a lot of monetary benefits but also some big negatives. Only 1 R&R so I'll only be able to see my wife and baby (8 months) and the rest of my family once in 9 months but there is plenty of technology so we'll be able to communicate daily. Safety, rockets and mortars are a very real threat.
Mainly those two, I don't really care about the long hours and the potential to be debt free in less than a year and cash in the bank makes it seem worth it. Obviously, no surf but I'd be working out daily out of boredom and have $ to travel afterwards. It would be hardest on my wife as a psuedo-single mom.
Any thoughts? Especially if you've been over there before.
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I had 2 friends that went to Iraq to work as contractors, yes you can make alot of money but I think alot of it depends on what skills you have, especially any special skills. They did pay off their car loans and alot of other stuff though, there is a threat of danger too, they said not to leave the base ever and you will be much safer. They were with the company that is based out of Texas, so they fly you to Tx first to get your physical I believe then you go home and pack I think then fly overseas. Its 7 days a week 10-12 hours a day, its hot and sandy. But they only did this for a year but less than 2 years so it must not be too special...guess it depends on your work ethnic.
Jun 4, 2012, 09:24 PM #3
My thought...never been there, but have had family/friends who have...here are some questions that I talked about with them. They're really worth sitting down and thinking about...
Is the 8mo your first kid? If so, the first year is full of firsts that may be hard to miss while over there. Does your wife have a lot of support in your area (family, etc.)? How strong is your marriage? How much debt do you have? What is your life insurance policy look like? What is your communication plan? How will the money meet your long-term goals (travel money would be lower on the list for me...)?
However, the bottom line....I really I think it boils down to what is your wife thinks...in these types of situations, you can never go wrong with a family first type of perspective imho because she will be the one most likely dealing with the hardship of you being away (as you stated). You know her best...you think she'll be able to manage?
If your wife is a fan and believes she can manage...I'd say go for it (may be worth it fiscally). But if it were me...I don't think my wifey would even consider it regardless of the monetary advantages
Jun 4, 2012, 09:27 PM #4
I don't want to give you my opinions because I think your situation requires none, other than yours and your family's. However, I will say two things: three times your yearly pay in 9 months essentially frees you for 21 months, and more importantly that true love knows no distance (your family and the ocean).
I spent a month in S. Africa this past January, and though my lover was spending the month in India and my family was home in New York, it was the most refreshing, wonderful month of my life. I got lonely and love sick on more than one occasion, but opened my eyes and realized the wonderful people I was surrounded with and the beautiful landscape I was fortunate enough to be treading upon. I'm positive you'll have similar feelings if you decide to "deploy".
You have my respect with whatever decision you make, despite the fact that I'm not a pro-military person (assuming you're in some division of the armed forces).
Best of luck and stay safe!
Jun 4, 2012, 09:31 PM #5
However, I should elaborate because I feel as if my post implies that you should go.
It's hard for us-- virtually impossible, in fact-- to assess the amount of debt in your family, how strong your marriage/fidelity is to each other, etc.
Personally, unless I couldn't make it withOUT the trip, I would not go. I'd rather spend the months in the vicinity of the woman (and child if I was a father) I love.
By the way, my trip to Africa was for school, not work.
Jun 4, 2012, 10:38 PM #6Member
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Know what you are getting into. It is a tough environment & 9 months is a long time. Its like the movie Groundhog Day. You work 7 days a week- There is no such time as being off. Off time is in your hooch. If you are single its fine. Its rough if you have a family, especially a young family. Knowing that, the money is very good. Know why you are there- to support the military. Never advertise how much you make to soldiers- they dont make all that much & they risk their lives. All of them have lost friends there. Helps if you know rank & know a little military courtesy. Take your train up serious- it is no joke being there// Good Luck
You could try to get a shorter term, if I'm correct my friends were out for 3-4 months and came back for a month in between. But some companies can have different policies. I'd say go for it, if you don't like it you can leave prematurely which may hinder your pay and whatnot. Try different things, learn different skills and you will become more knowledgeable at the end than before.
i agree with the others...9 months is crazy long especially with a baby at home. I would consider the shorter term if it's an option. unless you have crazy debt, i would look for something here. you will never be able to bring back your childs first couple of months and the epic days you will miss will just bring you epic heartache.
Jun 4, 2012, 11:24 PM #9
Make sure your wife is on board. I've never been to Afg. but I've been deployed for close to a year "other places" w/o my family. My 1st girl was 3. I missed a lot. Whatever decision you make, make sure that you never second guess it as being the wrong one and listen to your gut instincts. Good luck (although I graduted from USC and a Gamecock at heart
In addition to the advice you are getting from some people who have deployed, also check the tax rules. I am not current but I had friends in the past who worked overseas as a civilian some years ago (there are big differences between military and civ with respect to taxes)
Back then if you were out of the country for something like 12 consecutive months without re-entering the states, the $ was not taxed as US income. If the rules are the same now you may end up taking a HUGE tax hit since the period of performance is < 12 months, since it sounds like the $ is the motivator make sure you know the numbers.
Tax laws change more often than the East Coast surf forecast so check it out.