Two days after we were blessed with our second son, Nicholas, our world came crashing down around us. My husband, at the time a sailor in the U.S. Navy, received a call that would change life as we had known it for nearly 13 years forever. He was instructed to report to his ship, the USS Arleigh Burke, December 2, 2011, no other information was given at that time. He reported as ordered only to be escorted to the commanding officer's state room. Upon arrival he was informed he was not selected for retention by the Enlisted Review Board (ERB).
A little background and description of the ERB. It was created to reduce manning in 31 overmanned rates. In order to "qualify" for the ERB a sailor must hold one of the 31 rates (jobs) and have at least 7 years of service but less than 15 years. The ERB was supposed to look at the records of nearly 16,000 sailors with ranks from Petty Officer Third Class (E-4) to Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8). From these records, the ERB was interpret the careers of these sailors and look at whether or not the sailors were getting bad reviews, losing security clearances or were convicted of military or civilian crimes. Nearly 3,000 sailors were let go due to this board.
With that said, my husband was one of the 3,000. I was still in the hospital when he was called in to the ship. When he returned it was almost time for Nicholas and I to be discharged.