Stimulus Package

Stimulus Package
Charles T. McGrath, Sr.

Going to school
five hours a day, rent’s due, utilities past due, we’re pregnant and now I get laid off. Seven-eighty-five an hour and I get laid off. What in the hell are we going to do?
“Have you given the National Guard anymore thought?”
“Not really. Have you?
“Not since I got laid off, but now...well we’re both out of work.’
“And now?”
“The Guard offers a bonus for joining and that would go a long way in paying the bills.”
“I know. I know,”
“And on top of it we don’t have any insurance now and the baby bills are going to pile up.”
“I saw on television that the president was going to recall troops from Iraq. The Montana National Guard probably won’t be called.”
“I read that in the paper, too. And he’s going to raise pay and benefits. And I will be eligible for the G.I.Bill, That will pay for school.


“It’s sixty days training in South Carolina and if you join this summer you’ll be back in time for Fall Semester.”
“Yeah, but there are monthly meetings and two weeks training camp every year.”
“1 know. But the meetings are right here in Missoula and besides you get paid.” “But damn,”  he moaned, “for the want of 15 credits and a term paper....”
“But sweetheart there are no jobs.”
“WOW,” he surmised shaking his head as he totaled the score, “pregnant, jobless, no insurance, no degree, no prospects, what a hell of a way to start a family.
“We can do this. Consider it as our part of the stimulus package.”
“You’re cute. But when I stop and think about it what have we got to lose? We’re dead in the water now”
“Being apart from you for sixty days that’s what I have to lose. And the thoughts of what you are going to go through, my mind will be swimming.”
°Yeah, but think of the stories UI have to tell. What the hell, let’s do it. Everything will be okay.”


“Hi, Darling. News is negative. We learned today that after boot camp we ship out to Afghanistan. Seems the Army is cutting back in Iraq but building up in Afghanistan. I know it throws a wrench into our plans and I’m not happy about it, but we’re in the army now. Don’t worry, sweetheart, scuttlebutt has it is that we are going to be there six months while the regulars from Iraq get some R&R before replacing us. If everything goes right I’ll be home in time for the baby. By the way are you beginning to show yet? I bet you are a radiant mother-to-be. I hope the insurance is straightened out now and don’t forget to winterize the apartment. There is still a chance I can make the winter session. And please don’t worry, everything will be okay.”


“Something terrible happened today. I can’t tell you now, later maybe. We’ve been given thirty days R&R in Kuwait for some sort of evaluation. I hope it’s mental because I’m going to do my best to flunk it. I miss snowboarding with my sweetheart, but we’ll have next year. We’ll even take the baby. I miss school. How are the Griz doing? And the Mini-Mart, hell, I even miss working there. And believe it or not I even miss Twila. But more than anything I miss you. Don’t worry sweetheart, just focus on the baby, everything will be okay.”


“The doctor told me that they have contacted you. It was a roadside bomb, we didn’t see it. Pete and Emile are gone. Alan, Carl and Edward are here in the hospital with me although for some reason we are separated. I’m sorry my love, I pray the delivery went smoothly? Tell our son daddy loves him so. This can’t be real what we do to one another, it’s not right, it’s just not right.”



“I know that you are aware that the doctors say I am getting better. The nightmares and the...oh what’s the use? You are right; you and our son have lives to live too. Believe me when I say I understand, so send the papers and I will sign them, everything will be okay.”



Opening the envelope from the Veterans Hospital at Ft. Harrison she went directly to the body of the letter, “We regret to inform you that your husband took his own
life on the evening of 6/26. Indications are that a fatal amount of medications were ingested. You will be contacted promptly to make all necessary arrangements...” The letter fell to her feet as their son reached his short arms encircling his mother’s neck and began to cry, “It’s okay, sweetheart,’ she reassured him gently patting his back, “everything will be okay.”








This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola