Deployment Dodging

Updated: September 19, 2012

By RU Contributor Solomon G

As I powered down my laptop, I stared into the darkness and thought about what I just watched. The voices of the young warriors still echoed in the back of my mind. Restrepo, a film that documents a deployment with U.S. Army’s 2nd Platoon in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan, has just cleared my screen, but will remain burned in my conscience for the next few hours (short plug for an incredible film).

One of the thoughts that is plaguing me, is the commitment of these young men. They heard about the treacherous the area was and some even thought they would never leave the valley alive, but they still worked mission forward to get the job done. They showed amazing resolve, unmatched testicular fortitude and raw emotion that all men can admire.

For the moment, I felt like what I was doing for our country wasn’t enough, especially when I think about all that the military has done for me-paid for school, fed and clothed my family, provided me with a pretty nice ride and just enough money left over to keep my retirement nest egg growing. Although I’m deployed and far from my family and loved ones, I can’t help to think that I should do more.

This enlightened feeling was short lived. I opened up the Stars and Stripes the next morning at breakfast and glimpsed at a story preview at the bottom of the page that read: “Police: Airman had husband shoot her to avoid Asia deployment”. I blinked, rubbed my eyes and asked the captain standing next to me in the chow line if my eyes were deceiving me. Are you freaking kidding me? This happened?

It just so happens that Active Duty AF Staff Sergeant Judy Groomes convinced her husband, Active Duty AF Staff Sergeant Christopher Groomes to shoot her in the leg, so she could get out of a deployment. Seriously?!?! Am I really reading this?

Her initial story is that an intruder entered her home while her husband and kids slept (yes, these two mental juggernauts procreated…twice), and shot her as he fled the house. She was treated at a local hospital, where she eventually revealed the mind-numbing scheme to get out of her deployment. If your jaw hasn’t hit the ground yet, I’m not sure what other truths I can spew to you to make that happen.

Sooo… I’m sitting here trying to think of how this all came about. Did she come home from work one day with the tasking orders in hand and say “Honey, I’m deploying. I really don’t want to go, so could you please SHOOT ME so I can be pulled from the tasking?” And he replies “Yes, dear. Deploying is rough. We ARE in the Air Force, so I’m sure you’ll be have a terrible time over there, especially if there’s no room service. Tell you what, I’ll get my rusty .22, pop off a couple caps into your leg and you’ll never have to worry about this horrible tasking again!” I mean REALLY!?!?! Is this the BEST they could come up with? I’ve been around for a while and I’ve heard of many people, trying many different ways to avoid deployments, but this is top-tier douchebaggery at it’s finest. I still can’t help to think that these two Einsteins produced children.

Anyway, Mr. Smartypants was arrested on a charge of illegal use of a weapon and Mrs. Smartypants was issued a summons on a charge of criminal mischief. Both should also be charged for striking each other with the “stupid stick”.

We are at war. I’m sure these two brainiacs knew that when they voluntarily enlisted. I can’t believe that anyone would go to this extreme to avoid something they knew was a possibility and their responsibility. It’s shameful, embarrassing and extremely unfortunate.

There is no excuse for this behavior, nor room for this behavior in our services. These are two NCOs. Can you imagine the impact this could have on their subordinates? Not to mention the fact that they are probably supervising airmen right now, which means they are in the position to influence and “control” another service members career!

Well, I’ll probably never understand why these two did what they did. What I do understand is that there are thousands men and women who are away from home right now, in abhorred conditions proudly doing the work of our Constitution. They’re making that sacrifice, I’m making that sacrifice and scores of them are like PFC Juan Restrepo, who made the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t dodge their deployment.




  1. Oldud

    September 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Well, since it was a wife handing hubby a gun with instructions to “shoot me”, that’s not too bad. But any moron that would hand his wife a gun and tell her to shoot him…uh, how do you think that would end.

  2. Michael

    September 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

    She couldn’t stand the anticipated injuries she might not receive as a member of the chair force, so had it done. Too bad the husband, “Mr. Smartpants” was a worse shot and missed her leg and hit her in the head… I have little tolerance for stupidity.

    • Michael

      September 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Too bad the husband, “Mr. Smartpants” *WASN’T a worse shot, missed her leg and hit her in the head… I have little tolerance for stupidity.

      • Paul R. Laubhan

        September 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

        Tolerance for stupidity…no. But the real issue for me is understanding it. What in God’s name goes on in the very few brain cells these people possess? Seriously! Try to imagine what it must be like to be them. “Honey…Got a minute?” Sheesh!

  3. andyinsdca

    September 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    When I was in the Navy, a bootcamp seaman had one of his shipmates break his leg (!) so he’d get out of a Westpac. The story was that they were wrestling when it happened, but that fell apart quickly. Apparently his aunt (he didn’t live with his mom & dad growing up) put some weird thoughts into his head and he was really scared about doing the Westpac. He got out of the Westpac, to be sure – he got adsep’ed.
    I suspect crap like this happens all the time.

  4. Cecilio Mendez

    September 20, 2012 at 9:02 am

    “Chair force”?… Beautiful!… On the fact at hand, I think these two morons should be deprived to raise their children, or we could be hearing bad news from those kids sometime in the future.

  5. SSG Edwards

    September 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Unfortunately this is an on going issue in the Military today. A neighboring unit has a female that every time a deployment is in the air she gets pregnant. Four times now she has missed deployments. You would think she would be tired of having kids. Guess we will see when the next deployment comes up.

  6. Cobalt Spider

    September 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    First off, let me salute the Air Force. They deploy predator dones for some much needed hellfire support in some of the worst spots of hell. Few people turn down AC130 fire support or high altitude bombing when you’re needing it.

    These two are NOT part of that group. Shooting yourself to get out of deployment is worthy of a duck dinner(DD). There were girls that got pregnant to get out of deployment back in the day. Repugnant.

    Now, we have british soldiers giving birth to babies IN war zones in Afghanistan. That’s a brit enlisted female nine months pregnant carrying a rifle and a baby. Stopping to have her kid and reload. These two idiots should learn from her.

  7. CCO

    September 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Yeah, I heard about the Brit who had a baby down range; it made me think of the farmer’s wife in “The Good Earth” who had her baby, caught her breath, and went back to work (although I’m given to understand that the Brit didn’t know she had deployed pregnant; she thought it was stomach trouble until she went into labor).

  8. oldguy

    September 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    This is great news. Now the AF can get rid of two POS NCO’s plus no AM will have to ever work for them again. If they’d pull a stunt like this stateside, imagine what they’d do in theater. Good riddance…now bill them for all the TA and other bennies they “stole”.

  9. Kent Christen

    September 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

    First of all, not all of us in the Air Force go to garden spots like Bagram. I spent my Afghan deployment at FOB Gardez on a Provinical Reconstruction Team. We thought Salerno was huge, ok (and it had a PX and Green Beans)?

    Second, I’m sure there are stories like this of just about every service, including the Army.

    Having said that, these two are douchebags, regardless of branch of service. But more so, because 90% of Air Force taskings are pretty cush. Going some place like Bagram is cake, and most of the people at Bagram don’t go outside of the wire (yes, that includes the Army guys).

    And I agree with the author’s sentiments about doing more. I watched a lot of the maneuver guys doing their thing over there and felt like I should have been doing more, too.

  10. Ted N

    September 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Unit’s better off without her. I’d rather have an empty slot than somebody that’s willing to pull shit like that. Hope the walking papers are processed quit and that they’re out on their ass ASAP.

  11. KSINF

    October 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I am a LEO and ARNG. We had a LEO in the Marine Reserve that shot himself in the knee with a .45 cal and said it was a break in. Long story short he did it to get out of a deployment. He was let go from the agency but to my knowledge is still in the Marine reserve. Funny thing is that his unit deployed state side to do ammo suppport.

  12. Old Ranger

    November 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    My niece’s husband is (or was) an artilleryman in the Reserves. When his unit was called up for duty in Iraq he sustained a back injury at work the following week. As we all know, those types of injuries are difficult to disprove so he did not have to deploy. Two soldiers from his Battalion were killed on that deployment. I don’t know if one of them was the man who replaced him, but his cowardice is something that I simply cannot abide. I have not looked at or spoken to him at a family function for five years. He knows exactly how much contempt I have for him.

  13. AD AF

    November 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I’m ashamed of these two NCO’s. As far as I can tell, they’re regular old active duty airmen. Not even battlefield airmen. I just spent the past 3.5 years non-deployable, and now that I am, I’ve got 1.5 years dwell time. I want to deploy, I want to do my job, I want to help my countrymen kill the enemy. That these two mooseknuckles did this is appalling. That there are women that will get pregnant to get out of deployment, is disgraceful, and most of all the whole Idea of shirking your duty is repugnant. In fact, it’s illegal. Girl get pregnant to dodge a deployment, nothing happens, airman is late for a duty shift, and he get’s NJP first offense. Guess my supervisors were right, life sucks, and then you die.

  14. Sgt_H

    December 4, 2012 at 6:34 am

    And here I am wanting to go back in. For the 3rd time…

  15. kwhit190211

    January 16, 2013 at 5:06 am

    I read with interest your story about this dumbshit couple & a lot of you are right. I hope that they get booted out of the service & have to pay something for the crap that they pulled. But, I’ve seen & heard dumber things pulled to get out of serving. As far as I am concern these two jerks are cowards & should be LABELED as such. Give them a dishonorable, that will give them something to think about for the rest of their years on this planet. These jerks give a black eye to all of us whoever served or who are serving. And, I hope whatever fate that drops into their lap screws them good.
    The only thing in the article above that I take umbridge in is the reference to us ZOOMIES! Yes, I was a zoomie, myself. And, while I was deployed in Nam 67-68, we might have had it softer than the Army & Marines. We were rocketed every day with 122mm rockets. And, I mean every day. I was surprised when I had my 21st birthday over there that I was still alive what with all the crap that happened to us while I was there. Another thing while I was there we went through TET! The load crew that I was in was designated to one of the last personal to be air-lifted out if it came to that. I was a Weapons Mechanic at the time & we loaded bombs, rockets, napalm & etc onto planes. Luckidly the Army and our planes stopped the gooks just past the minefield. So, we didn’t have to undergo a bug-out!

  16. Anibal Perez

    February 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    People trying to get out of deployments, and here I am, got out in 97, STILL disappointed I never had to deploy and serve in a war zone, just the timing of my enlistment, but I can still feel bad I’m not there doing all I can to help

  17. T. Morris

    February 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    That’s absolutely disgusting. I only had the one 15-month deployment. I was injured after during combatives, IN THE REAR, had two knee surgeries to fix it. ETSed, and felt like a giant pile of human dogshit for it because I still couldn’t run. Instead of being a profile rider, I went to the Guard. Worked my ass off, now I can pass the run again. Still feel like a pile of shit. Last August came around, we got a WARNO with the Guard that we might be going. Fuck, yes. Started working harder. Got a little bit faster. Still doing a 16-minute two mile, but its better than its been since the surgeries. Got told last week that our deployment got axed and I’m absolutely devastated. First time since ’08 that I’ve been in decent enough shape to not be a fucking liability to everyone around me, and we’re not going. I want to fucking go again, so badly, and there’s fuckfaces like this begging to get out of it? Fuck. Give me your deployment.

  18. 4thID RVN

    October 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’m sorry, but women should not serve except in stateside billets. They do not have the strength to serve in combat roles (I know, won’t see this in the Air Force) and it is a disgrace to think that some dude is sitting on a couch, eating Doritos, and watching Modern Family while a woman is serving her country in a combat zone. In the current state of asymmetrical warfare there are NO non-combat deployments.
    Crap, even the Russkies and the Israelis, previous champions of universal service, don’t call their women to combat service.
    Non military American manhood is in a sorry state, and military leadership is in an even sorrier state. Political leadership is waaaay past don’t ask, don’t tell.

  19. James Hayes

    October 10, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Wait, since when did airmen learn to use guns?

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