He Got Injured at Basic! Now What?

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Everything is going well for you and your spouse during BMQ; the weeks start to fly by and you start to make plans for his graduation parade. Then one day you get a phone call, or maybe a text, at an unusual time of day. That in itself is enough to tip you off to the fact that something is off. Then you hear those dreaded words: I got hurt.

Injuries while at BMQ can be a very scary thing, and can put a great deal of stress on both the recruit and the family at home. I know this first hand because my husband sustained an injury seven weeks into his BMQ. It may see overwhelming at first but there is a way to deal with and get through being injured while on BMQ, and you will find yourself much stronger for it in the end.

The first and most important thing to do is make sure that your spouse is okay! This might seem obvious but in the panicked moments immediately following the news you may be more apt to think, “How much longer will you be stuck there?” “I need to cancel those hotel reservations” or “will I have to be the one to tell the rest of the family.” Make sure that you set all those thoughts aside and be there for your spouse. This will also be a big blow for them and they will probably need to lean of you for some support.

Once you find out all the information, what type of injury, are you okay, who already knows, you can start to deal with the process of recovery. Rule number one in this situation: the staff at BMQ don’t give the recruits a lot of information about something until it is already happening. Keep this in mind and don’t become irritated with your spouse for keeping you in the dark; that’s where they are too.

The first thing that will happen is a trip to the MIR, Medical Inspection Room, where the Military doctors will check them out. Following that appointment your recruit will be sent to the public Hospital in Saint-Jean for a second opinion, and then will head back to the MIR for treatment. This process is so long because Saint-Jean is an ASU, Area Support Unit, and therefore does not have a full infirmary.

Once the injury has been assessed one of two things will happen. If your recruit will be healed in a short amount of time, say for example they have a sprained ankle or a laceration that requires stitches; they will simply stay on A Platoon, the injured platoon, until they are healed. If the injury will take a longer time heal, and of course all of this is determined on a case by case basis, the recruit is entitled to 30 days of sick leave to recover at home. Never count on this though; paperwork delays in this particular department can be a real bummer. While on A recruits should be able to have weekends off and should have their phones most nights after 1800hrs barring pulling duties.

Once the injury is healed there will be a series of doctors’ appointments and possibly physio-therapy appointments. These will feel endless and little progress will be made at each. They are important though, as the doctors and therapists must make sure the recruit is fully recovered before rejoining a platoon to avoid further injuries down the road. Don’t get discouraged during this time. My mother-in-law, a very wise woman, gave me the best piece of advice when I was having a particularly hard time dealing with the slow progress. She said, “Just remember that every day that passes is one less that you have to spend apart.” I told you she was wise.

Finally the day will come when your recruit call home and says, “They’re transferring me to Warrior.” What is Warrior you ask? Well, that’s an entirely different post…

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