Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain…
Prologue: I have struggled with whether or not to post this blog entry. I wrote this a number of days ago and scheduled it to publish this morning, but then pulled it back yesterday. The reason for pulling it back is the same question I ask before hitting publish on any blog entry: Did it tell a story that anybody would be interested in?
And in final estimation, I think the answer is yes. I have done a pretty good Mr. Wilson over the last few years regarding who I am. Now that this phase of my life is over, I’m willing to share a little bit more. The caveat remains: What is published here and has published in the past is my opinion. It does not necessarily reflect the views of my former employer.
So before the Independence Day holiday I had my own celebration. Some would look at it as an early independence day. My bride would instead say I broke up with my mistress.
Late last week I retired from the United States Air Force, finishing my 22+ year career in the United States Air Force. I have alluded over the last couple of months about big changes coming down the pike, and I assure you that this is a huge change.
The Air Force would have allowed me to continue to serve longer. At my current rank I could have stayed until I had served another 3 1/2 years. With one last available promotion I could have stayed 4 years beyond that. But as military professionals we know when the uniform no longer fits, whether figuratively or literally. With the number of physical ailments that I have dealt with in the last couple of years I knew that it was time. I never wanted to be that Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (or Senior NCO, if you will) that was walking around the track while everybody else was running. But I was that Senior NCO (even if I could out walk all of the people I work with).
Over the years of writing this blog, I have been purposefully vague about who I have worked for and what I do. And to a great degree I will continue to be. It really doesn’t add much to the story.
In the future if I do speak about military issues, I will be, as I am now, very blunt that what I say does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of my now former employer. With my retirement I will have a little more leeway to talk about military life and the struggles thereof and therein. But don’t expect huge treatises on, well, just about anything. I have a post in me about the “50% retirement for serving 20 years” myth, but that I expect will be a month or so down the line.
I am blessed that my next gig is lined up and I will go to work shortly after I complete my delayed annual Photography Binge.
So about that mistress… My bride has always told me that the Air Force was my mistress. I spent long hours with her, to include getting home and crawling into bed long after my wife’s head had hit the pillow. Sometimes I was gone again before she had a chance to clear her eyes in the morning. So at my retirement ceremony, I announced gleefully that I was cutting my mistress loose (and she’s paying me palimony… wow, what a deal).
I will miss serving. I will miss the people that I had the distinct pleasure of serving with. But it was and is time for me to start a new chapter in my life.
I hope you will continue to join me.