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Tag: Government

Life in Transition

My transition from military to civilian life was difficult, and even after more than eight years, it still seems to be a work in progress. I was fortunate to have a job lined up and waiting for me when I separated from the Air Force; an old friend from my pre-enlistment college days was working as a teacher, and knowing that I was going to need a job while I went back to college, helped me to secure a position as an instructional assistant for special education.

Aiming High in the Air Force: 2003, Part Two: Nerdvana

Me & Quan (aka “Coin,” aka Jerad Formby)

After returning to Nellis Air Force Base from my brief deployment in the Middle East, I was granted leave time. I drove out to visit my dad and his side of the family in California. While my relationship with my father hadn’t been the best since my parents divorced when I was young, the events of the past year had begun to force me to reconsider everything I thought that I knew.

Aiming High in the Air Force: 2003, Part One: Combat Stinkin’ Mobile

Combat Stinkin’ Mobile

After spending the holidays with my family, I took my car, which had been sitting in my mom’s driveway in Iowa since I had left for Basic Training in August, and drove myself back to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. I returned a couple days early, so I didn’t have to go back to my classes immediately. I was nearly finished with my training; only a few more tasks remained ahead of me.

Aiming High in the Air Force: 2002, Part Two: Fort Lost in the Woods

A1C Harlan CCAF Graduation (Aug 2006)

Leaving Basic Training behind and beginning the next step in my career as an Airman was surreal. I left Lackland Air Force Base, which had become my home over the past two months, at oh-dark-thirty. Stripes on the sleeves of my dress Blues uniform and a duffel bag in my left hand, it seemed strange to shake my TI’s hand and say goodbye.

Aiming High in the Air Force: 2002, Part One: This One Time, in Boot Camp…

Air Force Logo

During my second semester at Iowa State, in the early weeks of 2002, I came to realize that I wasn’t able to live up to the expectations of a university environment. Ever since September 11, I’d been floundering academically, and although I was an Air Force ROTC cadet, my major in Journalism ensured that I wouldn’t get the scholarship I needed, as they were only going to math, science, and engineering majors. Without that scholarship, my debts only continued to mount, and I was rapidly reaching a tipping point. Something needed to change. With all of this–and more–in mind, I chose to drop out of school and enlist in the Air Force.

Service before self

Map showing Baumholder’s location

At the end of 1990, American servicemembers began to build up in Saudi Arabia, along the border that country shared with Kuwait. This action, Operation Desert Shield, was precipitated by the fact that Kuwait had been invaded by its larger neighbor to the North, Iraq. While these events were front-page news across the globe, they had an immediate, direct impact on my life, as I was a teenager growing up in Baumholder, an Army post in Germany.

Slacker!

I’m falling behind on updates for this blog. I need to rededicate myself to this project, as well as to others. Mostly, though, it’s just because I’m so damned busy. Between working 30 hours per week at two jobs and taking a full-time courseload of 12 credits of upper-division history classes, I don’t have a whole lot of extra time left over for, well, anything, and most of what little free time I do have gets eaten up by playing video games. (Star Trek Online is, in fact, a key offender in that area.)