by Penelope, Sumter SC
I just retired, 1 Aug 20, had just returned from a deployment and because of COVID-19 was delayed in returning. I was able to do my 14-day quarantine and out process (at my unit in Oklahoma) and head to SC where my family was at.
Everything that happened last year, the deployment, the move, the retirement transition, the moving in with my family (we have 3 young kids, I have another son out of the house already).... just felt and I still think I feel it, it's taken a toll on me.
I definitely feel like a different person but there isn't one single day I wake up searching for a sense of stability, being genuine, finding purpose. Every day is different and the days that are rough, I wake up the next day doing damage control.
The one good thing of being deployed...in Saudi ...is that we couldn't drink there. So coming back and drinking was also an adjustment so as a blessing, I cannot drink too much because I don't have a tolerance nor the taste I use to have for beer and whiskey.
I recently started a job in a national guard unit with the Army, as a civilian administrator. It is an adjustment and I am very bored but I am thankful for the job and the folks I work with. Everyone is real nice.
I've also started to get into a routine of working out again. I am not the same as I use to be, there are a lot more aches and pains that take longer to heal. And I am not the one to pop meds right away.
I've also joined the local American Legion Post but because of COVID, there's not much involvement so it felt like a bust at first. However, I am still trying to get involve as much as possible, and I feel I am on my way to building friendships.
I get a lot of joy from my little ones because I see them developing, and those personalities bring lots of smiles. I take a lot of my frustrations and moodiness on my wife yet once I gain my rationale back, I apologize and tell her how much she means to me. I tell her how loving and supportive she is. She always tells me that she understands I'm going through something and says all she wants is for me to love her forever.
Sorry I'm rambling without a real purpose here. It feels good to share.
For my brothers and sisters out there, I'm praying for you. I do believe that the days where one feels no purpose and just wonder what life is about now... it is worth to stand up and keep on fighting for you. Just as when we are hungry and we find the meal to feed our bellies, we must search to fill our souls and adapt to the change.
Thank you for reading my words.
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