Wow what a transition!

by Ben
(Saint Johns, FL)

In Kuwait before heading to Iraq

In Kuwait before heading to Iraq

I never did figure out what I was going to do with my life, one day my Dad walked into the Army recruiter and figured it out for me (at least he thought).

That was a long time ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was 17, no hope, no plan, no way to afford college, the Army had a fix for all of that. Multiple Launch Rocket Crewmember, I was stationed in Baumholder Germany, holy cow!

The stories to tell! The adventures that were had! Then to Fort Sill, Oklahoma with the responsibilities of an NCO and the opportunity to go to ROTC, get my degree and be an officer! So I did, and I chose to be a Transporter, thinking that would open other opportunities in the future. Long story short, Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea and a lot of places in the States, my journey ended this past year (26 years). Rocket Launcher Chief, Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp, Battalion Support Operations officer, Battalion XO, University ROTC PMS, and Battalion Commander.

With all of that, I still have not figured out what I'm going to do when I grow up.

My Dad has since passed, so I can no longer get his advice, however I still maintain hope, and faith, that the next best thing will come along. I wish you all the best as you too try to find your place, and space, in this weird thing called 'retirement'.

Regardless of what you did, where and how long you served, your rank, we are all equals in the fact that we chose to be a part of something bigger that ourselves, what an awesome accomplishment!

So, together, we will figure this 'stuff' out. Whooaaa!

Comments for Wow what a transition!

Click here to add your own comments

Thank You for serving
by: Leigh Deiley Green Cove Springs Fl

Hi, I don't have any personal military experience to share, but I did have a Father and two older brothers who served. I am aware of some of the difficulties faced when deployed. I grew up having respect and honor for men and women who were military and protecting or rights to freedom. I just wanted to extend a very heart felt thank you for years of dedication, and wish you well in the future.

Just Sharing My Experience With The Military
by: Noelle

When I was in my mid 20's, I lived next door to what used to be an Active Air Force Base, then it became a Reserve Base for Reservists. My next door neighbor was a ranking officer at the base and one day he approached me and asked if I would consider running the Commissary on weekends. I said sure but only if I could take my young son with me. He said no problem.

I met so many wonderful people, listened to many interesting times I felt like a Sympathetic Bartender. :-) Nonetheless, it was a fun experience.

Then, out of the blue, I was asked if I would go to Old Camp Atterbury (Edinburgh, IND) and open up a building they had chosen to be a PX. Little did I know at the time I said yes, the troops that were coming in from Fort Knox, KY were coming there to train before heading to Viet Nam.

I probably shouldn't put this part in...but what the heck...there was a young Captain from Georgia with the prettiest smile and ice blue eyes I had ever seen. There was a spark...hard to explain...the feeling was mutual. He was a gentleman in every respect, and made sure his men treated me as a Lady.

Well, one weekend, I had my little boy with me and the Captain drove up to the PX in a military jeep and told us to get in. He took us out to the field where a Sgt. Major was making dinner for the troops. We ate dinner with them and as nightfall approached, the CPT said he had a treat for my son...and me. What he did was this: He drove us out to a helicopter that he referred to as a Loach ??(sp) We were put into some kind of military gear and aboard the helicopter. What we saw was a "firing of tracers" - the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. My son was in awe !!

When their training was over, we began closing up the PX, and I was approached my another officer higher than the CPT and he thanked me for all I had done and then said the Battalion was having a huge party before they left Fort Knox for Vietnam and said they would be honored if I would attend.


Of course I said yes and let me tell you, it was a night to remember. I stayed the weekend with a Colonel and his family but the cute blue eyed Captain was my escort for the evening. I was beside myself. I was introduced to everyone and got god awful butterflies when he asked me to speak. I was young, dumb and blonde at the time but honored, nonetheless.

I was in touch by phone and mail with several of the guys (one of which is now a retired attorney here in Indiana), but as the war went on, we lost contact. not sometimes...all the time - I wonder what happened to each and every one of them.

My question to you is: how on earth do you deal with having made close friendships with your comrades and then suddenly they are gone?

I will never know unless I meet them on the other side.

Thanks for listening....Noelle

Hey there Young Guy
by: Michigan

Dear Ben

First thank you for your service. Next if my math is right 17 + 26 =43. You my friend are retired from the military and need to take a year off to rest, relax and enjoy civilian life ~ pick a sunny beach and fish everyday. Then take a year to figure out what you want to do for the next 20 to 30 years ha, ha! I did that when at 30 something (ha, ha) I finished college and became a teacher. I retired last year after 30 wonderful years.

Write a book, start a fitness camp,become a youth leader ~ find something were your skills can be used. Then start enjoying career number 2 and the next time you retire you should be about the right age to accept the slower pace ha, ha!

Have a great life, smile, enjoy and March on!


This Weird Thing called RETIREMENT
by: Wendy,

Yeppers, it's weird alright!!

Good weird, after you find your new purpose in life and how you'll keep busy. Not AS busy as you were when you worked, but busy as in how YOU (and only you) define it.

Enjoy Every Moment!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).