21. September 2004 · Comments Off on An Introduction · Categories: General

I don’t want to be the last to introduce myself, so here goes. When I was 17, I was thinking about joining the National Guard. I let my thoughts fall out of my mouth in front of a friend’s dad and he very quickly talked me out of it with his tales of swamps and snakes at Ft. Polk. I went to college, changed majors twice and got my 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in 6 ½ years, getting married during the last year.

Following graduation in August 1994, after 2 interviews, the company decided not to fill the position. I was all bummed and not looking forward to going back to the box factory. So, after going to a different Temp Agency, I decided to join the Guard. (Ft. Polk story was forgotten.) I told my husband my plan that evening to get his opinion, and he gave me his full support as a husband and advice as an Army vet. “You don’t want to join the Guard. You’ll be happier as active duty. And don’t join the Army; join the Air Force.” I called the Air Force recruiter, and within a week I had retaken the ASVAB, and took the AFOQT. I basically both enlisted and applied for OTS, eventually opting to enlist. I scored high enough on ASVAB to pick my job. I was put in delayed enlistment and it would be nearly 4 months before basic.

Now, I flipped through page after page of enlisted AWACS jobs. All of them had “Combat” somewhere in the job title so I just kept flipping. Finally the MEPS recruiter asked how I was doing and I told him I would prefer something on the ground. He flipped the book a few more pages, and I saw “Computer Systems Operator.” My second major had been computer science, and the job description looked like a breeze. I then envisioned myself in an office, in blues (class B’s for the non-AF), and picked that one. I went to basic in January 1995, and I can remember sitting in a basic training class with the instructor telling us “You’re all going to war, and you might die.” Well, I sat there all smug thinking “Not me. I’m going to be in an office in my blues.” Then I got to tech school and got my orders. 32nd Combat Communication Squadron. There’s irony at work.

I didn’t go to war, but I did deploy to Kuwait when my daughter was 6 months old. Not a good Christmas for me that year. I kept my dream sheet updated the whole time and applied for Special Duty assignments in a futile effort to leave. Finally, I gave up and decided to get out. That’s when I got a special duty assignment to England. So I reenlisted, and arrived in England in March 1999, about a week before the Kosovo campaign began.

I was a database system administrator there and loved it. I got out in 2002, and got a job as a defense contractor, aka blood-sucking or scum-sucking contractor, and stayed at Molesworth for 2 more years. I just moved us back to the U.S. this past summer, and wonder how I made it 5 years without WalMart. A few days after we got back my mom told me that now she can walk past pictures of me without crying. I changed companies, but still work as a contractor, now for the Army.

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