Sunday, July 6, 2008

A free man!

Well my 4th of July celebrations just ended yesterday when I returned from the lake where I spent a few days with my girl and her family, just enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. The city we were in put on a fireworks show over the lake, which I didn't hold much hope for, but it turned out to be pretty damn good. They even had a band playing, that was rocking out and had so many people up there dancing, to include the 2 of us! :)

So anyways, to make a real quick post for now, I returned yesterday, and after a 2 1/2 hour drive I made it back to Ft Bragg/Fayetteville, but instead of going straight to my house, I had to make a quick detour. I entered Ft Bragg, with my soon to be expired ID card, and made the short little drive to my Battalion head quarters so that I could officially sign out of the Army! It was a great feeling and I had the biggest smile on my face as I was walking out of there, knowing that after all these years, my time is finally up.

Today was the 1st day that I've woken up in a long time as a free man. My sentance has been served and now I'm out on parole. My unit is just begining to get back from a month of leave, and its crazy to think that they will be going back to work, yet I wont be. In a way its kind of sad, because for the last 3 1/2 years, the Army, NC and these friends I've made have been my life. Its never easy to just give up something you've held on to for so long, but in many ways I'm excited to be getting back to Phoenix and seeing my friends and family back there.

This isn't the end of me and the Army tho, because as one sentance ends, another is soon to begin, this one being a 6-year enlistment in the National Guard. I wanted to join an Infantry unit back home in AZ, but unfortunatly they did not have positions open yet, and even when some would open soon, they may not of been slots that would of paid an enlistment bonus. Because of this I opted to join the California National Guard, with an Infantry unit based out of San Diego, CA. Its about a 5 hour drive from Phoenix, but it will be worth it. I mean, shoot, this gives me an excuse to take a vacation to San Diego every month, and my how I love it there! Also, not only was the slot that I am going in to a bonus paying slot, but it is in a priority unit, which means I will receive my $20,000 bonus in one lump sum, minus taxes of course. But that will still be a nice deposit in the bank, so I'm stoked about that too.

Thats about all for now. Next weekend I will begin my drive back to Phoenix as I spend a little bit more time with some of my friends who have been gone on leave over the last month, and then, finally, will this chapter of my life be complete. But as one chapter ends, so begins the next! :)

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Bill Loytty said...

Congratulations on finishing your stint, the best feeling I can remember is doing the same thing as you, only it was at Ft Benning in about 1989. Thank you for your service.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 07/07/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Arli said...

Congratulations on becoming a "free man"! Wishing you all the best as you start the next chapter. As my Dad always says:
The best is yet to come!
Please let us know how things go for you (and Charlie).
PS: I'm so jealous about the monthly visits to San Diego. You totally deserve it!

Haole Wahine said...

Have a great trip home, and keep us updated.

Remember, you were loved and prayed over by a large group of Amercians. You came through for us, and we will always remember you.

Gratitude and Prayers.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

Congratulations and thanks for your service! Good luck on the new chapter of your life!

~ Wolf Lover Girl

Long-time RN said...

Congratulations 'free man'! All the best to you and Charlie in this next phase of life. San Diego, nice! Take excellent care.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Wishing you all the best in your life, “freeman”!

Anonymous said...

I wish you many adventures in your "new" normal life. Enjoyed the blog while you were deployed and the occ. email visit with ya. Nothing but the best for you--and Charlie(of course!!).

Martinsville, VA

Brian H said...

Fuggedaboudit! You'll get bored to tears and suffer serious adrenaline withdrawal, and re-up within a few months. ;)

Infantry Dad said...

Well done soldier.
Carry on.
Best of luck in all you do.
Oh yeah, don't forget to join the VFW, and Legion.
We need new young blood in each.
Keep the tradition alive.

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Anonymous said...

Congrats! You're gonna love San Diego. Hope the drive doesn't bother you.

mehehehe said...

Congratulations on getting out! It is hard to let some things go, to slip into a new chapter of your life, but sometimes it is needed and necessary. Just put one foot forward and keep on keeping on. I could not be happier for you. I am a huge activist to bring our troops home, and recently took part in this campaign called "Run for the Fallen," where a group of us ran one mile for ever service person, who lost their lives in Iraq and it was a really moving and inspirational experience for me... Well, you can check out a youtube video about it, if you're interested:

As I said, just stay optimistic, enjoy time with your girl, and look forward to a very bright future... I know you have one.

Anonymous said...

congrats on this.

Anonymous said...

congrats on finishing the stint

Anonymous said...

nice inforamtion

Long-time RN said...

Best to you on Veteran's Day and every day.
Thank you,
Cathy B