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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