I was just looking over my posts, and I've noticed that I've kind of steered away from "life in the military" as it were. So I figured I'd better get back to doing what I said in my header that I'd do. First though, I'd like to say thank you to Shannon. Other than my wife you are the first person, that I know of, to check out my blog, and the first to leave any comments. I always value input of all kinds, so please, leave any questions, concerns, or suggestions in the comments section of any post.
I Know I kind of skimmed over my entry into the Air Force, and I'd like to cover that now.
I will add more and cover my time in the military so far, the places I've been stationed, places I've been sent TDY (temporary duty) to, and my one deployment, soon to be two deployments.
I'll start from the beginning. First off, my father is a retired Marine. He served for a total of 26 years, 10 active duty, and 16 in the reserves. I grew up a so called "military brat." So I knew a lot of what I was getting myself into for a long time before I ever decided to join the military. There wasn't too much about it that I didn't know. I learned basic marching a drill movements, how to keep your "military bearing," and how to make "hospital corners" on my bed by the time I was ten years old. At ten years old, I was no different than any other kid in that I wanted to grow up to be just like dad, in this case, a Marine.
By the time I was in high school, I had changed my mind about the Marines. I had the utmost respect for them, but I knew I did have the self discipline, physical fitness level, or the "KILL, KILL, KILL!" attitude that it seemed to require. I also had no desire to develop those traits. In fact, I wasn't sure I wanted to be in the military at all. My father didn't encourage it, talked about it wasn't that conducive to having a family, which is something I knew I wanted since I was in 6th grade. He instead urged me to work to be an engineer of some sort. Not a technician type of engineer that goes out and builds things, by a designer type. He always talked about how cool it would be to invent a car that cost less to run than your phone bill, or some other bit of technology that still hasn't been created. He made me believe that I could do that, even made me believe that's what I wanted to to. So, by the time I finished high school, I had already had college level math and science classes done. It also helped that I picked up on math easier than most people...
Anyway, my senior year, I decided I wanted to go ahead and join the military, but I wanted to do it as an officer, which meant college degree first; what better way than through ROTC? The Sir Force was the most technologically advanced branch of the service when it came to specializations in jobs, so that is why I chose it at the time. Well, that and the fact that my father told me they valued family and education much more than the other three branches.
Anyhow, I went through the process of applying for the ROTC scholarship, I had only one problem. My SAT scores got to the review board two days after the deadline as a result to a computer failure at the SAT Board scoring centers. Well, the Recruiter I had at that time wouldn't do the paper work to get me a waiver, so I was denied. Then my Recruiter said he could no longer help me and told me that if I still wanted into the Air Force, I would have to go see another recruiter who just happened to be 80 miles away. Needless to say, I decided to forget it. I graduated in 1994 and head to community college.
Five years go by, I've decided I want to be a high school history teacher instead of an engineer, and I was dead set on staying out of the military. Don't get me wrong, I still respected the military and the people who served more than anyone else in the world, but it just wasn't for me. I felt that everyone had a responsibility to serve their country, and I was going to fill it by becoming a teacher and teaching the next generation of Americans.
Anyway, its 1999 and I'm working at McDonalds as a manager, trying to make enough to pay for school. I got fired because someone else stole some money and no one know who. I was the one responsible for it, so I was held accountable. My choice was to go back to living with dad, or on the streets, then I get an instant message from an Air Force recruiter while surfing the net. Well, I'm 22, just lost the only dead end job I could find, and I needed to get my life on track again. My choice wasn't hard to make.
As to why I chose the Air Force when I finally joined up over any of the other three branches, well, I already told you about my reasons not to join the Marines. Joining the Army was similar, they didn't place a high priority on college either, so I decided against them. The Navy was one I never wanted to join because I didn't want to go be on a ship or a sub for six months at a time, so that left the Air Force.
I signed up and two weeks later, I was off to Basic Training. That's how I got into the military. If you have any questions or want any more details, please leave a comment and I will answer those questions.
I will address my choice of career field in my next blog post.