Sunday, January 22, 2006

Back to Iraq

Well, I just got the news on Friday. It looks like I'm going back into Iraq. For those of you who know me personally, I'm going back to the same place I was at last time. For those of you that don't know me personally, I can't reveal information such as when and where in this forum at this time. OPSEC (operational Security) prohibits spread of this information to ensure safe departures and arrivals of personnel and equipment. I wouldn't want to have my plane or ship attacked because I said when and where myself as well as the troops from my base will be.

I'll keep posting while I'm deployed whenever I can. I'm trying to get a laptop to take with me. I can type what I want to post at any time on it, then just save it to a disk and cut and paste it to the blog on a government computer over there. Those who wish to have e-mail correspondence from me, feel free to leave your e-mail address in the comments section of any of my blog posts. I will also try to upload pictures while I'm there. I'll mail the film back home, have my wife develope it, and e-mail them back to me so that I can post them.

Your prayers and well wishes will always be welcomed by myself. Also, if you wish to pass any well wishes on to people deployed to my location, I would be happy to do that as well. I can notify you of where I will be once I get there, but not before.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What job do I want?

Well, I'll start by saying that I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote a new blog entry.

Ok, what I really want to do in life is teach high school history. As I'm sure you can guess, there isn't a high school history teacher position available in the Air Force. So I had to decide what to do in the Air Force. I had finished only a few college courses at this point, and wanted to continue to get a degree. To help facilitate this, I wanted a job that wouldn't be very difficult to learn and keep up with, and wouldn't be all that time consuming so that I could take college courses in my off duty time. So I eliminated things like flight tower controller, load master, cop, firefighters, and other "high tech" jobs. I wanted something simple to learn, and simple to keep up with as far as technology advances go.

So, what did I choose? Having a score of 94 on my ASVAB test pretty much gave me my choice of just about any job in the military, for any branch. So, I based my decision on 4 factors. One I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Another was the amount of the enlistment bonus, which varied depending on the job you chose(and in most, though not all, cases, there are no more enlistment bonuses for the Air Force). The third was that I wanted to get into the "operational Air Force" as soon as I could, so I wanted a job with a relatively short technical training so that I would have to deal with the new enlists degradation that you see in so many many that cover military basic training. Lastly, I needed to leave right away.

I chose Utility Systems Apprentice. As I understood it at the time that I chose the job, I would be a water and/or wastewater plant operator. It wasn't until after I signed on the dotted line that what I would actually be doing is the same thing as Roto Rooter. I became a plumber. I got to leave in 2 weeks, the tech school was only 9 and a half weeks long, and I got a $5000 enlistment bonus.

That's how I chose my job. I'm still a plumber in the Air Force, though I am no longer an apprentice. I have moved up from apprentice to journeyman, to craftsman. I passed up my opportunity to cross train into a different job, though sometimes I regret that decision. I will continue in this career field until my retirement in November of 2019.

This is a simplified version of my decision. I had written one previously that was long, and took over an hour to type, and then lost it all over a glitch with the spell check. I decided that most of what I put in that original post wasn't necessary and was in fact a lot of me rambling off on tangents. So I condensed my thoughts into what you see above.