that’s all she wrote

ANG

I spent last weekend at Air National Guard drill. That’s not unusual, drill is generally the first weekend of the month, holidays notwithstanding. But this month was different. Effective December 14th, I’ll be retired from the Air Guard, so this was my last drill.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’ll be nice to have all my weekends to myself. And the monthly trek to Cape Cod I’ve been making for the last four years has really taken its toll. On the other hand, it’s going to seem strange not being in the military for the first time since 1986. Of course, I’m not completely out. I’m still a member of the Retired Reserves, which makes me subject to involuntary call-up until I’m 60.

On a side note, my retirement luncheon was held at the Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich, MA. It was a low-key affair, as I had requested. The food was great. I had the lobster grilled cheese sandwich. It was awe-inspiring. Maybe the best sandwich I’ve ever had. Highly recommended.

pulling the plug

Twenty-two years ago today, I was discharged from the US Army. It marked a major turning point in my life. I had no job waiting for me. Neither did my wife (she had quit her teaching job in Barstow, CA, where we had been living). Hell, we didn’t even have a place to live.

We wound up staying with my in-laws while we looked for employment. We eventually found jobs and got our own place. Still, I often wondered whether I made the right decision when I chose to get out of the Army. Of course, I wasn’t completely out. I still had a four year commitment to the Individual Ready Reserve. Before my IRR commitment was up, I decided to join the Army National Guard.

In 1996, after two relatively uneventful years in the Army Guard, I decided to transfer to the Air National Guard. I’ve been a member of the Air Guard ever since.

Last week I applied for retirement from the Air National Guard. I have mixed feelings about retiring. On the one hand, it’ll be nice not to have that obligation hanging over my head every month. On the other, it’ll seem strange to not be a member of the military after 26 years. I’m not done until December, so I guess I have a few months to get used to the idea.

traffic report – 100k

Sometime this afternoon, my blog exceeded 100,000 unique visits. I’ve been blogging here at WordPress for eleven months, so that works out to about 300 visitors a day. While those numbers are miniscule compared to a site like Boing Boing, they’re more than I could have hoped for. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers for your support. You folks rock!

BACK TO NORMAL… FOR NOW

After seven straight days of the military life, it was good to get back home Friday night. My time there was productive, if not always fun. I got some good training while I was on duty. I spent my off duty hours reading and watching DVDs. I also went to see a couple movies: Iron Man (see review below) and Date Night (pretty entertaining).

Tomorrow I go back to work. I’ll spend the day catching up and wondering whether I’ll be working Tuesday. Blogging should return to normal, or at least close to normal, this week. I’ll be on active duty again the following week, so things will probably slow down again until I get back that Friday.

Not much else to say, other than I’ve been a lazy bastard. The only thing I’ve accomplished this weekend is catching up up on my sleep. And watching some music videos on Youtube. Here’s one of my favorites from the late 80s: “Glamour Boys,” by Living Colour.

DRAWING A BLANK

Due to military obligations, I haven't blogged since Friday. Well, Thursday, actually, since last Friday's movie quote post was written in advance.  I feel like I should blog something, but I got nothin'. Maybe I'll come up with something later tonight. At the very least, there'll be a Babe of the Week post.

In the meantime, check out this article about the life and death of a fine young American who was laid to rest last Saturday at the Massachusetts National Cemetery. I had the privilege of standing in formation at a graveside service for Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, who died last month in Afghanistan. He was 20 years old, and he left behind a 2 year old daughter.