It has been two years since I separated from the Air Force. It was not under good circumstances, and it came after months of personal turmoil. The fact that at least two of the six troops I was supervising at the time were continuously in trouble did not help. In the end, I realized it was time for me to go and I did so under the best circumstances. If I wanted to, I could have stayed in. But I was tired of the bullshit.
So, after seven years of being mistreated by the Air Force and trying my best to see it differently, I hung up my beret. I will admit, I still miss the job. The very basics of my job. I miss patrolling the base. I miss most of the people I worked with. Despite all the hard times, joining the Air Force was one of the best decisions I made. I met a lot of good people. I had some really good adventures. And I learned a lot. Plus, I served this country when so many barely seem to believe in her.
Security Forces was not an easy job. A lot of my co-workers did not want to be there. Most sucked it up and pressed on. They knew it would be best to do the time and either cross-train and do something else or get out. Some needed a smack upside the head to realize it. And then there were a couple who could not seem to understand, even if someone spent hours trying to get them to see it.
They expected me to work long hours in less than decent conditions. 12 to 14 hours shifts were not unusual, and in England, I was lucky if I had a vehicle that was not on the verge of breaking down. It was just short of a miracle if said Humvee had heat during the winter. I spent many days and nights shivering in Humvees, hoping the shift went by quickly, and that none of the alarms broke, or none of my colleagues out in the area had to write statements for something stupid. Oklahoma was a little better, but not much. Lots of ups and downs.
And that does not take into account the stuff that happened here at home while I was gone. Lots of ups and downs in the family. Some of that stuff still is not resolved, and may never be.
It is a week of reflection for me. Next Sunday will mark the 9th anniversary of me entering Active Duty. It does not feel like it has been that long.