I recently retired after twenty years as a soldier in the Army National Guard. More than half my life! Over those years, I had a wide range of experiences from the initial scariness of basic training to the apprehension of maneuvering a small team of soldiers and millions of dollars worth of equipment through the military’s logistics system to a small camp in northern Afghanistan. These, and many more, experiences have taught me a lot about myself and about dealing with others.
With the exception of three deployments, I served my entire career in M-DAY status in the National Guard; doing my one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. I was part of the North Dakota, Ohio, and Virginia National Guard. Everywhere I went, I met fantastic people and was challenged. The old timers always told me that when I got out of the guard, I’d miss it. More than a year and a half into retirement…I haven’t missed it yet. Though I do miss the people.