I don’t think it has hit me yet. That after 13 years of serving in the United States Air Force I will take off my uniform and go back to being a civilian. Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet because 1) I’m not technically done and 2) I’m not convinced I won’t come back! I was only off of active duty for 14 months before I decided to enlist in the reserves.
I was at my first unit for 5 years and my current one for 3 (as a reservist) and I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have learned and I’m more than proud of what I somehow managed to accomplish. Two big things that stand out are when I was chosen amongst many of my peers for NCO of the Year in my career field and when I was chosen to be an officer. Unfortunately, I was accepted to be an officer while I was pregnant and just did not get the opportunity to go to OTS prior to our orders to Japan and when we return I will be older than 35 so I will no longer qualify. It was still an honor to be chosen and know my leadership believed in my abilities to lead my fellow military members.
It’s interesting because I have not talked to anyone who has believed me when I said this is it. After three years of being out of the service I think it will be hard to go back into the reserves . Although one weekend a month and two weeks a year doesn’t seem like too much, it is! That means once a month I will work 12 days straight. I can’t even count the number of birthdays, get togethers, and events I have missed during that one weekend a month. Thankfully, I worked with great people who I learned a great deal from.
Since I am a full time reservist my “end” will not happen until the end of the month when I resign my civilian position as well but the first step happened today when I clocked out (so to speak). I hope I have been able to teach at least one person along my way something of benefit that will help them in some way, someday.
All in all, I am excited and cannot wait for our new adventure. Stay tuned for many interesting stories as I probably, accidentally, offend half of Japan!