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Friday, May 27, 2011
Hup! Twoop! Three! Four! - Epilogue
As I previously mentioned, I was honorably discharged from the Air Force on March 13th, 1972. For the following two years I was inactive reserves, which meant all I had to do was zilch. So I was officially a full civilian in March of 1974.
Well, a couple years go by and I am thinking I need a part-time job for some additional income. In December of 1976, I enlisted into the New Hampshire Air National Guard at Pease Air Force Base with the 157th Air Refueling Wing. The unit flew the KC-135 bird. It was impressive how well maintained the planes were. At the time, the unit got more air time then the regular Air Force counterparts on the base. I went into a new career field of radio maintenance. Interestingly, this was the field I wanted to go into when I originally enlisted in 1968. I only stayed in for a year because there were too many conflicts of time with my full time job of cash registers.
I don't know what it is about December's, but in December of 1992, I found myself enlisting with the Idaho Air National Guard and the 124th Fighter Group because I needed the bucks. This time, the only job available was that of an Administrative Specialist (clerk), as I was during the last year of my four year regular Air Force term. The unit was on Gowan Field which is a small base opposite from the working side of Boise Airport.
OK, I broke the December loop. In May of 2003, my full time job transferred me to Virginia, where I also transferred to the DC Air National Guard located at Andrews Air Force Base, home of Air Force One. The unit I was in was the 213th Combat Comm. Squadron. Again, still a clerk and will be for the rest of my military time. It was a strange place, I had no desk, no chair and felt very displaced. There was a glimmer of hope that I might be able to get back into Tech. Control in this unit, but it didn't work out. Maybe just as well, since it was a combat communications squadron at a time when there is a lot of turmoil.
I was laid off in Virginia and found a new job in upstate New York, hence a change in my Air National Guard status. In July of 2004, I was in the New York Air National Guard and assigned to the 109th Air Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base on the opposite side of Schenectady Airport. This was the Guard unit I liked the best. They did the best job of looking out for each other. One of the primary missions of the unit was supporting the National Science Foundation in Antarctica and Greenland. I never made it to the South Pole, because it would have meant being away from home for too long, but I did volunteer to go to Greenland, that was interesting.
All good things must come to an end and in February of 2009, I retired from the Air Force. One of the smartest things I ever did, was to put 20+ years into the military. Not because I was smart, but more of dumb luck. The lucky part wasn't the little pension I get, but the medical benefits which, these days, are invaluable.
It was a great experience, and if I had it to do over again, I would have done the same (more or less!).