Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From 9/11 forward to today

I was 36 in September of 2001, and I had just about decided to end my military career for the 2nd time. Then of course 9/11 happened, and the National Guard became extremely relevant to the military and I felt like I was contributing, and stayed in the National Guard.

Since that time, I have been on some form of Active Duty for almost 5 of the 8 years. I am not a full time National Guard soldier, or "AGR" but I have been on orders to prepare units for deployments, deployed to Afghanistan, and been on orders in support of deployed units. When I returned from Afghanistan I started my own business, with the assistance of my pre deployment employer, because while I was gone, my position was filled in part, and in part was eliminated as a risk management solution. I can’t blame them at all, because really, who can expect a civilian company to keep a job open for you when you really can't commit to being their at least 11 months out of each year?

I was running my own consulting business when our lovely economy tanked, which coincided with another deployment for the Oregon Guard, so I have been on Active Duty again since January 2009. I have a great situation, in that I am working in the State back filling positions for soldiers who are now in Iraq. When they get home, I am off of orders again.

The down side of course is that while trying to serve two masters, I serve neither of them very well. I am not progressing in my chosen professional field, although I am making enough to justify continuing along.

It has been a very uncertain group of years, and I am much more thoughtful and distrustful of relying on anyone other than myself as a result. Now I am almost 45, I have raised my two kids through OIF and OEF, and OIF is winding down. Funding for the National Guard is becoming much tighter, and with no pending deployments, the National Guard effect on my life and pocket book may well drop down to pre 9/11 levels. It is the natural course of events, and isn’t a bad thing at all from a global point of view, however, I find myself again looking at my income producing activities as a civilian, realizing that the economy is still trashed, and that I have got to figure out what I will do going forward. Right now that means doing a little of everything I have done, and venturing into some new ventures as well.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Phew! I'm tired! I'll be writing again soon, I promise. Maybe something on The Sandbox? Or perhaps here? I simply need a little down time to put these thoughts and experiences down on paper - or computer screen ;-) Soon . . . . .

Be well!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Gretchen Mitchell Band

I don't know how many people in Portland read this, but I thought for those of you who do, you ought to check out the blog site for Gretchen Mitchell, she is an awesome musician, with a fantastic band, and of course she isn't hard to look at either.

Cheers.. hope you enjoy.