In late 2016, I deployed again with a counter-ISIS joint task force. It went fairly well, all things considered. I think I came back in a better mental state from that trip than I did from my first one back in 2005.
It’s weird to summarize a four-year period of time, but when I look at old entries, it’s like an entirely different person was writing here. What has changed since last I was posting regularly?
- I became less interested in guns and leather work. My interests wax and wane over time, so this is not uncommon. I brought my leatherworking stuff with me to Qatar/Kuwait, and then all I did was make a bunch of wallets for people. (And a watch strap when mine broke.) I haven’t done much since coming home, although I’d like to get back into it. I need a new notebook cover; I gave my awesome one away for a fundraiser auction.
- I became much more interested in electronics, programming, and music–and the overlap therein. Mostly music, though. I have acquired many more musical instruments and tools and toys.
- In 2015, I started volunteering with Team Rubicon USA, a veteran-led disaster response non-profit org. I deployed several times (while on regular leave) to clean up after flooding or hurricanes or what have you. I wrote about it extensively in other places so I won’t recap here, but it was enormously rewarding.
- I returned to teaching for my full-time job with the Guard after the ISIS thing, but I started doing more curriculum development. I was finally certified to officially teach and develop curriculum for the Army, despite having already been doing so for years. I spent the better part of last year researching and writing a short crash course in critical thinking which will probably never be taught.
- I also bit the bullet and went through the arduous and mostly stupid process to become a warrant officer. As I write this, I am finishing up warrant officer basic course (WOBC, “WOE-bick”), after which I shall return home to my new unit–and almost immediately go to NTC.
My children continue to grow and become fascinating people. My best friend finished killing himself with alcohol last spring. I continue to not deserve my wife, to whom I’ve been married now for almost 20 years. I am starting to think about what I want to be when I grow up and retire from the Army in a few more years. Everyone else around me continues to age, but that weirdly doesn’t seem to affect me, except for my hair turning a little grey.
I have been blogging on and off since mid-2000, a span covering nearly half my life but with regrettably significant gaps. I wish I had been doing so more regularly because reading old posts is fascinating–I’m one of my very favorite people, but it’s odd to see how I thought about some things at various points in my life, and now I wish I had a more complete record. As for now? I won’t attempt anything grand, but maybe just write about a few things that I think are interesting at the moment. Or maybe it will be another 4 years. Depends on what else is going on. No promises.