It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted a blog article. It has been a whirlwind since my absence began. I want to assure my followers and friends that I am doing good, exhausted, but good.
The biggest part of my transition is complete. I am on my terminal leave (essentially retired) and we are back in Kansas. This has been an awful process. We had been expecting to move in two weeks starting back in February. It is ridiculous that the most stressful part of my eventful military career was the process of being medically retired!
We changed our plans multiple times, sometimes in the same day. The details of my absence seemed to be ever changing.
When I finally received my orders we were given 10 days before I had to start my leave and we also only had that before the lease was up and we were out of our apartment with the next renters already lined up. The Army household goods office told us that we would probably have to wait until July to get our property moved.
We were stuck having to move ourselves… our stuff, furniture, cars, motorcycle, kids, dog and cat and we only had ten days. We started packing boxes and looking around for movers to hire to help us load a rental truck.
The morning we were about to reserve a U-Haul truck and trailer and motorcycle shipping we received a magical call. A moving company had picked up our order.
But this move is complicated. The movers could only come on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend which was five days before I was required to outprocess the Army in Monterey, 5 hours the other way from our destination.
We weighed many options and I’ll only describe what we did. My absence has been complicated and I tried to view our move in three phases.
As soon as the moving company loaded all of our stuff and rode my motorcycle to the warehouse since the truck was full (I wasn’t huge on the idea of watching someone ride away on the bike but I really had no other option) we packed the kids and our cat in the car and drove out of Los Angeles. We boarded our dog. Over that night and do additional days we drove to Nebraska via Utah and Colorado and dropped the kids and cat off at my parents.
We spent one night there and then my wife and I drove three hours to Kansas City International Airport and flew back to LA. We slept one night on the floor of our apartment.
The next morning, we picked up our dog and drove to Monterey, California. That afternoon and the next morning I completed the few items that I should have been able to complete by phone. But a big thing happened: I received my DD214 which is my record of service and serves as proof that I am a disabled veteran with an honorable discharge. This piece of paper, which I couldn’t receive by email they said, is a ticket toward preferential government hiring and VA benefits. This was a huge milestone.
As soon as I had paperwork in hand we began our drive back. We made only two recreational stops on the drive: Sedona, Arizona where my dog proved difficult and we left quickly and Roswell, New Mexico. If you’ve read some of my other posts then you know that the Roswell UFO museum isn’t a novelty stop for me, it’s a pilgrimage. Of course, I already knew most of the details in the museum, but there was memo held by an officer in an apparently staged photo with a weather balloon that I didn’t know about. I’ll be researching that further.
From Roswell, we drove back to our home in Kansas. Roswell was fun but there was a penance: we had to drive through Arizona,
New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Holy Hell, what a God-awful boring route!
The day after we arrived we retrieved our car from the airport and my mother delivered our children and cat to our door-step.
Finally, we are in our home. It is such a huge relief of so many stressors. So much has happened in the last two weeks that my wife and I are gripped with fatigue. But we are sleeping good again. It didn’t even phase me that our property delivery has been delayed by a week and we won’t see it for around 10 days.
Next step to making this transition complete is finding a new job to make up the difference between what my retirement/disability pays and what we need. Luckily I had enough leave stacked up that I’m still on the Army payroll until August, so I have some time.
I received a lot of support leading up to this through this blog and from the Reddit community. My absence is complete and I’ll be around much more. Thank you!