Thursday, March 15, 2012


One Step Closer to Afghanistan

This morning there were two emails in my inbox- My fingerprint cards got to Florida and I got my interim clearance. I think I'm ready to go, as far as the job is concerned. In the flurry of forms and emails, March 15 was my tentative "on board" date. I don't know if that'll happen or not. So far, I've received nothing more- no "Here's your e-ticket, catch this flight" kind of email, so my big son and I rode out to Stockton because his birthday's on Thursday. The plan is for us to have lunch or dinner together with the Stockton part of the family. We can come back to Hayward afterwards, or spend Thursday night there and go back on Friday.

I sent in a lot of forms already, signed and scanned more. The money is good enough, I'm willing to jump through some hoops to get there. My old battle buddy from Iraq says this is a much better employer in Afghanistan, so that sounds better. I've stayed up a bit late tonight, watching "Old Gringo" with Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda. Can't make a link between the movie and my future.

If tomorrow morning, just one more work day for Florida, brings me a "pack your bags and get here" email, I'll comply. The ride back home will take an hour, one more to pack, and one more to get to the airport. I know where my passport is; my traveling clothes are clean and folded. Just have to start packing and take what I'll need. Because it's cold there, I'll bring some long underwear, thick socks, a new toothbrush and razor. My daughter is putting some movies on my laptop so I can watch something besides hotel TV.

Part of me is ready to go, another part will miss the pretty good home life I have here. My children are together again and I can talk civilly with my ex-wife. Part of this novelty includes her cooperation with alimony. I think all will work out, but I've still got a couple of bases to tag before I get to home.

Just when things are getting better, I'll be leaving. Got other things to think about- Will I pass the physical? When will I get a chance to come back? Where will I go on my vacations?

Lots of unknowns, only a few factors that I'm comfortable with. Got my interim clearance. Nothing more.

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