Monday, October 01, 2012

My Air Force Experience: I am a Veteran (11 of 11)

That's odd, I don't feel any different. But today is the first day in over a decade that I can no longer say "I am in the military." Now all I can say is "I was in the military" or "I am a veteran." My official date of separation was yesterday, but I'm not sure if that counted as the first day of my 'new' life. While my efforts at demilitarization over the last several months have been largely successful, they've still been governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). And now, as of today, I'm not.

Free and Clear!
In plain English: "I'm officially out of the Air Force." But I took the time to mark the occasion last Friday, my last weekday on active duty. In the morning, I was sworn in to the US Foreign Service at the Department of State main building. In the afternoon, I went over to the Pentagon to turn in my active duty ID card and get a different one that allows me limited base access for a while (one of the benefits of the way I separated from the Air Force). It took about two hours of waiting in the military personnel section to get my cards taken care of because it was the end of the fiscal year and all the contractors had to renew their badges too.


Even so, before the duty day ended, I was able to swing by and briefly say hello to a friend of mine in the Building that I haven't seen in person since we deployed together over four years ago. I also stopped by the gift shop to pick up a memento of this day of transition: a small globe that is composed of various stones cut into the shape of the country they came from. I'd first seen them in Germany, but didn't get one then. Since that might be the last time I go into the Pentagon, I figured that it was now or never. And you have to admit, a globe is pretty symbolic of the Foreign Service.

To read my Military to Civilian Transition mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.
To read my Entering into the Foreign Service mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.
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