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The serious countdown to freedom is really starting to sink in. This past week, I spent the majority of the time cleaning out my desk, starting the turnover with my replacement, and beginning to get everything else closed out that needs to get done. Ran to my doctor's office in Tustin to tie up some loose ends with my medical files to transfer to San Diego for my terminal physical and dental exam (which will be scheduled for next week). The rest of next week is going to be tied up with running around getting things signed off on my checkout sheet; turn in my computer and cell phone (better known as my ball and chain) at district, schedule my checkout interviews with the CO and XO, and generally finish everything up. My terminal leave is scheduled to start 21 January after working hours (at least, that's what the chit said. We had to re-submit AGAIN after it apparently got lost!)

On March 24, 2009 I will reach the end of my active obligation in the United States Navy and will once again be a civilian, after 9 years, 3 months, and 25 days spent in uniform in the service of this country.

Am I nervous about getting out? A bit. The news this morning kept re-iterating over and over again (I think Tana and I counted 6 times total in the brief period of time we were watching) how high the unemployment rate is, as well as how many people lost their jobs in 2008. I am a little bit nervous about making the same kind of money I do now (as much as I hate to admit it, the money really isn't bad at all, for a 27 year old guy in San Diego), but since I don't plan on having to commute 176 miles each day, I'll save a LOT of money that was being spent on gas. Besides, I know that my skill sets are in high demand- both the sales ones and the technical ones, and I'm sure I'll be able to find a job for at least the meantime. Long- term, I don't plan on working in the nuclear power, or even necessarily in the energy sector at all; with the new GI Bill that was passed last year and the other educational benefits that should be coming my way from the VA, I'm planning on going back to school, studying journalism, political science, maybe something along the lines of Public Policy or International Relations. Regardless, the sky's the limit, and I'm looking forward to it as a new adventure.
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As I write this, I'm sitting on the couch of the condo, enjoying my last weekend of vacation before I head back to work- for about 3 weeks. Then it's totally out of the Navy, and trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Am I excited? Hell yes. Nervous? Without a doubt. But, at the same time, I know that I'll be ok, regardless of what happens right off the bat. My wonderful (Civilian) doctor finally got me tested for Sleep Apnea, and lo and behold, it hasn't just been a bad case of snoring all these years. Although we're still wrestling with Tricare for the necessary prescription to treat said sleep apnea, as it stands right now I'm looking at getting some compensation from the VA as a result. After the last 3 years, it really seems to me the least that they can do.

It's hard to believe that I'm almost at the end of my recruiting tour. Looking back, it's felt like an eternity. Still I have to say that I did learn a few things, as much as I hate to admit it. Granted, most of the things I learned were really not the sort of thing I wanted to know, about how the Navy works, and also about what I'm truly capable of in the name of self- preservation and watching out for Number One. I've recently starting re- reading Heart of Darkness, and it's slightly frightening how easy it is to make parallels to some parts of the novel with some parts of my life and work experiences the last 3 years. "The horror! The horror!" indeed. I've been compiling my notes and I'm looking forward to writing QUITE a story about my experiences. Not to mention the fact that I've actually started writing the speech of what I'm going to say to the commanding officer when it comes time for my check- out interview.

Lots more I could talk about, but it's really time for me to get some sleep- I know Tana is probably half- wondering where I am, and this is the 3rd time I've started writing this entry; I think it's good enough for right now.


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Tiger In A Cage

May 2017

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