This weekend was great. I drove up an interview on Friday, after which I decided to not accept that job even if I did get an offer. I lost my phone Friday night. On Saturday morning I ordered a new phone (which won’t be here until tomorrow it seems). That afternoon I picked up Lindsay from the Coast Guard Academy and hung out in Mystic. Then we went back to the CGA and picked up Michelle to drive an hour to dance, after which I dropped Lindsay off at the CGA and Michelle and I went to stay at the house of one of her friend’s for the night (her upstairs, me on the couch.). Sunday AM, we went to church and then lunch and volleyball, then picked up Lindsay and all three of us went to a dance lesson. I dropped Michelle and Lindsay off back at the CGA and then went to dance that night and drove back to New Haven.
Monday morning, I seriously started considering joining the armed forces as an officer.
Take a deep breath.
I understand your concerns and I’m sure that every single one of them and many more have gone through my head. I know many of the cons of this decision, including the fact that it will most likely delay me from getting married anytime soon (something which you know I’ve always looked forward to—the whole being a father thing). But think of the other side of the issue as well.
After 20 years of service, I could retire with 50% pay of whatever I was making at the time. I should be a 5th or 6th level by that time and that would give me 8.5k/month in pay. Half of that is over 4k/month. This means that at 48 years of age, I could have 4k/month coming in for the rest of my life. That’s 48k/year. Imagine the possibilities! I could then do all the things I want to do know, but can’t. I could be a long-term missionary. I could sit down and write, write, write! I could open up a dive shop. I could become a teacher! So many possibilities…and at the age of 48! Most Americans can’t even think about retiring until 60 or 65.
And if I don’t like it, I can leave after 4 years. I could just hop right out of it, and then I’ll have 4 years as an officer of the air force to add to my resume! Add that to what I already have, and I could get an impressive job, I’m sure. But, I honestly don’t see that happening; I see this going for the full 20 years (or more.).
The skills I’ll learn and the experiences I’ll have are ones that I couldn’t get anywhere else. The leadership, the experiences, the changes in worldview! And I would love to become a chaplain in the air force—it’s one of the positions open to officers. How amazing would that be? A chance to really make a difference in the lives of those that are serving the country!
I’d end up in top physical shape and would have so much knowledge and experience on the other side…
And I truly feel that God is leading me to do this. It’s all too much of a coincidence to be anything else. On the way to the interview on Friday, I asked God to show me if He wanted me in a new job or where I was. At that time, the thought of joining any branch of the military never even remotely crossed my mind.
That idea was awakened on Saturday afternoon when I offhandedly told Lindsay that I was too old to join the Coast Guard. She said that that wasn’t true. I could join officer candidate school.
I started researching that night. Monday morning, I was quite excited about the possibility; I talked to Tony (known to most of you as Owl) about the idea of going to officer training school with the Coast Guard. He gave me a rundown on the branches and thought that I’d really fit into the air force (his father is retired from the air force). I started looking into that possibility as well. Then, I found out that I’m too old to go into OCS for the CG.
I have been praying about this. I prayed about it on the way to work Monday. On Monday afternoon, I walked outside the building for a bit, praying more about such a decision. Three things happened at the same time. The first was praying. The second was thinking about the conversation with Tony. The third was remembering the prayer that I had prayed on Friday, which I hadn’t even thought about since the interview. I remembered how I had told God that I realized that He had the big picture, whereas I only have a limited view. I remembered admitting that God knew more about my capabilities than I did. I remembered that I told Him that I knew that He knew where I should be in life. That Friday afternoon, I had prayed that God would show me where He wanted me in life, thinking that the choices were this new company or staying where I am now.
But at that moment outside of the office, standing next to a yellow-orange construction vehicle, my mind connected all of those events, and I stopped dead in my tracks. My next thought was “Woah! This is God answering that prayer. This is God showing me where He wants me to be.” The timing is impeccable. I only have until June 12th to apply, and boot camp starts in July. I am just under the age of never being able to join.
All of these things combined seem to point directly to God saying “This is what you should do.” I see this as an open door and I’m going to start walking down it and see if God keeps it open. It’s not set in stone; I have to apply and get selected.
One thing that could be a problem is that Lasik is a medically disqualifying condition from all air force services. It is a permanent dq from ever flying. I can try get a waiver to still become an officer, based on a medical report, but that may or may not be able to happen. The door could slam shut. Pray that God’s will would be done in either opening that door or closing off that path.
I am very excited about this and the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I truly believe that God is leading me to this, but if He’s not, He will show me by closing those doors. I realize that my life could change dramatically if I do follow this path.