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My time in uniform was actually rather short, just three years. I was medically retired for an injury suffered in an accident. There was a short time when I was unsure what my future held, but within several months I was hired into a contract firm performing the same aircraft maintenance I had been doing as a soldier.

Just one year later I was deployed as a contractor to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Two years later it was Somalia. Then south east Turkey in support of the Kurds against Saddam. Then Bosnia-Herzegovina, twice.

When my company transferred me to Kentucky from Germany I thought it might be my chance to get out of the military community altogether. I started taking classes, then went full time while still working in the hangar. Six years later I had a Master's degree.

Did I leave contracting? No. I was promoted to Production Manager and continued on in Army Aviation. And then four more deployments, these to Afghanistan as a UAV operator (pilot, but it is a weird use of that word).

Every time I got close to it I would find that the "civilian" world didn't look all that interesting to me. Now, after thirty years, I don't know if I could function in the "civilian" world.

Am I the only one?
 

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No, you're not the "only" one. I served 26 years in the Navy; mostly as a Reservist (aka: Weekend Warrior). I retired as a Senior Chief (E-8) Electrician's Mate in 1995. Unlike you, my military training was largely wasted as a civilian. Thru my first 9 years in the Navy, while on full time active duty, I was in the highly specialized field of Naval Nuclear Propulsion. I served aboard the USS Enterprise for 4 years as a Rx Plant Electrician. Initially, it was very interesting duty which gave me a good foundation for eventually working in Electronics as a civilian. As a civilian my "career" in Electronics lasted 36 years until my retirement last year. I made a good living, but nothing compares to maintaining Nuclear Reactors on a major warship. The Enterprise had 8 of them, capable of generating over 270,000 S(haft)HP to propel its massive hull of 90,000 tons nearly 34 knots thru the water. The Enterprise is now decommissioned after 50 years of service to the fleet. I was a very small part of the Enterprise's legacy, and it'll always be a part of my legacy as well.
 

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Also not alone. Did almost 5 years AD Air Force, and then I was medically retired as well.
Got out, went to school, became a nurse and started working at the local VA Hospital and love it! Say what you will about the whole process, i know it sucks, or the VBA and claims, but if you come to MN for surgery, I wouldn't want any other group operating on me and taking care of me afterwards. I started working there probably because I didn't want to let go of my Military life and I am around my own people there.
 

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I just realized that there was a military sub-forum. :surprise:

I spent 31 years in the Army including some National Guard and Reserves but mostly Active Duty. I was enlisted (Sergeant/E-5) in the late 70's. When my enlistment was up I got out of the Army to go to seminary. Later I came back in as a Chaplain. I retired about 12 years ago (LTC). I miss the order of the military. I sometimes find the civilian world to be chaotic.
 

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I get out in 2 months! Nervous but excited to be "free" lol.
Do you have a post-military plan? My post-Army career has been mostly still in Army Aviation (with the exception of the fours years in UAVs) and as much as I thought I wanted to break away from the military I just can't seem to make that step. Hell, now I don't even know if I would know how to function in a civilian career field.

I also seem to miss deployments. It has been about five years since I returned from my last one and I am getting fidgety in my cubicle. I do have a business trip to a facility in Houston planned for August. Getting back into a hangar for four weeks should be a nice change.
 

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Grew up in a rural part of upstate New York, like 8 people in my graduating class, and joined the US Navy in 1965 to see the world. I just knew there was more to the world than getting up every morning at 0430 and gathering eggs, feeding chickens and cleaning the horses stalls and feeding them. Retired from the Navy in 1985 having been to every continent except Antarctica. Got used to moving and changing job locations every 3 to 4 years while in the Navy. I retired 9 years ago when I hit 62 and did not hold any single job for more than 3.5 years. I get bored very easily. And yes, I miss the being at sea. There is nothing quite like being on the signal bridge at 0200 hours and looking up at the blanket of stars overhead. I also miss the feeling of a job well done the came after a successful operation that permeated the crew, it just does not exist in the civilian world.
 

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Unless you own your own business like I do.

All I like now about my military time is the retired check and Tricare. I don't live anywhere close to a military installation so I have no regular contact with that. I was medically retired in 1980 after spending most of the 70's in the Army.
 

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Spent 26 years in the RAF as an aircraft engineer, came out when it began to change from there airforce that I joined, started a professional photography business(It had been a hobby!) and did that for another 26 years. Never looked back or regretted leaving. been retired now for 5 years.
 

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I just realized that there was a military sub-forum. :surprise:

I spent 31 years in the Army including some National Guard and Reserves but mostly Active Duty. I was enlisted (Sergeant/E-5) in the late 70's. When my enlistment was up I got out of the Army to go to seminary. Later I came back in as a Chaplain. I retired about 12 years ago (LTC). I miss the order of the military. I sometimes find the civilian world to be chaotic.
I took a look at my retirement papers the other day. I had 37 years in. :surprise:
 
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