When it comes to remembering anniversaries, everybody has their list special dates. Just about everybody can remember their birthday (4/25), the first date of a loved one (1/9), weddings (6/26), and their children's birthdays (12/18). We mark them on our calendars, scribble reminders in planners or input them into an electronic device that we carry on our persons.
One special date that I have always remembered is the day I joined the military. While I wouldn't consider it a "special" day, nonetheless it's a date that has marked much of my life since the day I "since signed my life away."
Today is my eight year anniversary and a very, very special one. Why? Because it means that I have successfully completed my military service obligation (MSO) and am no longer required to serve in the military. Now, I know what you're thinking. This doesn't mean I can jump on the first helicopter I see and get out of Afghanistan. Rather, it means that once I am done with my service here, I can resign my commission and hang up my combat boots.
It's been a bittersweet ride over these past eight years. I've had good days and definitely a few bad ones. While I might complain about this whole process, I do not regret the commitment I made all those years ago. I am proud to say that I have served my country (and will continue to do so for several more months); however, I believe the time has come for us to part ways. There are so many other things in life that I want to do and none of them are able to accommodate continued service in the Armed Forces.
I would like to thank my family, especially my wife who's been with me the whole way. Come to think of it, I've been married to the military longer than Leslie! I'd also like to thank my friends who have supported us throughout this journey. I've lived in four states and four countries in these eight years, and I wouldn't change any of the experiences. I've made several close friends and lost a few along the way. Although my time isn't completely over, I take comfort in knowing that it will be ending soon...and boy am I going to celebrate!