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The Journey Continues

It’s been three years since my last entry. It’s amazing in itself how many people still read this blog despite how long it has been since I’ve updated. I’ve been around, but I’ve often thought that now that things have “worked out” few people would want to read my story. I’ve come to realize that as the years go by, more individuals stumble across this blog looking for some guidance, or even a person to maybe reach out and talk to. When I initially set out on this “journey” it was a means for me to keep a record, if not for only myself, but for those friends and family interested. It then developed into a “Cautionary Tale” of which I couldn’t fathom the reach it would have. During Intel school I met more than a handful of individuals that one way or another came across this page. Majority of those individuals were wash-outs of pilot training, and just looking for someone that had gone through the same thing they were. This was how I learned firsthand how many people I had actually impacted in some form or manner. Since school, I’ve kept in contact every few months with people going through the same decisions, or situation.  It’s for all of these people that I’ve decided to update.

It’s hard to imagine that that it’s been over six years since I left active duty, and over three since I joined the Guard. I’ve been home from Intel school for over two and a half. I really enjoyed Intel school, and all that it had to offer. I had an amazing class, which made it quite a bit better. I learned a ton about so many different areas. Most of all though, I got my confidence in myself back. During pilot training, I always felt like something was “off” and a near constant feeling of dread. During Intel school I became that annoying student that loved every moment of it. I finally felt like my classmates in pilot training that loved every ounce of what they were doing. My passion had returned. I realized after a while that this almost zealous drive to succeed and learn was a bit annoying to my peers. Since then, at my unit, I’ve also learned that this same desire to not fail and give everything I do 110% can make myself appear as almost cocky. If these individuals know my history/story then it does give some insight into why I am the way I am, and why I do not consider failure an option. I will say that after these last three years, I’ve felt completely vindicated with how things panned out and felt like I have indeed followed the correct path for myself. I also believe to a large degree that this is the path God had intended me to be on from the beginning (of course that path isn’t done yet.) My journey to where I am today has taught me a resiliency that I wouldn’t have learned or appreciated without it. It also brought me back close to home, while able to serve in the military. Probably most of all, it also brought me back into the life of my now Wife.

That leads me to my other big development in the last three years. Right around the last writing of this blog, I had begun reconnecting with my now Wife. We had been friends since college, but life seemed to bring us back into one another’s paths again. Had I remained on Active Duty, been reclassified into some other career field (possibly not Intel), I would not be anywhere near where I am today, doing what I love to do. If that’s not God’s plan working out then I don’t know what is. It was a hard few years leading up to that, while I was off trying to live out other plans or journeys that I had to take to eventually lead me to where I am today. That has all taught me valuable lessons along the way and shaped my life, which I would never want to change. Thus if I have one bit of advice it’s to stay true to yourself.

Lastly, I didn’t get here on my own. I’ve been surrounded by so many supportive people and had the shoulders of loved ones, family and friends to stand on. I’ve had the never-ending support of my loving wife. I have also been extremely fortunate finding another “family” with my Guard family. I’m excited for what the future brings, at this rate not even I know. When I began writing this blog over six years ago, I would have never guessed this is how it would have turned out.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

And The Next Chapter Awaits

Just a quick update to let everyone know what’s going on, and how things are working out for me.

I will be at Intel School at Goodfellow in just a few short weeks. My class start date is Feb 5th. I have been doing as many drills days as I can until I leave for school here in a short while. It’s been really cool as I’m able to actually see the mission we do, so it’s really giving me a good understanding of what I’ll be doing when I’m done with training. I should be at Goodfellow through the middle of September for school, and then I’ll be back in Indiana for additional training with my unit. I’m really looking forward to what awaits me in the next many months, as I’ve been waiting quite some time to be able to do this. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and a lot of class/studying, but I am definitely ready for the challenge.

In other good news, I officially got promoted to First Lieutenant, so that’s even better! I guess I technically need to rename my “title” line of the blog to “The Journey of a 1st Lieutenant…” haha.

I appreciate everyone that reads this, especially the people that reach out to me. Knowing this blog helps anyone is, in itself, reason to write the blog. Until next time.

Academics, Studying, Academics, Studying, with a side of Exercise

9 August 2010 1 comment

Well loyal readers, it is officially the end of Week 1 here at IFS. What a fun week indeed. When they say “learning from the fire hose” they definitely mean it. This is a screening program so thus they want to see how well we can perform with this fire hose effect. When I say “learning from the fire hose” it’s an analogy they use to explain how quick the information comes at us. Think of a normal classroom setting and you’re drinking from the water fountain.

I’ll start off with the IFS complex as a whole. It’s a renovated industrial building so it makes for an interesting “complex” in terms of living quarters. All the metal that the building is made of limits the cell phone reception (luckily I’m on an exterior wall so it doesn’t suck too much.) The building doesn’t really have any windows save for the flight rooms/dining facility/ a couple officers. A very few living quarters have windows. I really never know what the weather is since I rarely even see outside. The rooms aren’t bad, I’d rate them better than ASBC for sure, but the rooms at Laughlin had better TVs. The internet here is really good though (which is bad because I’ve played WoW and StarCraftII here…) The exercising area is pretty nice, and the dining facility is actually really good. I definitely don’t have any complaints with the place (I know shocking!) A window would be nice, but eh…It makes sleeping really easy.

Monday was in-processing, nothing special there really. Just got my security badge, checked into my room…That’s really about it.

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday were all the same. Complete mirror images of one another. Wake up at 5:30, go to physical training at 6am. Shower and change into blues by 7:20 to start briefings until 12:00. Then we’d break for lunch until about 12:40…then have more academic briefings until 4/5pm. This repeated all four days. In total we had about 20 academic lessons. This covered almost every aspect of basic flight…Aircraft systems, maneuvers, airspace, weather, etc and so on. It’s about the amount of stuff I covered in a semester of school (six credit hours) in the course of 4 days…Of course my 6 credit hours of it were more in depth, but right now we are just getting the very basics. Once UPT starts it’ll be much much more in depth.

We then have an academic test on monday (tomorrow). In total there are around 500 possible questions or so, taken from our practice quizzes. Not every single question on the test will be from the quizzes though, but same basic concepts. Of those 500 or so questions (50) of them are randomly chosen when you log in to take the test. This weekend I hammered away at everything and I’d say I’ve put in over 20 hours of studying. I did at least 10 hours just today. I really don’t think I’ve studied for anything so much, but this is how it’ll be for pilot training as well. That and you add in the whole aspect of this being my job now, and the one thing I’ve wanted to do in life. It’s pretty easy to find motivation to study. First flight tomorrow, and my academic test tomorrow. You fail it twice you’re done, 85% or higher is a pass. I’m aiming for a 100% =)

I don’t feel like I’m struggling (but we’ll see when I start having to fly.) It’s all come to me pretty easily and I actually feel more prepared after a week than I did a whole semester at ISU. That all probably helped lead me up to this though. It’s pretty amazing what you can make yourself do given the circumstances. I’ve been pretty exhausted the whole past week due to not sleeping well, and I’ve still been on the ball. I’m motivated, I’m excited, I’m ready to kick ass. What I’ve always planned, hoped, dreamed, or aimed for all starts tomorrow. I’m definitely anxious, but I’m not worried. If I put my mind to something, focus on it, and strive to obtain it…I do, failure just isn’t an option for me…I don’t even think I know the definition of that word anymore. Of course this is just a “screening” and the real deal starts sometime in October, but you have to get through here in order to get to the next part…so one thing at a time…one thing at a time.

Control the things you can control, and to hell with the rest.

Categories: Uncategorized