END OF TOUR

Five years.

In retrospect it all just flew by; things always seem to have gone faster once you’re on the other side of them. Yet, I feel like getting to where I am now has been in the works for many more years than just the last five.

Part of me thinks I should have enlisted right out of high school or college. Of course, had I done that, I wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had; I wouldn’t be who I am today. While I’m not 100% proud of the choices the who-I-am-today makes, I’m on pretty good terms with him and we get shit done.

So yeah, it couldn’t have happened any other way. My experience in the Navy wouldn’t have been the same, I think. I wouldn’t have the same appreciation for life and the gifts it brings that I have today. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the same worldview, either. Maybe close…the more time that passes, the more I’m convinced I was on the right track when I was 17, 18, but for whatever reason I lacked that inner core of confidence to just freakin’ go for it.

Shucks, I am 100% positive I wouldn’t have gotten this assignment to Hawaii with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (neé JPAC) 18 or so years ago had I enlisted then and I would have missed the incredible experiences and interesting people I’ve met and worked with.

From Laos to Greenland it’s been one hell of a ride and a privilege of which to be a part.

First time ever in Laos - last day of the mission surrounded by such incredibly lovely people.
First time ever in Laos – last day of the mission surrounded by such incredibly lovely people.
Greenland - amazing mission with quality people. No one makes 'em quite like the Coasties.
Greenland – amazing mission with quality people. No one makes ’em quite like the Coasties.

Now it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies, but the ups sure outnumber the downs and in the end I’ve learned to stand up for myself and for others – not perfectly, and hardly ever gracefully, but everything is a work-in-progress. I only hope I can pass what I’ve learned on to my son, as my father hoped to pass certain things on to me.

So what’s the next step? Who the heck knows?!

I’m about halfway through my first semester at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in the Digital Cinema track (modern filmmaking); working on a couple novels; working on my filmmaking portfolio; raising a baby with my wife; loving the crap out of my wife (we keep each other regular); and meeting each challenge as it comes. We started working on our plan more than a year ago and continue to work on it. Life changes things. Plans change.

Adapt and overcome.

So yeah, I feel like I’ve been waiting for this my whole life and blam-o, here I am in the thick of it already.

Zing.

What living on a glacier for six weeks can do to a man. Desperately trying to get this look back...
What living on a glacier for six weeks can do to a man. Desperately trying to get this look back…

Weekending – June 4 Ed.

It’s Saturyay, I’m sipping some wine (Our Daily Red) after having consumed some cheese & Triscuits following a high-maintenance, slightly stressful afternoon with our dear Nightstorm. He’s resting peacefully, I’ve got the original Mad Max playing on my iPhone thru the Amazon Prime Instant Video app, and I finally really get the visual reference in Hot Fuzz right before the final act when Danny is driving Sgt. Angel down the night road.

And Stormy is crying, again. Wait a mo’…

Okay – it was a diaper need.

Anywho, I’ve got an actual job with my production company and need to be working on that; I’ve gotten a great idea for a novel that will help me ease into the massive 13-book series I want to write; I need to put together a little video presentation for my biz website; and I have a couple ideas in the docket for future blog posts.

I’m still learning this whole blog thing, and I’m ever-so-thankful to those who have read and commented (though mostly on Facebook; that’s cool, but could you comment here, perhaps? Please, oh, please?) and are sticking around.

Sharon Miller, long-time blogger and acquaintance who I met in real life about 10 years ago, gave some good advice on this whole venture as well as some good feedback. I’m going with that and just crankin’ out the posts as I’m able, trying to maintain something of a release schedule.

And that’s what’s happening this weekend.