On Saturday, March 3rd, 1999 I sat around a MEPS station in Brooklyn, probably for about 6 hours (maybe more) watching television and eating junk food from a vending machine. It was my 3rd time coming to MEPS. When the recruiter finally called my name, I went and sat with a guy for another 40 minutes. We reviewed my ASVAB score and he helped me pick a job. He told me I was going to be “like a scientist”, you know, working in a lab and whatnot. I signed about 70 forms. My signature was looking like a blob of nothing by the time I was done.
I’d officially joined the Army.
I can still smell the MEPS station when I think about it (MEPS is an entry processing station for people joining any branch of the military. You can take the ASVAB test there, get your overly traumatic physical and blood work, and then after waiting around for what seems like an eternity, you sit down with someone to pick your job, your ship date for basic training and sign the contract). Now 17 years later, I’m still in. The girl who never did a push up in her life and never wanted to get her nails dirty joined the Army. I have 3 years and 10 days left until I hit my 20 year mark. I should get my retirement letter a few months later. Its going to be the one of the happiest days of my life- after my wedding date of course.
But enough of my talking, here are some photos:
I am positive that the next 3 years will quickly roll by, but I’ll try not to think about it until I get my letter. C’moooooooon retirement letter 🙂
These past few weeks have been rough. The days are flying by so fast that they are merging into one another. The class I’m taking this quarter is starting to build up on me. The professor decided to not give us to much of anything at the beginning of the term and thought it was a good idea to have two papers, and a 4 hour final back to back…consecutively. I was able to finish one of them, but it was like pulling teeth. I’m hoping (more like wishing) this quarter would just end already. Even though I’m doing well in the class, and I really like my professor because she is so funny and animated, I’m really not interested in the work. Really the homework…but then again, I could say that for any of my classes.
I’ve also been going to job fairs and have been on a few interviews last week as well. One was pretty rough: I was there for 5 hours. I’ve never had an interview last that long in my life. What I’ve noticed is that with the small companies, they really want you to get to know everyone in organization to make sure that your personalities don’t clash. I am not sure if I necessarily agree with this method because, honestly, everyone is on their best behavior during an interview and its really hard to say if you like someone after only speaking with them for 5 minutes. Some of the people there thought I was OVER qualified for the position I was applying for (which is true), but its not like they had so many to choose from. And besides, their boss found me…not the other way around.
Over the weekend, we also went to a restaurant called Seasons 52 to have dinner with a former USMC friend of Lorenzo’s and his wife. Lorenzo and I had been to that restaurant previously, way back when before I moved down here, and the only thing I remember ordering was the flat bread. This time I ordered the salmon and it was delicious (click on the picture). As much as I talk about food you would think that this would have been a food blog…hmmm.
I also reached my 15 year anniversary with the Army on March 3rd. The only thing I kept thinking about was how some people my age have children that old. After high school some people had children, I joined the Army. At the time, I didn’t think I would have stayed in this long. I planned on completing my 6 years, being inactive for 2 and moving on with my life. When it was time to re-enlist the first time I went through this whole “What am I gonna do with my life?” drama, and ended up signing for another 6 years a week before the contract ended. Right now, I’m on the hook until next year…so, we’ll see what happens then. I’m sure I’m going to stay; it doesn’t make sense to leave now when I have so little time left to retire with my 20 years. I don’t have any regrets about joining, but there are a lot of things I would have done differently, like making sure I was more strategic about my career. But that is another story for another time.
I’ll try not to be a stranger. Wish me luck with this semester 🙂