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Ladies and Gentlemen,

That is the question I asked myself.  That is the question I pose to you...

"What do you do?"

So... meet me after the fold...

What do you do, when all of your skills, all of your knowledge, all that you worked for 20+ years to attain, suddenly, becomes useless?

What do you do, when the area you live in has little in the way of jobs that aren't McDonald's or minimum wage jobs that you compete with high school students to get?

What do you do, when you cannot bring yourself to give up, quit, and yet, that very pride that keeps you from quitting, from giving up, has become a double-edged sword that cuts you from both sides?

Today, I read this diary.  If you haven't, I suggest you do.  The personal story was about how a woman with a child worked to survive.  That message is very pertinent to my own.

I am a bomb technician by trade.  I spent 10 years active duty in the United States Air Force and was trained in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).  It is a relatively small field, and the jobs outside the military for ex-EOD are fewer still.  I served my time in the Air Force, but, my childhood dream was to be in law enforcement.  So, after 10 years, I left the military in 1996 to pursue that dream.  

But, in my time in the military, I did many things that most would never be in the position to do; I worked for Presidents, I was in a war, and I was one of the few Air Force members to earn the right to wear an Army medal.  I held a Top Secret security clearance and I knew the "real story" behind some events that the general public never heard about, or worse, heard about, but were never told the "real story".  I was sent to places that didn't "officially" exist and flat told that if I left a certain area I would "disappear" for 3 days.  That was the world I left to go into law enforcement so I could realize my childhood dream.

Yes, I realized my dream.  I graduated the police academy a Distinguished Graduate.  I rose quickly to become a Field Training Officer.  It was my job to train the rookie's, not just in the law, not just in the department policies and procedures, but in other ways.  It was my job to train them in how to be good officer's who worked to protect the public.  It was my job to train them how to survive the perils of being in law enforcement.  I rose to the level of Sergeant quickly; 5 years.  I was second-in-command of the shift.  I was good at my job and I made sure everyone went home at the end of shift.  In those 6 years, we only had 1 fatality while our shift was on duty; an elderly man had a heart attack.  But, after 6 years of law enforcement work it wore on me; low pay, lack of respect from the public, and worse, internal politics, drove me out.  So I resigned and went back to being a bomb technician.  It was a good 6 years, but ultimately, it wasn't what I thought it would be; or even, should be.

I quickly found a job working as a bomb technician with a civilian contractor.  Contract work is just that; temporary.  A contract could be 2 weeks or 5 years.  The catch to it was I had to be a "nomad", ie, I had to be able to move where the job was located.  My contract was only to be a year long so I left my wife and family behind to go work.  The pay was high and the work good.  But, keeping two residences meant we didn't get to save as much as I'd wished.  After a year of working the contract my body gave out.  I was forced to terminate my employment and return home to get treatment.

I was out of work for 3 years.  It took 2 and a half years before I even got a physician to treat me.  That is a long story, and maybe another diary when I wish to detail the problems in the workers compensation laws.  During those 3 years, I became very depressed.  For now, suffice it to say that when I finally got the surgery I needed and healed, I looked for another job in my chosen profession.  By this time, our national economy wasn't so great and local economy worse.  I needed a job, and I needed one quick.  

I found that job, but, I had to go back to Iraq (I diary about that trip back here).  The pay was extremely good; I cleared $7,000 a month.  But, as you read in the diary, the company I worked for was more worried about production than safety.  So, I left that job after only 2 months under a stipulation in the contract that if I felt the situation was too unsafe I could terminate my contract.  I was able to save some money up, though, even in that short time.

So, here I am, 7 months later.  Even as small as the EOD career field is, the jobs for those trained in EOD are even fewer.  Even those who retired from the military as EOD fight for the few higher level jobs.  So, here I am, asking myself; "what do I do?"

Do I take a job that a high school student can do making minimum wage?  Do I simply trash 21 years of my life and the experience I gained in my chosen professions?  Am I to be forced to be a "nomad", rarely able to see my wife and family so I can work in my chosen profession?

What do I do?

This is a question people ask themselves every day.  This is a question that fathers and mothers deal with every day when they are in the situation of trying to provide for their children.

What do they do?

I am not a computer expert; I am a bomb technician.  I am not a business consultant; I am a bomb technician.

What do I do?

Well, I answered that question last night and that answer may surprise you.

I am talking to recruiters about enlisting in the armed forces for the second time.  I am 39 years old and I am not ready to quit; to trash 21 years of experience; to admit that my life up to this point has been useless, meaningless.

Yes, it very well will mean a third trip to that hell-hole I call Iraq; but, I've survived that hell-hole twice, and maybe, I can keep some of our best alive.

Yes, it very well will mean that me and my wife will have to sell our house as I get stationed to a different base/fort; but, I hate South Carolina anyway.

Yes, it will mean I re-enter this very war I have actively protested and spoken out so forcibly against; but maybe a Democrat will be elected in 2008 and the occupation in Iraq will end.

Yes, I too will become a hostage for President Bush; and worse, I will knowingly do so.

But what can I do?  I have to feed my family.  I have a daughter who just graduated high school and is entering college in the fall.  I want her to have a life and the means to make her own way in a world where bachelor's degree's are the norm; where if you don't at least hold a Masters degree, you are qualified to flip burgers.  

What can I do?  I am a bomb technician, and there is nothing else I want to be in my life.  I want my wife with me, not at home alone as I bounce from contract to contract.

In these hard times, we are all forced to ask ourselves; "what do we do?"  It could be a single mother with a new baby.  It can be a father who just wants to provide for his family.  We all ask ourselves, "what do we do?"

Luckily, I have a wife who was military herself, who understands that I am not ready to quit, and, who supports me.  Yes, I'm a very lucky man to have her; she has been there.  She has faced her own trials in life.  She's asked herself, "what do I do?"  It was my wife's diary that I referenced above.

Sometimes, we don't like the answers to the question.  Sometimes, we need the help of our government.  Sometimes, we do what we have to do, whether we like it or not.

There is no security anymore for anyone.  My father retired twice; the first time from the Navy, the second time from Boeing.  He has a little security; a little.  If I do another 10 years active duty, I too could retire; and have a little security.  A little, but more then I have now.  So, what do you do?

Originally posted to MotleyPatriot on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 09:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I have a relative who has a story similar to (8+ / 0-)

      yours. He got out of the military and after two years he re-enlisted for the same reasons you talk about. If your family is willing, it beats working at a minimum wage job. You'll have retirement and healthcare at least. Good luck.

    •  Hate to Ask But Don't the Mercenaries Need (4+ / 0-)

      such skills? And wouldn't they pay several times more than our Uncle?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:28:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm really having a problem with this diary... (0+ / 0-)

      You state you are helpless, but then you state:

      I am a bomb technician, and there is nothing else I want to be in my life

      Excuse me but my husband was a submarine captain who would have loved continuing that role, but knew it was not feasable. He was a career Navy Officer who transferred his experience to the private sector. I work with groups who help individuals transferring from the Navy to private employment.

      What have you done to connect your experience to the public world. If you feel there is no help for you with your field of expertise have you looked into furthering your education?

      I'm a little puzzled regarding your sense of futility without some sense of perspective regarding what you are doing transferring to the private sector.

      •  maybe you aren't reading it for what it says? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackGriffen, Spathiphyllum, Cliss

        helpless?

        Never said that.  I said that all I want is to be a bomb tech... that is what I am... that is what I am good at.

        How do you transfer that to civilian life?

        I've answered that.  I've told you what the jobs are.  That I have done it.  That I don't want to do that anymore, as it put such a burden on my family the first time.

        How do I do what I am trained in, and keep my wife with me?

        Do you think I haven't thought of every means I could think of, and matched that with those with "more" experience then I have that knock me out of the running for that job?

        In the end... we have to accept the reality of our situations.  

        •  Every large city has to have a "bomb squad". (4+ / 0-)

          You hate North Carolina - so move, and be a bomb technician somewhere else. They ought to be lining up for you - I hear there are very few older bomb techs ... someone who still has his hands attached to his body and his body still in one piece after, what, HOW many years, HAS to be good.

          •  yes.. they do... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackGriffen

            an old branch chief of mine, a man who retired EOD, wanted on the state's bomb squad.  He was turned down time and again, until he FINALLY got the job.  He had twice the experience I have.

            Maybe that explains why only having 10 years is not enough?

            As I said... it is a small field... and even the retiree's fight for jobs.

        •  Perhaps you did not get my communication... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dangangry

          My hubby was a darn SUBMARINE CAPTAIN for heavens sake! There isn't quite a big market for that job description in the real world.

          However, he didn't say "Darn it, submarine captain or nothing else"...he worked to find his niche in the private world.

          You don't want to do the jobs in the private sector anymore..you want to keep your wife with you??

          I'm sorry, but as a spouse that worked with the long deployments until retirement I'm just not feeling "it".

          Buck up. There are resources out there to help you transfer. If you don't want to..that's your choice.

          •  and.. what if your husband said... (0+ / 0-)

            "I'm a submarine captain and commanding subs is all I want to do"?

            transferring experience to another job isn't the same as doing the SAME JOB.  Your very statement

            However, he didn't say "Darn it, submarine captain or nothing else"...he worked to find his niche in the private world.

            Is the exact opposite of what I said

            I am not a computer expert; I am a bomb technician.  I am not a business consultant; I am a bomb technician.

            I am a bomb technician, and there is nothing else I want to be in my life.

            If your husband ONLY wanted to be a sub captain... would have supported him?

            •  Hey..I would have.. (0+ / 0-)

              ..and we would have been down in some third-world country.

              Stop whining because you perceive that you can't do only what YOU want to do. Sheesh, there are millions of Americans not doing what they absolutely want to do and they aren't weeping on some damn thread as if they need special status.\

              I repeat, buck up, get a life, make the transition, and get on with it, like thousands of other veterans have done. No sympathy here.

              •  whining... really... (0+ / 0-)

                you equate asking "what would you do to see your family cared for as whining"...

                you equate "I have a specific set of skills in an area where even 20 years of experience, much less 6 years, means you can't compete"... as whining...

                Do you now...

                And buck up?  really... do you think I'm laying down?  Is that what you got from this????

                That I'm laying down????

                •  Absolutely.... (0+ / 0-)

                  You are laying down.

                  My husband spent his entire adult life in the service...Get that..his entire adult life..and when he retired he didn't go "Oh me, oh my...where is my perfect job, my perfect existence?".

                  He went into the private sector and transferred his skills. No..he's not commanding a submarine but he's productive.

                  I work with many people making the transfer to the private world and I have yet to hear a young man say "I insist that you find me a position that involves repairing tanks". Give me a break. You are whining...and many others are facing the real world and thriving..

                  And again..No sympathy.

                  •  I thank your husband for his service... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BlackGriffen, churchylafemme, mlbx2

                    but if I was going to lay down and give in, I'd have put a bullet in my head long ago.

                    So, you think transferring skills to a civilian life is the epitomy of what someone should do... fine... you do.

                    I disagree.

                    Commanding subs and transferring those skills to a civilian job is one thing.  But, having skills you don't want to lose, or give up, or transfer to some other job, doesn't mean you lay down, or give up, or are whining over.

                    and btw... I didn't ASK for your sympathy...

              •  And if your husband did reenlist... (0+ / 0-)

                Would you accuse him of whining and say you have no sympathy?

                Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:00:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you for the cheap negs by the way... (0+ / 0-)

                  And my husband couldn't "re-enlist". He was a career officer...from Annapolis on.

                  I have spent much of my time working with young people transitioning to the private sector..and doing all they can to succeed. To listen to someone say "I want to do this and that is all I want to do" when I'm working with individuals who are doing everything they can to either transfer their skills, explore further education, etc., inspires less than a "Oh me or my" response.

                  I make no apologies for what I do, admire what 99% of those who have served try to do when they are discharged, and still feel disdain for this poster.

                  And..I would "snip" back but that would be against how I feel about posting here.

                  •  If your husband couldn't re-up... (0+ / 0-)

                    Then it's unfair to compare him to MotleyPatriot.

                    Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                    by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:16:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry..but you are wrong... (0+ / 0-)

                      Though compliments on giving me my first negs. Do I give you one for simply being rude??

                      I didn't think they would come for simply opposing a poster's view..but what the heck. A few are quick on the draw.

                      Gosh, the poster's experience (and his family's) are sooo much different than mine. Let's negate the 3 month, 6 month and for Gawd Sake's during Desert Storm and Desert Shield he was just gone..don't worry about the "months" part.

                      Let's forget about those who have come before, during and after his experience, who are really TRYING, and I mean, really trying to find there place after service.

                      None of that matters..because this guy wants to do what he wants to do. Heaven's no. Let's not question the reasonableness of that demand.

                      •  You were name-calling. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BlackGriffen

                        To say you disagreed would be one thing, to call him a whiner is another.  And yes, it's unfair to compare your husband to MotleyPatriot when your husband doesn't even have the option of reenlisting to begin with.

                        Hell, I just defended your husband.  Just take the negs and be nicer next time.  If I wanted to be rude I'd use up the other three I have left.  I don't intend to.

                        Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                        by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:30:05 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  oh good lord... (0+ / 0-)

                        I was in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield...

                        After Desert Storm, I was in northern Iraq....

                        Do you think YOUR husband was the ONLY one?  Do you think only YOU went through it?

                        Your husband was on a ship... I was walking in minefields... Jesus...

                        •  Everyone in the military does their part, Motley. (0+ / 0-)

                          I just gave her two negs for calling you names.  Don't disparage what her husband did, though.  That's way wrong.

                          Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                          by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:39:04 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not disparaging WHAT her husband did... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            djtyg

                            and I respect your right to interpret my comments as you will...

                            But, I walked in the minefields in Iraq after Desert Storm in 1991.  And if someone is going to cast aspirations against me, then I'm going to defend myself...

                  •  couldn't re-enlist? (0+ / 0-)

                    why?

                    The only time a person is BARRED from re-enlistment is when they screw up so bad the military doesn't LET them re-enlist, unless they are at the point they should have been FORCED to retire.

                    Couldn't re-enlist... or didn't... which was it?

                    And you are going to sit in judgement of me for MY decision?????

                    •  Okay...time for you to look silly... (0+ / 0-)

                      When my husband retired he was Chief of Staff for a darn Carrier Group.

                      Criminey..I'm hoping that means something to you regarding his rank. Now don't try to cast doubt on his service to his country to make yourself feel better please. He served his country well and honorably.

                      •  cast aspirations... (0+ / 0-)

                        you already did when you said he COULDN'T re-enlist.

                        Do I know what what a commander of a carrier group is?  Yes... or didn't you read where my father retired from the Navy?  Or didn't you know, NAVSCOLEOD was a NAVAL school?

                        But being BARRED from re-enlistment isn't the same as deciding to re-enlist.

                        I don't have to cast aspirations... I already know the realities of it... officer or not...

                        •  Motley... (0+ / 0-)

                          For anyone who understands the Navy your post revealed exactly what you don't know.

                          And the fact that you didn't understand my previous post reveals that you don't know what what the realities of it are.

                          Nice dig on someone's service though..and not surprising.

                      •  Wow... (0+ / 0-)

                        You troll rated me for defending your husband.  Nice!

                        Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                        by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:30:57 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  They were removed before your post... (0+ / 0-)

                          Though you were not "defending" my husband and "Motley Patriot" is Motley indeed when he disparages my husband's service.

                          By the way..you both probably know who he is, as does any American who follows the "silent service".

                          •  Consider yours removed as well. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Morgan Sandlin

                            It'd be hypocritical to keep them now that MP is saying shit about your husband.

                            And yes, I am defending your husband.  I've already told MP to knock it off.  But I stand by my argument that to compare your husband, you doesn't have the option of reenlistment (and since he retired, probably receives a pension as well) to a person who does have that option.

                            Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                            by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:41:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you... (0+ / 0-)

                            My first husband was a Navigator on A-6's during Vietnam..with a horrible toll.

                            My present husband devoted his life to service and I get a bit testy when someone cast doubts regarding his love of country or his success in his Navy career.

                      •  you didn't say he retired... you said (0+ / 0-)

                        he couldn't re-enlist...

                        now... either he retired from his service, or, he couldn't re-enlist when he got out...

                        anyone who has been military knows the difference between these statements... so... either you misstated the situation, or, you didn't...

                        •  Pathetic attempt at a save Motley... (0+ / 0-)

                          I posted that he had retired from the service before this...

                          You just simply thought it was easy to take cheap shots at his career. Tis okay...many Vet's are used to that. He shouldn't be immune just because of his rank.

                          •  your words... yes? (0+ / 0-)

                            And my husband couldn't "re-enlist". He was a career officer...

                          •  Alas.. (0+ / 0-)

                            He was a career officer...from Annapolis on

                            and

                            When my husband retired he was Chief of Staff for a darn Carrier Group

                            Both before your post Motley...You know what you were doing. Its no big deal, many have never respected service and always look for a way to belittle someone's military career.

                            You just did your own little mini attempt at "swift boating". My comps.

                          •  so you put forth two different situations... (0+ / 0-)

                            one... he retired...

                            the other... he couldn't re-enlist...

                            and now... you want to cast aspirations... when you yourself created the problem.

                            I know what retirement... I also know what "not being able to re-enlist" means...

                            Did you... or did you not... create the problem by your own typed words?

                          •  Stop it Motley...own your own words.. (0+ / 0-)

                            for heaven's sake.

                            In my above post when I mention "silly" in the title I specifically mention that my husband was retired...and you kept at it.

                            Your post about not knowing came after that, the post I'm responding to came after that post...you are simply trying to make an excuse for your disparaging comments regarding his service.

                            Own your words...You have no respect for what he accomplished and you tried to belittle his career by making it look like he left (after a wonderful career) dishonorably. Nice with the swift boating.

                          •  in other words... (0+ / 0-)

                            "yes... I said one thing.. then I said another... but I won't admit to it"

                          •  Pathetic... (0+ / 0-)

                            Career Officer and retired are not mutually exclusive.

                            You just took the cheap shots and don't want to take responsibility. I'm done with you as I am those who disparaged my husband when he returned from Vietnam.

                          •  no... (0+ / 0-)

                            you said one thing... then you said another... both are mutually exclusive...

                            and both can be taken in context...

                            and now you backpedal...

                            did you... or didn't... say BOTH?

                    •  He was an officer... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BlackGriffen

                      I believe the policy is that if an officer is passed over for promotion twice, he is discharged.

                      Doesn't mean he was a bad officer, was just surrounded by people who got promoted quicker.  Politics often has more to do with that than skill.

                      Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

                      by djtyg on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:26:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking as his wife (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spathiphyllum

        I met my husband when he was a police officer.  He wasn't like most of the police officers in this area.  He's only 5'8 and under 200 lbs.  Very few police officers in this area are under 6'.  

        The one thing that attracted me to him was his sense of wanting to do something to help people.  He took the "protect and serve" literally.  Like alot of careers in this area, if you don't play politics, you
        don't get far.  

        When he left the police force and went with the private contractors, I remained behind.  It wasn't feasible for us to move my daughter from school to school at the time, for short term temporary contracts.  It wasn't easy maintaining the marriage, long distance but we did.

        When he got hurt on the job and couldn't work, I watched him try to make that transition.  He went back to college, but his GI bill expired so he couldn't finish it to get his degree.  Since workers comp laws and fee schedules were different state to state, he was hitting road blocks trying to get medical treatment for his work related injuries.  Ever sit and watch your spouse's health and mental health start to deteriorate and not be able to do anything about it?  

        He started his own consulting business, but there's not a need for his services, so it never went anywhere.  When he went over to Iraq as a private contractor, I heard daily from him how another person went down with a work related injury.  How they were ignoring safety procedures to up production.  They were working with explosives, how could safety be ignored?  He told me how one employee threatened an Iraqi national, who worked on their team, with physical harm and then turned around and threatened my husbands family, yes threatened us.

        We talked about his decision to reenlist in the military last night.  It's one that I support.  His career field defuses and disarms bombs, ieds.  It's one of the few places that his skllls can be put to use.  At least, if he goes over in uniform, not only will he have the ability to defend himself but could help bring someone's son and father home alive.  

        There's less of a demand for his skills then you would think.  A friend of ours is also a bomb tech, he is now unloading pallets at Walmart.  My husband doesn't have a college degree, he wasn't a high ranking officer or NCO when he left the service for the first time.

        I too have worked at a veterans agency.  I've seen the frustration from men who've left the military and couldn't find jobs that utilize their experience.  So I understand what he's going through, I've seen it before.  The difference is, when I worked at the agency, I never saw the effects in their personal lives when they felt like they had to "settle" for something else.  

  •  I certainly feel your dilemma. (6+ / 0-)

    I can say this. You chose your line of work. That choice put you in the career camp of people like Bush. EOD is not a field where you would expect to work in a politically liberal environment. You can change your line of work, though, and you can find things that your current knowledge and skills can be useful for. I changed my entire career field radically at 35 years of age, and I had no money and had a family to support. You could go back to school, perhaps even with your daughter (I've seen people do that). Check out local university graduate programs. A person with your background could probably easily find her way into a graduate program where you could serve two or three years as a graduate assistant while getting financial aid for yourself and your daughter. You could redefine your entire purpose, as well as have a few years to really learn some things and do some serious creative work. You could write about your experiences. You could get a degree in something that your prior experience would make you an excellent candidate for (I'll leave that up to you). You can also go back to the dark side, but I sense that must be bothering you. If you decide to do that, just remember that your service is appreciated and acknowledged by those of us who are labeled as "unpatriotic".

    The point is, never deny yourself options. You are a talented and special kind of person. The Democratic Party needs you!

    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

    by phaktor on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:12:50 PM PDT

  •  Think Entrepre-NOOR-ship and Niche Markets (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, djtyg, Ekaterin, phaktor

    Become a specialist in lefthanded zithers or some kind of Amazonian relaxation exercises.

    The trick is to find something the 3rd world, the computers and the global market won't think is a big enough market to jump into, but just enough people want that they'll pay you to do it for them if they ever find you on the web.

    It's easy --once you know the secret!

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:26:04 PM PDT

  •  One thing you should definitely (6+ / 0-)

    at least try (I don't mean instead of returning to Iraq; that's your call) sooner or later, is writing a screenplay about a bomb technician in Iraq.

    That puppy would sell itself.

    Maybe you've noticed that Hollywood can't get enough of "bomb technicians" . . . and setting it in Iraq with some appropriately acerbic wit . . .

    Jebus.  I can see producers lining up to give you gold-plated money.

    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:26:57 PM PDT

  •  This is not a serious suggestion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phaktor

    My first thought, coming from some bizarre place in my mind, was: bomb technician; instead of disarming them you could build them, right?... and surely there's always a market for that?....

    Bad idea, really bad idea.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:29:57 PM PDT

  •  corporate security? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, tmo, MotleyPatriot

    considering your relatively short but accomplished law enforcement career, coupled with your distinguished service in the military, I'd have to imagine that the security industry would be an option. I know a couple of retired firefighters (no military or law enforcement experience) who found well-paying jobs in this field after retiring.

  •  Just off the top (6+ / 0-)

    As a "bomb technician" most likely you've had training with exposives.

    There are professional demolition contractors who use explosives to demolish old buildings and various other structures as well as in mining and other phases of construction work. You might want to check into this possibility. It's somewhat limited and is very specialized but I suspect that with your background you could find a well-paying position.

    Good luck to you.

  •  Any job at daughter's college, saves $ tuition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ekaterin, MotleyPatriot

    Consider teaching, too.
    NYC, for example has a program to train teachers with life experience in other fields on a fast track......Phone 311 in NYC for information.

    Do like most Americans--bluff a bit in your cover letter when you do job search. Hey, a bomb technician can handle ANYTHING, right?

    Definitely consult a reference librarian for help on job searching, retraining, etc. There are amazing resources out there.

    What do you do? If I could, I'd want to work for the non-profits trying to ban and clean up land mines. But a workplace injury left me unable to sustain a full day's activities.

    Oh, that workers' comp hell.

    Did you know, BTW, that Franz Kafka worked for the  workers compensation system?

  •  The good thing, the lucky thing, is that you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, cosette, MotleyPatriot

    do have choices.

    I noticed that you twice said 'it's not the best choice.'  What do you mean, not 'the best' choice?  Is there a better one?  Really?  Then why wouldn't you take it?

    All choices have a price and a downside.  There are always tradeoffs.  It seems to me that you have considered those very well and made an appropriate choice with the support of your family.

    I'm sorry your law-enforcement experience didn't turn out well.  Perhaps it would in another location and after 10 more years in the service, qualifying you for retirement, you might want to try again...somewhere else.

    Best of luck...and thanks for sharing.

    Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

    by oldpro on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:29:08 PM PDT

  •  I use my degrees in history to... (0+ / 0-)

    schedule transportation for the poor and disabled?

    I know there seems a disconnect, but I enjoy working for a non-profit helping people.  As an historian I recognize this as value added to society.

    I give a sh#$.

    Before being a student and a scheduler I was a fry cook and a baker in Las Vegas.

    I still make excellent Pumpkin Bread.  :)

    Faust to Mephisto: I understand your noble duty: Too weak for great destruction, you attempt it on a minor scale.

    by tecampbell on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:41:43 PM PDT

    •  I could still pretend to be an historian. (0+ / 0-)

      Noone has a use for history, but what the hell?

      I guess I should insist on being an historian, being that I invested so much time/debt into it.

      Or I could be a baker again.  Want a muffin?

      Or I could fulfill the 'use' which has presented itself to me, and stay a scheduler.  

      Even 'needed' professions can suffer an existential crisis.  

      Faust to Mephisto: I understand your noble duty: Too weak for great destruction, you attempt it on a minor scale.

      by tecampbell on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:06:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Suggestion: maybe you should get (0+ / 0-)

    out of the 'bomb' industry altogether.  You seem to be a talented fellow; for one thing you're a good writer, and you've obviously had some serious out-of-the-box working experience.

    You could do a number of things, and probably do very well at them.  You're also young; 39 doesn't exactly qualify as 'over the hill' or 'finished, can only look forward to flipping burgers' that type of thing. That's nonsense.

    Maybe you should get into exporting, or start your own business?  There are quite possibly things you can do, so you will NEVER again have to worry about losing your job .....as long as you're the boss.

    I did the same thing.  I was an accountant for 15 years.  Lost my job due to re-structuring.  Wanted to strangle the boss.  Within a year's time, though, I switched fields.  I now own my own company, and I do exporting of Ag Products from the Pacific NW.  It's so much fun!

    What a difference.  Thank GOD my department was re-structured, or I would still be in that god-forsaken hell hole of a job.
    Good Luck (you probably won't need it).    

  •  MP, what a difficult decision.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, MotleyPatriot, mpwife

    ......my heart really goes out to you. I see the dilemma you're in; you want and need to support your family. And I have a feeling you're very good at your work.

    I have a friend who is a Kiowa pilot, now in Iraq for his second tour. He too is opposed to the war, but he is committed to doing his part to support his unit and help save lives. He hopes he will never have to kill anyone, but he is also determined to come home safely to his wife and children.

    It seems to me that your skills can make a positive difference to our troops and be a factor in saving civilian lives. And Bush will be gone soon enough, and we can hope for a wise and humane end to this war.

    We can all share our ideas and advice with you, but the decision is ultimately yours, of course. Do what's best for you and your family......and for what it's worth, from a stranger like me, I bless and support whatever it is you decide to do.

    Just promise us this: If you go back to Iraq, keep your head down and your ass covered and get back here safely, OK?

    "They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It"

    by Ekaterin on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:53:58 PM PDT

    •  wow... how to respond... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spathiphyllum, Ekaterin

      I hate watching the death toll rise... I hate it.  As a vet, it tears me up.  Every month is "worst month ever".

      This doesn't mean that I think we belong.  We don't.

      But, if I can save one life, is it worth mine?  Yes.  To me it is.

      That has been what I've dedicated my life to; saving lives.

      That is why I'm going back...

  •  A new and ineresting field for you might be in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    underwater or ocean technology.  You can explore marine fields in depth at Ocean Careers  ROV technicians make good money and the ones who work on research vessels serve the environment as well.  If bomb technician is all you really want to do, perhaps something with Homeland Security???  I couldn't work for them but I also couldn't serve in the military as you have done.  I just don't have the respect for authority required.  I would reall seriously explore other things that interest you and see if you can develop a career for yourself that would'nt put ou back on the front line.  It is important to support your family, but I suspect they would rather be poor and have you alive, than be well off without you.

  •  Defense Contractor (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure they could use a bomb guy on any team trying to design the next big thing in shaped charges or other ordinance.

  •  Motely, this may not help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MotleyPatriot

    but found myself in similar circumstances.  I went back to grad school into something that I love, poor now as I am still there, but happy.

    It may be difficult with a family.  But if you're looking at more service, perhaps also speak with the AF Reserve and Air Guard.  Sure, you are still likely to deploy, but you would have more time than AD to pursue something in education.  The benefits may also be more now than they were for me.

    Good luck to you and your family, bro, I know this is a tough decision.

    peace.

    Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"--that is the motto of enlightenment. - I. Kant

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:29:46 AM PDT

  •  A Couple of Suggestions: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, marykk

    Have you considered building demolition work?
    Have you considered specila effect work for movies and tv production?

    Just a couple of suggestions for non- military possibilities,
    I hope you find peace within yourself,
    Hugs,
    Heather

  •  Kinda sorta (0+ / 0-)

    understand where you are coming from. I've toyed with the idea of going back in. Not even told my wife, though.  It gets real old (and makes you feel old too soon) working 70 hours a week on third shift in a job you hate and are over qualified for, just for insurance coverage. (for the family you love but never seem to see)

    -7.63,-4.31 "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

    by mlbx2 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 01:05:56 AM PDT

  •  Here's a thought (0+ / 0-)

    is there a way to parlay your skills into a teaching gig at all?  Junior colleges are always looking for qualified instructors. Also, because of the extremely specialized nature of at least some of your skills, can you put together a one day seminar for first responders?  Each state has a police training board of some sort, and you might work your way on to the schedule.  That alone won't provide full income replacement, but might at least get you a toehold back into the labor market.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:05:39 AM PDT

  •  My father was career Air Force (0+ / 0-)

    Not well educated, soon having a wife and kids to support.  The service was a good deal for him.  He was a navigator in one of those in-air refueling planes (that have a better name, which I do not know) during Korea and Vietnam.  That job doesn't generalize so much to civilian life, I wouldn't think.  

    He learned to be damn scared of flying, and of being treated like crap by officers, so he got his bachelor's and then went to law school on the Air Force's dime and at night.  Despite having three and then four kids.  He stayed in and worked as a lawyer in the service.  He didn't like the service much but he saw it as a means to an end.  He could retire in his early 40s, which was a good deal.

    When he retired, he became a tax lawyer for a bank.  I doubt it was ever his life goal, but it was a good paycheck and fit his anal-retentive personality.

    He's entirely retired now, collecting coins and making life fucking miserable for anyone who crosses his path, but he still extols the GI Bill.  

    That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it? Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War. --Keith Olbermann, 5/23/07

    by rocketito on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:59:45 AM PDT

    •  My thoughts (0+ / 0-)

      It's actually not a bad idea.  MP applied for a TSA position as a Bomb Security supervisor. Never heard back from them.

      Being that we're close to military bases that actually have EOD shops, there's quite abit of competition for the few local jobs in this area remotely close to requiring the skills he has.

      If he were to go back in, he can put in his years for retirement, finish his degree while he's state side and then retire.  

      Daughters going to be in college so it will be just him and I moving around, if moved.  

      •  It's a bad time to be in the service (0+ / 0-)

        But the educational benefits are so worthwhile.  

        Not an easy decision.  My best wishes to you and your MP!

        That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it? Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War. --Keith Olbermann, 5/23/07

        by rocketito on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 08:33:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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