12. August 2009 · Comments Off on First Day of School 2009 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

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Jacob’s first day of school, 2009. First grade at Two Springs Elementary School, Bellevue, NE.


01. August 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Night Flights · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Neal: What’s the flight situation?
Del: Simple. There’s no way on earth we’re going to get out of here tonight. We’d have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak.
Neal: I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Del: Yeah, but by the time the airline cancels this flight, which they will sooner or later, you’d have more of a chance to find a three-legged ballerina than you would a hotel room.
Neal: Are you saying I could be *stuck* in Cincinnati?
Del: I’m saying you *are* stuck in Cincinnati

This is what I was faced with on Friday night. I substituted “Cincinnati” for “Wichita”, which was the city those guys were really stuck in.

I haven’t talked much about my work lately, I guess. Since I came home from the desert, I’d laid low somewhat, taking some drill days in June, and now I’m on this batch of drill days for the first weekend of August. Now that we’re in Nebraska, we have to book my flights to and from Shaw AFB for my reserve work. Not easy. Obviously, I can’t just hop on a plane from Omaha to Sumter, SC…so booking my flights involves layovers in hub airports and rental cars. This travel adds a day onto each end of my trips to SC. The majority of the time there are delays and I tend to make my flying schedules so tight, and missed connections and maintenance delays translate into missed duty hours, which I make up by paying visits to my unit’s troops on their night shifts.

I had quite the time attempting to get from Omaha to Columbia, SC (via Cincinnati) this past Friday, poor weather in Atlanta meant the crew waiting at Atlanta to go to Cincinnati to eventually transport us blew their crew rest — thus canceling the Delta Airlines flight — and I ended up having to spend the night in Cincinnati. Thankfully, our awesome unit NCO worked out a hotel room for me at the local Residence Inn and arranged a flight to Charlotte, NC for Saturday morning. Since lunchtime Saturday, I’ve been working hard, mainly wrapping up loose ends of paperwork and saying goodbye to the people I’ve served with these past 2 years.

And for those loyalists to my blog (all 2 of you?), yes, I remembered my own tips from last December.

Things are a-changin’!

From when I came home from the desert, I immediately began to ask about job openings closer to home. I’d received several leads. Fortunately, Offutt AFB is a big base with a number of Air Force Reserve opportunities. Unfortunately, most of their positions are filled. But someone who works at my Major Command Headquarters had some inside information about a possible opening at US Strategic Command right there at Offutt. The work is very very very similar to the work I did when I was assigned in Norfolk, VA.

I submitted a resume just after the July 4th holiday, and this past Monday I’d received word that I’d been hired and I could start in September! I’m so happy about how much easier my Reserve work will be now! I just have to drop the boys off at school and head to work…instead of dropping off the boys, driving to the airport, flying on two flights, renting a car, driving to Shaw AFB….then doing the whole thing in reverse 2-4 days later.

I will seriously miss my job in South Carolina. It’s among the most rewarding work I’ve ever done, and I had so much fun! It’s personally challenging, especially with the deployment earlier this year. But I will seriously NOT MISS the commute.

Hopefully we can use this saved time to really truly explore the great things the Central Plains States has to offer: Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Yellowstone National Park, skiing in Iowa (yes, IOWA — 40 minutes away!), etc….