04. March 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I might have mentioned it, I might not have, but I kept my Reserve position at Offutt AFB, Nebraska even though I now live in Florida.  I’ve received dozens (yes, dozens) of inquiries about why I would want to do that.

Three reasons why I kept this position:

1.) There’s very little else for me to do in weather in the AF Reserves.  I could switch to something non-weather, which is okay, but I preferred to stay in weather.  Call it the Geek in me!  I expect there will more options if Dave ever gets assigned to the Washington, D.C. area after this.  I’ll also only have a couple years left in the AF before I’m retirement-eligible by then. (How time flies!)

2.) This position has a lot of flexibility.  I am known as an “Individual Mobilization Augmentee” type of Reservist (or “IMA” for short).  In other words, I’m like an understudy-type capability to an active duty staff element.  If something were to happen that the active duty element needed more people, I could get called up to help out.  In my previous position in South Carolina, I was a member of a Reserve unit, and I was expected to be present one weekend per month.  As an IMA, I’m presented with times on the schedule that my help would be appreciated, and I balance their schedule with my own…and I’m allowed to stitch together several “one weekend per month” equivalents and not have to travel monthly.

3.) I’d only been in the Nebraska position for about 1 1/2 years.  It took nearly a year to receive all my training for this position, so I was trusted “unsupervised” only since last summer, and I feel that I owe more fruitful time to this position and the team I work with.

Therefore, around Christmastime I worked out with my active duty boss that I could give 4 work days to my shop in late Februrary, and I bought a plane ticket.  For these “one weekend per month” type work periods, I’m expected to supply my own transportation, so YES, I’m eating the transportation costs in this case.  Thank heavens for credit card reward points!

Right after the President’s Day long weekend, I kissed my boys goodbye, put them on the school bus and set off for the airport.  Fortunately, there was nothing hindering my trip TO Nebraska, a small snow event was putting itself together for a couple days later.  I picked up my rental car…as usual they were “out” of the super-ultra-mini-sub-compact cars I usually reserve, so I was offered this Ford Mustang.

I’ve always wanted a Ford Mustang, and this one was a lot of fun to drive…at first.

After I got my rental car arranged, I then went to collect my suitcase. Yes, I checked a suitcase on Delta airlines. But I traveled in uniform, in part so I didn’t have to pay to check the bag, no questions asked!

It was a good thing I was in my uniform…my suitcase never showed up. Even though I flew from Fort Walton Beach to Omaha via Memphis, my suitcase flew via Atlanta and hadn’t arrived. I filled out the appropriate paperwork, and the luggage office clerk assured me that the suitcase would be delivered that night. So I stayed up till about 12:30am waiting for it, but then it didn’t arrive. Boo!

So with my gracious hosts providing me some sleeping clothes, toothpaste and soap, and Delta airlines providing me a cute little toothbrush and a flimsy comb, I had JUST ENOUGH stuff to sleep, clean up and be presentable for work the following morning.

Did I mention my coats were in my suitcase? Uniform yes, coats no. Fortunately, it wasn’t that cold, about 35F.

While I was at work, my suitcase was delivered, hooray!

Coming next…Part II: The Ford Mustang…Worst. Winter. Vehicle. Ever.