Last month was Joe's anniversary of his enlistment in the Air Force...his 17 year anniversary. He's now been in the Air Force for 17 years; and that means he can retire in just three years. Three!
He can retire in 3 years, but it doesn't mean he necessarily has to. I think he can stay in for 26 yrs.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for a military retirement in 3 years.
I was born into this military life. I was born at Wichita Falls, TX when my dad was stationed at Sheppard AFB.
I graduated from Northern Burlington H.S. in Columbus, NJ when my dad was stationed at McGuire AFB. He retired 6 months after I graduated.
So all of my 'growing up' years were spent in the military. I've always lived on base and everything seemed to revolve around the 'military way of life.'
If Joe retires in 3 yrs Kayla will be 9 and Lucas only 5. They won't even have received their first active duty dependent I.D. cards (of course they can still get I.D. cards when they are 10, but the 'retired' cards just aren't the same!)
The thought of retiring when they are that young makes me a little sad - that they won't 'grow up' knowing this way of life. They won't get to experience and remember different bases they've lived on.
With the way the economy is going right now it might be a good idea for Joe to stay in a few more years anyway; at least we would have the safety and security of a job, housing, and insurance the military provides for us.
The other issues is we don't even know where we want to retire at. Neither of us have a 'home town' that we can say 'oh we're going back to so-and-so to retire.' We've discussed this several times over the past few years knowing that retirement is looming and we still haven't settled on any location!
Who knows, maybe we'll like it so much in Charleston, SC that we'll end up retiring there - our last duty station.
But for some reason that just doesn't seem like it should be our 'last' duty station.
I'm just not ready for that chapter of our lives to be over.