9.26.2012

*blink*

Do you ever find yourself wondering, "Where am I and how in the world did I get here?" That was me today. Standing in the middle of a soggy football field in the middle of the country, watching my son run for a touchdown, I wondered how in the world I wound up here?


When we first moved to Alaska, MacGyver and I would randomly stop and look at each other and remark, "We're in Alaska...!". And when we moved to Hawaii, it was the same way. The shock of both of those moves didn't wear off for a very long time. And some days, it feels like our time in both of those states was a dream. We've been here a year and I still stop and wonder at the fact that we live where we live. I never envisioned this. Then again, I'm not one to envision much of my future. So this shouldn't surprise me, I suppose.



We move in a week. We're moving a little closer to town (hopefully this will ease some of the strain on my gas budget) and into a smaller place (hopefully this, too, will ease some of the strain on my budget) and I am looking forward to it. Less space to keep up after, less space in which to lose people. A lot of our belongings will be packed and will remain packed until we figure out where we go next. No sense in unpacking camping gear if we're going to be gone before it gets warm enough to camp again. Same goes for the fine china, the American Girls dolls, the scuba gear, and so on. Thankfully, our new place has lots of storage so we can just keep it tucked away. Maybe that will appease my minimal(ish)™ tendencies. Maybe. We've culled a lot. Let me rephrase that, *I* have culled a lot. MacGyver has simply unloaded most of what he has 'acquired' since we arrived here. I'm coming to the conclusion that is why he acquires so much stuff...so that, when I go on one of my minimal(ish)™ tears, he isn't forced to truly get rid of anything substantial. Getting rid of the stuff he's acquired recently makes it *look* like he's getting rid of substance. But he's not.


I'm on to him.



But this time, we are moving ourselves. And MacGyver will be doing the majority of the heavy lifting so I'm hoping this helps him appreciate my point of view...that we have ENTIRELY too much stuff. We'll see. 


And in the midst of this DITY move, we will be attempting to keep up with our regular, punishing schedule of swim team, football, PE/art, Awana, and archery. Thankfully, two of those activities are fairly short-lived and they'll be over soon. We've enjoyed them but I'm pretty sure my 'okole is growing roots into the seat of my car. 


No news on where we're heading next. I keep reminding myself that it's the end of the fiscal year so things are very quiet. We have heard back from a few places and several of them are waiting on word regarding contracts. We'll see how all of that pans out. I've not heard a peep from any of the National Guard jobs I've applied MacGyver for but I suspect that will change next month. And no news is good news - at least they've not yet eliminated him as a candidate. So there's that.


He gets to start the transition process here soon. I'm sure I'll have lots to blog about once that process gets started. I'm hoping our experiences with the VA aren't the horror show that I've witnessed others contend with. We'll see. He has a few things that will count toward a disability rating so it's time I read up on all of that. In the meantime, we wait, we pray, we wait some more. 



One question I *DO* need answered is this: MacGyver will get 'involuntary separation pay'. Basically, it's a payment in lieu of his pension that he would have earned had he stayed in to 20 years. If he accepts a state-funded National Guard position that allows him to continue to work toward his 20-year pension (but doing so in the National Guard, NOT through a federal position), is he then required to pay back the involuntary separation pay? I understand he would be obligated to do so if he took a job with, say the FAA or Forest Service, but the NG is state-funded and their retirement is a different animal than the US Army's retirement system. So I'm stumped. I have a few feelers out with some friends but no one has come back to me with any solid information. Let me know if you can answer this one for me!


I'm out. Time to pick up The Boy and The Girl. I should paint my car yellow and slap a "TAXI" sign on top!





Pau.




- hfs

11 comments:

John of Argghhh! said...

Keep me in your rolodex regarding the VA.

Oh - and you have stuff *here* don't forget. You don't get to unload it on *us*!!!

Anonymous said...

VA = horror show. You are talking my life. But then you already know that since I tend to unload on you at times. You know you can always do the same with me. I hope you don't have to, though. Here's hoping for an easy transition and no freakin' horror show.
Annie

Anonymous said...

Have you tried calling the HR Office that handles Technicians/AGR? I'm sure there's one on post, and they'd be the one's to tell you. I can tell you that technician jobs do count as civil service. When I briefed in they did say that if we went beyond 179 days we lost any pending bonuses, but I don't know it that applies to separation pay.

Pogue said...

Oops, that last comment was me...

Homefront Six said...

MacGyver is supposed to go in and talk to the Guard rep on post here. And by "supposed to" I mean at some point in the future when he's not busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. Because they are still short on MTPs and can't seem to spare him...

I'm planning for the fact that we'll have to hand the involuntary sep pay back over if and when he scores a Guard slot. Better to prepare for the worst and pray for the best...or at least that has seemed to work for me thus far.

But it's on the list of questions I've given him for which I need answers. The list is LONG...

Bethanne said...

Lots of stress! A DITY move, you are brave yet surely doing the right thing. :D I look at my husband's drive time to work and wonder when he will drop the ball on us, suggesting we find somewhere closer to live, and oh yeah, let's do it ourselves. :D But, to better budgeting and a more vibrant husband, I say "whatever it takes." :)

Take care of yourself.

Mrs. Stripes said...

Good luck with everything! We are going through all the pre-separation happy-happy-joy-joy whatnot here. ;)

Anonymous said...

If you are asking about Active Guard Slots, I believe you will have to pay back the separation pay because the retirement structure of AGR are like the Army's. Active Duty Guard are treated like active duty guys in pay, benefits, etc. But I don't think it'll be one big chunk but will be taken out maybe their retirement check in the future. Its hard to find information about it because AGR slots are HARD to come by so I don't think their are many that would fall under the same circumstances. Really, ANY full time guard slots, whether or not they are AGT or AGR are hard to come by if you aren't already apart of that particular Guard. They like to promote within and the few slots open to those outside of that particular Guard unit are so far and few. And even those that are, they are looking within. They can be a good old boys club and like to take care of their own first. And they are very wary about active duty guys coming in and taking full time slots. This is all from our experience as active duty pursuing a full time guard position.

Homefront Six said...

That's what I'm hearing too - that full-time Guard slots are hard to come by and that most Guard units promote from within. And that makes sense - you take care of your own first. So we're looking at tech jobs for the 9-5/M-F stuff and a traditional Guard slot on the side and then having him work his way in from there. We'll see. We'll keep plugging away at it and something will give somewhere.

Now that he's no longer in the F-model transition, he'll hopefully have time to really start hitting the phones and calling the HR offices for the Guard units that have -47s (or -60s and are willing to cross-train him). Supposedly ;)

Anonymous said...

Have you guys considered looking for flight EMS positions? There were two major companies we looked into that were hiring pilots to fly emergency helicopters. What we tried to do was match openings within their companies with areas that had Guard units with our aircraft. Our plan "B" was to do that as his M-F (actually, its 7 days off and 7 days on with most companies) and his weekends would be with the Guard until he could slide into a full time slot. I should tell you I found your blog during one of my nights of frantic googling after finding out my husband was passed over again and we were forced to look at life outside the Army long before we had wanted to or planned. I am praying for you guys and am a firm believer that when God closes one door, he opens a window. Keep plugging forward and you will soon feel that cool breeze of a window that God has opened for you guys!

Homefront Six said...

Thank you for the comment :) We have considered EMS positions. The biggest roadblock we're running into there is the minimum hours needed for most of those positions: he's not quite there yet. I do keep any eye out for them and do just as you mentioned: try to match them up with areas that have Guard units with his airframe.

Regardless of what his M-F job winds up being, the Guard will happen. It has to. Either that or Reserves but I like the idea of the Guard more simply because there are more flight opportunities. I don't even know if Reserve -47 units exist!

I'm glad you stumbled across the site. I completely understand the panic. Thankfully, this is something we've seen coming for a LONG time so the panic subsided a long time ago. Good luck to you too!