Wrote the following message on Facebook today:
“Today I am officially out of the army...my last day of terminal leave was yesterday. While I could mention hundreds (OK...maybe thousands) of negatives about my army experience...instead I’ll focus on the positives:
• Made it through basic training at twice the age of most of the young bucks
• Graduated at the top of my AIT class
• Stationed in the middle of Seoul, Korea and was able to take in quite a bit during this experience
• Ate all kinds of interesting food
• Experienced Korean culture and took advantage of every opportunity available to see the country and historical sites
• Visited the DMZ and even stood a few feet on the North Korean side of the border
• Saw a communist
• Stationed in Germany...right in the middle of Europe
• Met a lot of great people & was able to visit all 3 of my former exchange students
• Visited a number of historical and just plain cool sites in Germany
• Visited England, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands & Greece.
• Drank a lot of good beer
• All my first line supervisors were great supervisors…and just good people
• And finally…I was able to complete a long time goal of mine…I finished my bachelor’s degree using tuition assistance from the army
I Made a lot of memories and friends that will last a lifetime.”
After the little bit of reflecting on Facebook, I took a break from work and headed to the naval sub base outside of Silverdale. Once there I went to the DEERS & ID office. I brought my paperwork (DD214 & orders) and had them input me correctly into their system as retired. Once that was done they had to issue me a new retired ID card. Seemed a little strange because I already had a retired ID card that I was issued at Ft. Lewis, but because of all the mess-ups this was the only way to do it. I have a big ass beard at the moment, so my photo looks a bit funny…but I don’t give a damn. I’m just happy to finally get in the system correctly. I am officially retired now!
I then drove back to work and called Tri-Care to get myself and my family enrolled into Tri-Care for retirement. My first attempt ended up getting half way through, then all of a sudden a dial tone. I was a little pissed off, but took a breath and started the process all over. Dial the number, listen to the recording, speak to a computer, state social security number, name and birth date. Once a real person gets on the line I then have to give all that same information again (social security number, name, & birth date). I then explain to the person that I’m trying to enroll myself and my family into Tri-Care for retirement. The person transfers me to the agent that will help me…I then have to once again give my social security number, name, & birth date. I was a little irritated, but a sweet girl on the other end was really helpful and got me all setup and enrolled finally. The lady was very patient and helpful, I couldn’t have asked for a better person on the other end…especially after getting a little pissed off earlier. I had to make the first 3 month’s payments while on the phone, which was fine. At $45 a month, 3 months payment is still cheaper than what I would have to pay on the civilian side.
I’m now completely set…I don’t have to stress out about getting all of this done now. My next step will be getting my actual army retirement check. If all goes as planned, this should happen on the 1st of July. I will hit the retirement system on the 1st of June and then the first check comes on the 1st of the next month.