Just as I did not desire to work in the package processing industry, I also did not desire to make a career of the military. It was ironic that this is precisely the path God would lay out for me over the course of a few years, contrary to my expectations and desires at the time; at the time, I had no intention of ever returning to the military after my three years and would emphatically tell this to anyone who asked. I was glad that I had served our country for a tour, had seen more of the world than my hometown, had met many wonderful friends from all over our great country, and had successfully negotiated one of the hardest jobs in the adult world: a military occupation. But I thought that the military was definitely not in my future after my three-year tour. There was much that I enjoyed about the military, and it had certainly given me many tools for success such as bulldog determination, iron self-discipline, and an unshakeable confidence in my ability to do almost anything. However, I did not like the constraint on my freedom which I had newly acquired in the process of growing up.
Moreover, the military of the late 70’s and early 80’s was an environment fraught with many social problems, partly as a result of unintended consequences from short-sighted, doctrinaire politicians (and their enablers who allowed it to happen) using the military as a political cash cow to fuel their various progressive, utopian dreams (some of which were good and some bad), the so-called “peace dividend.” But, in a twist of irony, these same politicians would probably make the application of the new all-volunteer force (which they had pursued so zealously) more difficult to implement by constricting funds to the military, which would have a ripple effect that is common to large organizations when undergoing financial restriction, causing repercussions to other parts of the organization that had not been foreseen or intended.
More on this tomorrow.
I pray this blessing for all of you on this day that He has created: "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace" Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV).