Friday, November 16, 2012

military digs

I am Indiana Jones.

At least I feel archaeological these days digging through the layers of my life.

Yesterday I hit a mother lode of memories.  Most of you know I was on active duty with the Air Force in the early 70s.  With assignments in Texas, Colorado, California, Greece, and England.

When I left the Air Force, I returned to law school in Oregon.  And then decided to join the Air Force Reserve as a judge advocate general -- where I served for 23 years.

The Air Force is big on education.  So big that to ignore getting a master's degree, or attending Air Command and Staff College, or Air War College is to guarantee no promotions and an early retirement.

I had almost forgotten I had accomplished all three.  Well, not so much the master's degree in International Relations -- while I was in England -- which was one of the most enjoyable years of my life.

But the two Air Force schools were -- what is the word? oh, yes -- a colossal waste of time.  As interesting as the Air Force procurement system is --.  Why finish that sentence?  The adjective "interesting" simply does not belong there.

While digging through my office closet, I found three five foot piles of course materials and law office manuals.  I had not touched any of them since I completed the courses.

And they would have remained untouched to this day if an attorney friend who was studying to be an Episcopal deacon had not requested material on just wars.  At least, they found some practical application.

They are now all on their way to the local dump.  Something I should have done a decade ago.

When I opened the law deskbook, I had what I thought was a far too revealing moment.  The then-new ethical regulations were safely wrapped in plastic.  Untouched by Steven hands.

Really?  I was that cavalier about ethics?

The next notebook answered the question.  I did not open those regulations because I was teaching a course on the regulations and had a dog-eared version of my own.

That chapter of my life ended in 1999 when I retired.  My pension check now barely pays the ongoing expenses of the Salem house.  One reason the house needs to go on the market.  I can use that money for a few more Mexican adventures.

So, you now have the Air Force chapter of my life.

With more little surprises to come.


Krystal Loverin Membrila said...

I agree, I finally went through all my old boxes last year and recycled tons of Army Engineer manuals that I had barely touched after finishing those particular schools. Nowadays so much is digitalized that they aren't even in use at this time.

Steve Cotton said...

It is almost like living in a museum.  And I guess it is.  A bridge from one technological era to another.

barbara eckrote said...

To say you are a pack rat would be a grave understatment..........

Steve Cotton said...

 If it was a piece a paper and I touched it, it was sorted, filed, and stored.  Now I simply need to send them to their eternal rest.

John Calypso said...

You have a lot of old stuff (if you had as many wives as I have had - you would have less - a lot less ;-)  You have to move on from that stuff - the best memorabilia is in your head amigo. 

Steve Cotton said...

 A wife may have helped get rid of some of this stuff years ago.  But it is going now.