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Looking Back and Forward

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As 2015 comes to a close and we await the final countdown to 2016, I would like to take a moment to reflect a little, look a little inward and maybe pontificate a little, too.

2015 was at the very least, an interesting year for me.

I started the year being uprooted from my comfortable existence in England with a forced move to Tampa, Florida. This also meant a new job doing work that I had not done in years, therefore having to relearn skills that had been dormant too long.

But the year also brought opportunities to reconnect with many old friends and brothers in arms. For that, I am extremely grateful. As a good friend once told me, “Life is short. We’ll all be dead too soon. Let’s go fishing!” So, let the good times roll! Reach out to friends and loved ones. Embrace the moments you can share and build new memories.

I was in barbecue paradise for a good portion of the year with the ability to grill, smoke and barbecue pretty much any and/or every day. I DEFINITELY loved that!

The year brought some hardship and tragedy as well. So, all was not rainbows and unicorns.

I did a short four-month deployment to Afghanistan. There, I experienced a “combat” tour as a full-fledged staff weenie working at a four-star headquarters with more generals running around than I had ever seen gathered in one place. Notice that I put the word combat in quotes. Those who have been in actual combat will understand.

It was not, however, without its difficult moments. Pulling people and bodies out of a smoking twisted helicopter that crashed in the middle of the camp was the worst. A memory I will store away in the dark place in my mind.

Now, home in England for Christmas with my family on my way back to Tampa, I realize that I still hate the weather here, I appreciate the convenience of the USA, and really do miss my Harley. I also realize that my daughter, Ronnie, has grown up to be a fine young woman and has taken to her college life like a fish to water. I could not be more proud. My wife has done an awesome job raising her.

ronnie-beachSo, while I reflect on the past, I look forward to whatever the future may hold.

And, as always, remember…

Life is a Sandwich. Eat it up!

Happy New Year!

Mike


  1. Rich Johns says:

    Eloquent as always, brother. Happy New Year.
    Gonna Write some stuff THIS year, dammit!
    R18J Sends.

  2. Dave Lange says:

    Enjoy the USA. Hope you have a great year and say “HI” to the family. Dave

  3. Larry Moody says:

    I found repatriating to the US traumatic. I still think about the UK every single day and in a few days it will have been 6 years since I left. The mission focus overseas vs the politics of stateside is dismal. I can’t relate to civil servants that have spent their entire career (20-30 years) in one location in one organization.

    I think, we had a very strong family there and it’s the sort of thing that can’t be reconstituted. Like most military brotherhoods its transitory. At least we have our wonderful memories and the internet to keep in contact. That’s the good news.

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