Not re-Enlisting in the Navy was a difficult decision. It actually took a lot of courage to end and start all over again. There was a lot of thought and preparation that went into me “getting out”. I had to think about my family. My wife and four kids depended on me to provide for them. Not to mention at the time, my wife was in school trying to finish her degree. So I started planning in advance. I began to just get overwhelmed and discouraged. The Idea of re-enlisting began to look pretty good. But as I thought about it more and more, I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
In April 2010, after 6 years and 7 months, 2 deployments and 2 enlistments, I signed my discharge papers and went my separate way. It was pretty easy at first, I was on terminal leave until July 1, and so I was still getting my paycheck. Plus I was working full time running a lawn care business, going to school taking 6 credit hours and working part time at a book store. I quickly realized that I had to let some things go. I quit my part time job and finished my classes at school. The VA of course stopped paying for my rent at that point, and to make things worse, my lawn care business had come to a screeching halt. I was running out of money and quick.
I did not know what to do.(and my pride was not gonna let me ask for help, either)
So I called a friend who ran a construction business in north Texas and told him I needed work. He was glad to take me on. So we packed up and moved to Dallas, Texas, leaving Portland in the dust. I worked and worked and worked. Sometimes 90 hours a week. I started school in the fall and was going full time.
It was hard to say the least, eight to 10 hour work days and two to three hours of school at night M-F.
Saturdays I worked usually 8-12 hrs and I never saw my family. My marriage began to fall apart and life was messy to say the least. My kids were growing up and I was missing it all. In May of 2011, I was let go from my job as a Demolition Superintendent, and was back to square one.
I knew I had to do something.
So I filled for unemployment and went to look for a job. After sending out almost 200 resumes and applying for over 160 jobs in a week, I had nothing. No leads and no income. I finally landed a job interview. I was on my way to the interview and totaled my car in the process.
Life after the military was not what I was hoping it would be.
I was desperate, I needed work. Willing to do almost anything, I looked all over Texas. I began to pray about it,and I really felt like I was to move back to Portland, there we had a support system, and a church family. Not to mention we knew most of the people in the town. With the few dollars I had in my wallet and a full tank of gas, I packed a few sets of clothes and said good-bye to my family once again. I arrived on a Sunday and started searching for work immediately. I was in town for only 48 hours when God opened the doors to a job. I was hired on the spot for as an internet field technician. I knew nothing of how the internet worked. I knew nothing about this job field. However, Gtek Computers & Wireless gave me a chance.It was not long before I was able to move my family down and life started again. I was given favor in the workplace and blessed with 4 raises in 8 months. I had never made this much money before or worked a job I loved so much. With in 6 months I was promoted to Supervisor and primary Tower Worker. I was ecstatic! I anxiously awaited every workday, ready to experience the realms of God’s glorious creation like few ever do at heights beyond 300ft!. I was in a seemingly perfect world! My wife was flourishing in the church and my kids were at the top of their class, it was like a dream come true. Not worrying about money or friends, we had it all.
Then it started to happen again…
I I began to throw myself into my job, and ignore my family. late nights on call and long road trips to tower sights in the middle of the night started destroying an already shaky bridge of trust in my marriage. As days passed, this bridge would crumble and break taking with it all hopes and dreams of “Love Everlasting”. Though to my surprise, My wife was unwilling to call it quits even after I had been a distant and untrustworthy POS husband. So I vowed to do all i could to make this work. I sought council and surrounded my self with Godly men to help me stay accountable. But most importantly, I asked for help…God came in like a flood, and over the next few months He would heal and restore a once destroyed marriage.
I changed and began to see my whole life as a gift from God…I never knew He would lead us to the mountains. Colorado was a whole new world for us, but a world worth embracing! For this move was different, I was no longer relying on my own ability, knowledge, or provision. I was following the calling of a my Savior, Jesus Christ. So with less that 9k in savings, no job and no home, we packed what possessions we had not yet sold, and headed to this new country.
It was August 2012 that this new Journey would begin, and the ending of it …well only God knows that! But I will give you a Spoiler…
It ends with “Love Everlasting”!