It’s been a year since I retired from the military, and I look back with little if no regret. There’s a good quote that I’ve always identified with that states, “Joining the military was the best thing that I ever did in my life, and leavening it was the second best”. There’s a lot of wisdom in those words.
I never wanted to be one of those guys that surrounded his retired life with the trappings of his former profession. They’re very common among military retirees; hats, license plates, flags in the front yard, a dog named 'Adjutant', sandbagged gun emplacements on the roof. It was a part of my life, but it wasn’t my entire life.
The day that I left the military I pushed away from my desk, patted a few friends on the shoulders, and quietly slipped out the side door. No muss, no fuss, just the way I came in. Walking to the car that day I reached for my green beret in my right cargo pocket and was cognizant that it was the last time that I will ever wear it.
At home the uniform came off and went into a trunk with the rest of them, neatly folded and tucked away for some future generation to find. And so end’th an era… or two.