Yesterday was my last day on duty at United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). I would like to take this opportunity to give you an update as my tour ends. As an Army Reserve officer, I had the rare privilege of serving on Active Duty at one of the nine Unified Combatant Commands within the Department of Defense. The Chain of Command is short as it flows up from the Combatant Commander to the Secretary of Defense to the President.
I thank God for the opportunity to serve at USTRANSCOM during this time. It has been a wonderful blessing. I also thank my wife, Mindy, and our two children for their continued support of my military career. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do, nor would I want to. They make me feel like I am living the life of a millionaire, rich beyond measure.
I also thank those for whom I directly worked for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the adventure. It really was something special. One thing I reflect on is the fact that at Scott Air Force Base, where over 30 years ago I used to visit my Air Force Master Sergeant dad, there now stands a building which I had a part in bringing to reality.
During my tour, I served with USTRANSCOM’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) team. I gained invaluable experience during my tour and appreciated every day wearing the uniform of the United States Army. Being part of USTRANSCOM and their BRAC Construction project was one of the highlights of my long military career. It was an absolutely great experience to work at one of the few Combatant Commands within our nation’s military structure. As a Reserve Soldier, I never dreamed I would have the privilege of serving on a tour at this level. Never so much as imagined anything quite like it. Looking back, I can see clearly how it was all God-arranged. (I plan on posting a follow-up soon with details.) With regards to my military career, I will continue to serve as an officer in the Army Reserve. My current assignment is with the Joint Transportation Reserve Unit (Army Element) within USTRANSCOM.
I will soon start in a civilian position with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). I will be working from the Jefferson Barracks Campus as a General Engineer to facilitate new construction and renovation projects. It turns out, I will have similar responsibilities there as I have had with USTRANSCOM. From where I sit today, I have a greater appreciation for the valley God led me through when this chapter of my life was just beginning. At times the climb led to questions. The most frequent one being:
"What is the plan you have for me in this temporary position?"
Now while I rest on a mountaintop, enjoying the view of where I have been for the past four years*, again I am reassured, "I can rest easy in the hands of God..."
Moses said to God, "Look, you tell me, 'Lead this people,' but you don't let me know whom you're going to send with me. You tell me, 'I know you by name and you are special to me.' If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don't forget, this is your people, your responsibility."
God said, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end." - Exodus 33:12-14 (MSG)
* I mention four years as it was the first year's arrangements which took me into a valley. On the other side of that valley was the beginning of my three year tour with USTRANSCOM and the climb which led to a mountaintop...