Making the Transition

James Wartes

Words like 'transition' 'ETS' (marines, that's army lingo for End of Term of Service) and 'DD214' have been swirling around my head and haven been causing my thoughts to run around and torture me. Getting out of the military has got to be the most intense feeling I've had in a long time. In my seven years I have seen two war zones, operations both over seas and stateside. Been promoted, demoted and had my fair share of stress. I've been shot at, blown up, screwed over, seen brothers die and others praised for their heroic actions on the battle field. 

Now, I'm about to take up a new 'uniform' and new 'duty titles' such as Father, FiancĂ©, and Citizen (if you are a fan of Starship Troopers you understand my reason for using that term). I will be studying at college and working and taking care of people. The ideals are the same just a different follow on mission, and a new chain of command (household6). 

Today, I went down to transitions and it was an eerie feeling. I've been there before whilst chaptering soldiers, or when trying to fix my orders out of Fort Polk (I've been here for seven years and tried multiple times to get out of here). That feeling washed over me and filled me with...... Ah shit, I don't know exactly how I felt! I'm a grunt and feelings are for girls and POGs (just kidding!!! Jeez I knew someone was going to get offended lol). 

It's a bitter sweet feeling I had. I started remembering all the great moments and all of the shit moments. I remember having no idea what I was in for when I stepped on Iraq soil deploying late as a PV2/E-2. I remember the moment I was DEFINITELY NOT almost Spartan kicked in the chest to laterally promote me to Corporal. I remember the time my buddies in my company DID NOT pin my CIB upon my bare chest. On that note, I never once thought I was being hazed or singled out. I loved every minute of it. I took my lashings as a scapegoat. That was one of the closest group of combat infantrymen I have ever witnessed. Anyway I digress.

I am in transition and am looking forward to my next chapter. I have an amazing woman in my life and my kids make my day everyday. No matter how hard it will get I will fight as hard as I did for my family as I did for my brothers. And sisters, you are in my brother hood. If you take that as sexist, call my publicist. Her name is Jessica Helmes.

This blog post was written by: James Wartes