This article is the fourth part of My Journey; a story of my life and where I’ve lived. To start from the beginning click here.
Georgia was a relatively short part of my family’s life considering the 3 years in Hawaii, 5 years in North Carolina, and 3 and a half years in Germany. But in the short year or so that we there, something significant happened: my father was given the opportunity to retire from the Army.
The helicopters my father worked on had be slowly phased out in favor of the more modern Black Hawk which is still in service today. Without a helicopter to maintain my dad had the choice to cross-train or retire. Since he was already past the 15 year mark (out of a 20 year career) he chose to retire. The Army provided plane tickets for my family to move from Georgia to my fathers home-of-record, Las Vegas.
I remember it being a “change the rest of your life” type of move. Even though I was 13 or so my dad’s retirement was the promise to have a “normal” life in a single location. Where I could theoretically live the rest of my life and be surrounded by friends that I had developed over the years. That turned out to be a pipe-dream but that’s not really relevant at the moment.
Instead of flying to Las Vegas my dad traded in the plane tickets for train tickets. I sometime wonder what made my father want to spend 4 days traveling across the entire southern part of the U.S. from one coast to the other. Whatever the reason, I’m glad he did. In fact, I just sent him a random text to say thank you. (He probably thinks I’m nuts bringing up something that happened so long ago!) I remember that during the days we would visit the viewing car which was essentially an open car with lots of windows. At night we stayed in a sleeping car kind of like a room on cruise ship (only a lot smaller).
When we finally made it to the other side of the country we prepared to live in Las Vegas. Unfortunatly that would be short lived. It wasn’t long after we got there before the tension between my partents grew and they decided to split up. It was decided that my sisters and I would live with my mom while my dad adapted to civilian life. Our “final” move had only lasted a few months before my mom decided she wanted to be closer to her family…in Oregon.
To be continued…