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Nomadic military lifestyle beginning to take its toll

I recently talked with a captain I hadn’t seen for awhile. The last time I saw him, his skin was pasty white and his hair was too long; he now looked tan and had a fresh haircut.

“You look … happy,” I said.

He laughed.

“Well, I just got off leave.”

link Kitsana Dounglomchan

Military members get 30 days of leave per year, but a lot of us bogart it and end up with months of vacation time stacked up.

Speaking to the captain reminded me of the positive effects that time off can have on your happiness.

Cassandra and I decided to take our summer vacation to visit family and friends in St. Louis.

We stopped in Oklahoma City to visit my old boss; my best friend of 11 years drove to St. Louis from Ohio with his wife and their newborn baby; and we went to Six Flags amusement park with my sister, her boyfriend and my niece.

At night, Mom and I played the card game cribbage or watched episodes of the popular 1980s television miniseries “Lonesome Dove.”

And even though I was exhausted by the end, visiting family and friends refreshed me, much like the captain was refreshed by his time off.

On the drive back to Clovis I had plenty of hours to reflect on the nomadic and chaotic lifestyle of a military family. We all know that we’ll only be at a location for a couple of years. And this location can be anywhere in the world.

This constant change and uncertainty has taught me to appreciate the good times — they can be easy to miss.

But even with this perspective, I find myself yearning for more stability.

When I was in my early 20s, the nomadic military lifestyle agreed very well with me. But with 30 on the horizon, I’m not sure anymore.

I have a dream that all those aforementioned people will one day live in the same town.

We will move to St. Louis and I’ll teach history at my old high school. Instead of having desks and chairs in my classroom, I’ll have couches and recliners.

Cassandra will operate a crafting business from our home so she can look after and raise our kids.

Grandma will be a frequent visitor at our house, too. It’s important to have family around when you’re raising a child.

On Friday nights, we’ll go cheer on the high school football team and marching band.

A few of you can relate to these dreams I have, and some of you already have this right here in Clovis.

But I’m confronted with the reality that this plan is a long ways off and probably a pipe dream — well laid plans often lead to unexpected outcomes.

But I have to dream.

Kitsana Dounglomchan, an 11-year Air Force veteran, writes about his life and times for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]