Furloughed…laugh or cry

For nearly 20 years I have served my country in one capacity or another. After getting kicked out of college1 in the fall of 1989, I enlisted in the Army. Then after realizing how bad it sucked to be a soldier, I went back to college in 1992 and got commissioned in the Army in 1994. See the logic there…yeah, me neither. I resigned my commission in October 2001. After that I spent a year as a “national security analyst” for defense contractor for a small agency within the Defense Department. Then after realizing how bad it sucked to be a defense contractor, I went to work for Congress. See the logic there…yeah, me neither. Now I am in day two of the furlough and it has got me to thinking. Here are my thoughts at hour 37 of this hiatus.

Complaints: None…I have had a rich and rewarding professional career doing everything from shooting shit with a M2 (Maw Deuce) .50 cal machine gun; to blowing shit up with 155mm howitzer rounds; to jumping out of perfectly good airplanes;to going on extended “camping” trips in the mud, the heat of the desert…minus the beer and bonfires; to traveling the world (on the federal government’s dime) from Europe to Central Asia, and all the shitty little Army posts in between; to having a report I wrote for Congress get on the front page of the New York Times…followed by a cartoon being drawn by a syndicated cartoonist about my report; to having two Senators on the floor of the Senate wave memos I had written for them as they engaged in a lively “debate”; to being selected to attend the National War College…Go Warriors, Beat ICAF; and to testifying before the House of Representatives and the Senate four times. Yeah…I have got to do some fun shit…and I have gotten well-paid to do it. No…I have no complaints.

The past 37 hours or so have given me time to think about this furlough. Yes Congress should get a continuing resolution passed…yes we federal workers should go back to work. I feel very sorry for those federal workers that are not as fortunate as I am…the ones who are truly going to have or having financial issues because of this shut down. None of us have any control, but I have chosen not to feel sorry for myself…but my heart does ache for those that are less fortunate than me.

I know this isn’t about affordable healthcare…and know this is all about politics. Look to others’ posts, blogs, articles, commentaries if you want some great insight in the political machinations of this furlough…because I am just sitting back and appreciating what I have now and what I hope to have in the future. So here is what I have done in the past 37 hours:

– Stayed up late to watch the House and Senate shut down the government.

– Slept late the next morning (yesterday), cause I stayed up too late the night before.

– Unpacked the last two boxes from my most recent move from DuPont Circle to Capitol Hill.

– Hung every picture, award, and painting I had.

– Watched a lot of television with my two cats laying on top of me.3

– Played some Black Ops II on my PS3…after downloading another fucking map pack.

– Played a round a golf with a bunch of retired federal workers/contractors who enjoyed mocking me for being furloughed.

– Thought about assembling my new dresser…but only thought about it…cause to assemble it I have to actually get up and get my tool box.

Nope, I have no complaints…but I do have sympathy and empathy for those who are less fortunate than me and who are being held hostage by politicians. I am getting married in little over a month and I don’t imagine I will still be furloughed then…but if I am…and you have been invited…you are getting cheese sandwiches and Old Crow bourbon at the reception…hey we all got to make sacrifices…right?

1. Middle Tennessee State University…who gets kicked out of there…me, that’s who.

2. It’s not the jump that kills you, it is the sudden stop.

3. Wondering why the hell I am home and not at work earning them food money.

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