I was absolutely elated when we finally landed in Texas, and arrived at the airport waiting area for military basic trainees. But then things quickly went down hill when a short, stocky sergeant wearing a smokey the bear hat, and tan short-sleeve cotton shirt and trousers, known as 1505s, began screaming at us at the top of his lungs. Needless to say this demanded my attention, and the attention of all the other unlucky young men who had been ordered to form a single line, really fast. This was my unpleasant introduction to the United States Air Force. I'll never forget that evening.
However, that's not the main focus of this article. My life had changed drastically over three-plus decades in the military: I married, had two sons, became an officer, and moved at least sixteen times, living in the States, and overseas, mostly in military housing, and realizing we would move again, every two to three years. In fact, my wife and I became experts in preparing to move to the next assignment. That all ended in August 2001, thirty-four years after that shocking introduction to the military in San Antonio's International Airport, when I retired from the Air Force. Get this, my last assignment––of all places––was at the White House, and it was an extraordinarily interesting assignment!
I left the military just over one month before the worst terrorist attack in the history of our nation. The country was still reeling from the horror of 9/11 when we moved into our new home outside of Washington, D.C., and didn't have to worry about budging again. Nevertheless, the attack prompted me to go back to work as quickly as possible. I started a new career in the post 9/11 era. I worked for a brief time as a contractor at the United States Department of State, with Diplomatic Security. It was pretty interesting work. Then I lucked out, and landed a job with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) doing exactly what I wanted to do: working intelligence and security-related issues for the department. I worked with lots of talented people who were serious about improving the safety of our traveling public, and the nation’s transportation system. My colleagues were simply decent Americans. However, all good things come to an end. I left DOT after twelve interesting and fulfilling years of work. This time, I actually retired, and remain happily so today.
Now, I've published my first fiction novel, a thriller called The Private Investigator. I attempted to weave into my novel unique real-life experiences I had in both the military and work in the federal government. The story begins in Washington, D.C., and the main character, a former military police investigator, and now a PI that works for an international investigative firm, is assigned a case that takes him from D.C. to Hong Kong, and South Korea in pursuit of leads. His worldly skills, background as a military police investigator, and the fact that he had been assigned in Asia when he was on active duty, allowed the Protagonist to maneuver with relative ease in that part of the world. However, my principal character’s journey is full of surprises, and challenges. He interacts with many other colorful and interesting characters throughout the story, to include a USDOT contract employee who was duped and recruited by a North Korean spy. The main character also runs afoul of the Korean National Police while in 'The Land of the Morning Calm'. On the whole, this novel has an exciting, and pleasing end to it. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of my book and enjoy the story. I'd also be interested in your feedback.