Here’s the 12th entry in our contest about finding meaning in life after leaving the military.
Michael Hartman writes: “It has been over 25 years since I left the Army. Plenty of time to have felt the emptiness, to have tried to find meaning in my job, and then, years later, to have found meaning once I stopped looking for it.
My journey lasted about a decade. I did not find meaning in college, although I tried twice. I thought politics might bring it back, but interning for a Senator only made the emptiness greater. Living abroad three times, over the decade, did not give me meaning, but did result in hitting financial rock bottom while struggling with culture shock.
Hitting rock bottom was one of the worst and yet best things that happened to me. Hunger and social isolation render the search for meaning meaningless. I gave up on my search for a meaningful career and took a job in ‘cubeville.’
Do not worry, this story has a happy ending.
Once I stopped expecting my job to give life meaning I found it in hundreds of small ways. I have found meaning teaching my children to deal with failure and not give up. I found meaning supporting my mother as she went through divorce late in life. I have found meaning in paying the bills so my wife can run an annual charity program that collects coats for the poor and homeless.
As for my job? It is not all bad. I get paid to fix people, process or technology related problems and it turns out that I like fixing problems.”
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.