Here’s the deal: I spent 20 years in the USMC doing all sorts of work for all sorts of units. The one thing I haven’t done is served in combat or even a “hazard zone”. I am not ashamed of that, in fact I consider myself fortunate. I have friends who’ve been “in the shit”, and not one of them ever wanted to go back. Now, I’d never done anything to avoid such duty, in fact I volunteered to go with the group from my unit that was deployed to Desert Storm in ’91, and was on standby to leave when the fighting started. The kicker there was that the whole shebang was over before we finished our load-out and we were called back before we got on the boat.
I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this. There’s a point, really, and here it comes.
I got a call this morning for a company (a subsidiary of Haliburton) that provides logistics support to the military. Perfect opportunity for someone like me, who has been doing just that for 20 years. The kicker is, they are looking for someone (me) to work on contract for a year in Baghram, Afghanistan. So after 20 years served in the volunteer military with NO combat exposure, I am now considering the option of taking a civilian job in a hazard zone.
So, I’m weighing pros and cons here… bear with me, and feel free to add your input/opinions. If you have any recent firsthand information about the area, I’d love to hear from you.
Pros: Working with the military (well, Air Force, but close enough). Supporting our country’s efforts to further democracy in the world (yes, I consider that a plus). The job pays over $100,000/year (and yes, my friends, that is a big one). Desert/arid climate (I don’t like high humidity, and the area is apparently generally dry).
Cons: Potentially very dangerous. Potentially crappy living/working conditions (although probably no worse than any other field operation I’ve been on). Bullets and/or bombs hurt. Bad.
I’ll be spending a good chunk of today discovering the latest news from Afghanistan. I regret not keeping up with the situation there, but most of the news this past year has been from Iraq. That’s probably a good thing for Afghanistan, actually.
I’d appreciate any knowledgeable input – please no politically oriented, anti-American, “Evil Haliburton” comments. None of those would have any impact on me, and I’d probably simply delete them.