As I now begin terminal leave and depart from my Air Force active duty career, it has been a surreal and often bittersweet moment as I reflect on the past 9 years and 4 years of AFROTC before that. I have been blessed and privileged to serve alongside the best and brightest individuals I have ever known, and humbled by many leaders who made incredible investments in me. It has been an honor to serve my country and be charged with leading and molding many of its sons and daughters. I stand forever indebted to all those I have served with and for the way my Air Force family has truly cared for me during the most crushing trial I have ever faced. Their unending support throughout my entire career has made all the difference. Although I am stepping away from active duty, Lord willing I look forward to many more years of service in the Reserves. As one of my favorite quotes by Adlai Stevenson says, “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”
My plan is now to be on my sabbatical over the next 8 months while I work on my Certified Financial Planner designation (CFP) and masters in financial planning along with much time to write, read, and reflect. I will be starting my travel around our great country in my RV in April. I am also stepping into entrepreneurship and am thrilled to be launching my own financial planning firm this fall where I will be able to offer fiduciary, fee-only planning to a younger generation and expand upon my work with Military Life Planning in helping servicemembers. As I build this venture, I will create it as an all-digital business allowing me the opportunity to work and live geographically independent thus being able to travel and work from anywhere so I can spend more time with the people that mean so much to me.
Currently I plan to return to my current home out west later this year where I’ve fallen in love with this wonderful place, its people, and my church family. However, I’m open to the Lord’s leading as He directs so I ask for your prayers for wisdom and guidance in this area.
I am very thankful that these plans were laid out in advance of last year’s trial, and that Sarah and I had many opportunities to talk about these plans for 2018 during her final weeks. She never knew a different life with me other than my serving in the Air Force so it has not been without challenges to fill in these details of what was supposed to be this new future for the both of us, but is now just me. Her boundless encouragement and selfless support throughout our entire marriage spilled over in those final weeks though as she shared with me her bright hopes and wise counsel for me. She knew just what to say and her insightful words ring in my mind! Not many widowed spouses get to have such a blessing like I now experience in that way. God’s infinite blessings, grace, and mercy continue to be showered upon me, and I can’t wait to share with you all what He is going to do next in this new phase!