"My Mind is Workin’ Just Lke Them; The Rims That is…"

My Friends,
   This was a significant weekend for me in that it was my last before I begin the process of preparing myself for aircrew selection tomorrow.  For those who don’t know, back in June 2010 I applied to transfer to the airforce as a pilot from my current position as an infantryman in the army.  I expected to get called in for selection the following April (2011) but I did not, and I began to doubt that I would get called in at all.  This was difficult for me because whenever I would see relatives they would constantly ask me how the transfer was coming along and I would have to explain time and again that these things take time.
  Meanwhile, while I waited for the air force to come knocking, I finished my B.A., got accepted into my M.A. program, and went for a little traipse around the globe.  I only bring up these things to illustrate that I had just about given up hope for my transfer and had kinda just gone on with my life.  In fact, I had even begun making overtures to career choices outside of the military, such as advertising.
   But just when I least expected, the transfer centre got a hold of me telling me to make sure my yearly fitness test was up to date or my application would be discarded.  Then last week they called demanding my high school and university transcripts and instructed me to book an aircrew medical.  Now the ball is most certainly rolling and I find myself more apprehensive than I thought I would be.  And for a few reasons.
   First of all, I had resigned myself to seeking my fortunes in other ventures.  But resigned is perhaps the wrong word.  Rather I was excited about some of the things I wanted to do over the next few years that I would not be able to do if living on a base in Alberta training to be a fighter pilot.  Now there is the possibility that I must put these ambitions on hold to pursue an avenue I long thought no longer available to me.
   Second, and related to the last point, I am very much in love.  I just spent better than three months away from my woman while travelling around the world and it taught me that I don’t want to be away from her for prolonged periods.  Instead, I want to go on my subsequent adventures accompanied by her.  Sure, I would have leave periods where we could make forays into the great unknown, and in a few years, when she is done school we could live together.  But over the next few years her plans involve being in the GTA for school, so if I do well during selection and actually get picked up to be a pilot we will have the strain of distance to deal with.
   The third and most troubling cause of my apprehension is my own world-view; I think that war and the militaries which fight wars are obsolete.  We as a people should be past war but we are not and by accepting a full-time position in the air force (assuming I pass selection) I would be buying into something I resent.  I have tried to rationalize this to myself by saying that it would be better to have me in the cockpit of a plane than someone else who may not exercise the same discretion I would in a tense situation, but I can’t escape the reality that I would be a war enabler to some extent.  This has really made me doubt my inclination to fly fighter jets in the first place, and I have thought long and hard these past few weeks as the transfer process looms nearer and nearer.
   Yet, bearing all of these concerns in mind I have decided to set out in earnest to pass selection and get the job I have been waiting for for two years and contemplating for much longer.  It may be a choice that is at odds with my convictions, but my strongest conviction by far is that life should be a daring adventure and I aim to rise to the occasion when called.
   For some reason I feel really dirty.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo

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