Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Extra Time

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I am not a fan of my current job as a staff officer. Sitting and staring at a computer all day drives me insane. But--it could be worse.

One of the jobs in the Air Force that I am in awe that people can do without losing their minds is being a gate guard with the security police. These guys stand at the gate, day or night, rain or shine, and check ID's car after car after car after car....I would lose it.

Every day when I come through the gate on my Harley there is a civilian contractor security guard there named Mike. Without fail, this guy always has nice things to say, always seems to be in a good mood, and is just an all around boost to my day. It wasn't until recently that I found out more about Mike that made me feel pretty small when bitching about my job.

Mike is a Marine. He fought in Desert Storm. He was a guard standing duty on a post when he was shot--twice. His wounds nearly killed him, but he managed to pull through--but his career from that point on was over. Moving into the civilian sector, he started working as a contract security guard. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with cancer. That, too, nearly killed him, but he again pulled through.

A friend of mine was talking with him about his attitude--about how he manages to always be in a good mood despite having what most feel would be a miserable job. His answer was one that I should follow: that, in light of what he has been through, he is just happy to be alive. He counts each day as a blessing that he has been given. He lives each day as a gift of "extra time" that he almost wasn't privileged to have.

Kind of makes staring at a computer not so bad after all.

Linked on Mudville.

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