Got an email tonight and I wanted to share, his, and my response:
The last couple months I was in Iraq I read your section about ETS which cracked me up. And it really did help me keep chuggin'. But in all seriousness, I start clearing in three weeks. Any info on the ETS process would be awesome, snags to watch for etc. As soon as they smell the fear that I have not a clue on what the hell I'm doing, the worse I'm sure it's going to get. Maybe I'm working on this too early but I'm not fucking around when it means I get to leave, forever.
But yeah, any help would be appreciated. And you might repeat yourself and I apologize for that.
Just stop caring. If they can make you fear them, they will make it more difficult. So, just stop.
Also, lie out of your ass. Tell the CSM or the LTC or your 1SG that you've been accepted to your local university (you want to get a degree in ___________ plus the nice Post-9/11 GI Bill BAH) and have a job working PT for your father's business. what are they going to do? check up on you? fuck no.
As for clearing, carry a manilla envelope with you everywhere. have papers inside. you should stay out of your company/battalion AO, but if you have to go in for CO signatures, have that envelope ready. if anyone stops you, tell them you're on your way to an appointment.
think your platoon sergeant gives a shit about where you are? you're done in 3 weeks. as long as you make formation tomorrow morning at 0630, you're good. ah shit. your ACAP appointment ran 2 hours longer than expected? oh fucking well.
if it's 10:30, it's almost 10:50, and 10:50 is almost 11. If it's 11, then it's time to stop working because lunch is at 11:30, so you can't possibly do anything else after 10:30 or you'll be late for lunch. also, you have an appointment at 1, so don't worry about being anywhere but racked out in your car/truck. but not your barracks room if you're single.
lastly, clean your fucking TA-50 like your CSM is going to award you an ARCOM for cleanliness. It'll make your life less stressfull and easier on your wallet. if you're missing gear, buy it used off post or take the loss. the most important thing is getting out, walking away, and not looking back.
well, okay. you can look back because they've already forgotten about you.
as for anything else, well, it's late, I'm tired, and I've got fucking Spanish class in the morning. Yeah, that BAH I mentioned is awesome, but if you want summer pay, you gotta stay in class somehow...