Fourth Stage: Adoration

Now when people ask what my favorite duty station has been, I always say 29 Palms without hesitation. Folks in the military – who actually know a bit about 29 Palms – are always very surprised. How could I have enjoyed a place in the middle of nowhere more than living on the coast at Naval Base Ventura County, a train-ride from Manhattan at NWS Earle in NJ, or on the water in South Florida during grad school?! It is all because of the hobbies, interests, and love we developed for the desert during our time there.

During the course of a military career, it’s inevitable that you will receive orders to a base that you could hate. It may not be because it’s in the desert or the middle of nowhere. It may just be outside your comfort zone and away from the activities, people and places you typically enjoy.

When that time comes, face it and embrace it.

Make the most of your time there. Seek out new ways to grow. Acknowledge that since you can’t do anything to change the situation, you might as well try to have fun instead wallowing in self-pity. Yes, you can allow yourself a few minutes from time to time to daydream about what life would be like at your duty station of preference. But for the most part, remember – anyone can live anywhere for a few years – and when this season of your life passes, you may look back and realize that it was one of your best seasons yet.


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