Living in Alaska has been an amazing experience for me, but soon it will be time to say goodbye. If I’m being honest, I am heartbroken. I never imagined that I’d love living here, but I do, because Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful, even at -20 degrees in the dead of winter. I love the scenery and the fact that moose just walk through my backyard sometimes or that I can see the Northern Lights in my front yard when I’m lucky. I also ended up loving the 24-hour sunlight we get during the summertime. I could go on about the things I love about Alaska, but I’ll stop there.
I have a few short weeks left up here, and I’m mentally not ready to leave. The fact is the movers have already packed up all my belongings and taken them away. I’m currently sleeping on an air mattress, so I will be ready to get my bed back. I guess that gives me something to look forward to, sleeping in a real bed again once I get my household goods back. The other fact is that my job here is ending shortly as well. I’ve been on Active Duty of Operational Support Orders (ADOS) for the last six months or so, and those orders on Fort Wainwright are over shortly.
Let me stop and explain ADOS quickly. ADOS is used for Army Reserve or National Guard soldiers who voluntarily fill in vacant positions at their unit or wherever he Army needs them for a specified period of time. Which is what I have been doing, so if you are in the Reserves or National Guard, just know that this can be an option for you, if you’re interested. You can either ask at your Reserve unit—I went through my S-1 (Human Resources) and they helped me to apply for ADOS—or you can go through this website to search for available ADOS positions for your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and apply for them. You may need to be on a military computer for the website to function properly.
Since my ADOS orders are ending, it’s unfortunately time for me to move on and out of Alaska. I’ve applied for ADOS again, but now I’ll be moving to Tennessee to start orders. It’s hard for me to move again since I’ve fallen in love with Alaska, but I’m trying to find the positive in the move.
I’ll be close to family again, and the nearest big town will be an hour away instead of a six-hour drive. It will also be a major change in weather—no more snow eight months out of the year, which is a plus. Moving is difficult and each move brings on lots of changes, but I’m slowly accepting that it’s part of the military lifestyle, even though I’m just in the Army Reserves.
So, I guess this is my goodbye post to Alaska. If you are reading this and have the chance to come up here, I would say to take it, because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some love it like me, while others hate it, but Alaska is definitely what you make of it.