I have always had problems with veterans who seemingly hit the peak of their lives during their time in the service.
Even though I have been fortunate enough to live a very full life, last night I found myself in the same spot.
Liz and I joined a mixture of cross dressers and a few transgender friends at a local steakhouse for dinner. Towards the end of the evening, the topic of traveling came up. Along the way, I mentioned to one of the cis-women I lived in Thailand for a year and was able to travel through three continents in three years when I was in the Army…Southeast Asia, Europe and North America (of course.) She was fascinated and didn’t really question the why’s and when’s of why I was there.
At that point I began to feel guilty of acting like that period of my life was the highlight.
As I began to think about it though, it may have been. After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter. And, since I utilize the Veteran’s Administration for my health care, including my gender transition meds, I have to include it too.
Either you could say my time in the service turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of my life, or I made the best of a potentially very bad situation…serving directly in the Vietnam War.
However, unless I automatically want to out myself, I have to be careful about how I talk about my Army service. I have a tendency to tell the truth and say I was drafted. Of course then and now, women have not been drafted into the military. So I have concocted a story which is semi true, I worked as a contractor for the Army, since I worked for the Air Force for part of my enlistment.
It seems to work.