Friday, October 09, 2009

On the job for a week

I was hired by a firm on 1 Oct. And- man is it great to be back on the work force. My previous contract concluded on 8 Sept. I started looking for work, from my desk in Iraq, as soon as I learned of the project's completion date. I did what I always do, just get on google, and type in "Iraq jobs". The jobs just pop up. Man, do I love the internet.

After I returned to the USA, I interviewed with a firm, and they were just drooling over me, and offered me a position on the spot. However, the firm did not get the government contract, so the offer was withdrawn. Another firm spotted my resume, and they offered me a position. I was out of work for less than a month.

I work for a firm, that has a great reputation. I signed on the payroll, and went to their office in Falls Church VA. They are a sub-contractor for another firm. The prime contractor is a major firm, that has a telecommunications contract in Afghanistan. I will work on an unclassified telecommunications project in Afghanistan.

Even though I have completed the CRC training (required of all civilians deploying to Iraq/Afghanistan) three times already, I must do the ritual again. CRC is the "CONUS Replacement Center". Which is kind of misleading. CONUS is the Continental United States, whic is the 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. When a Civilian is going overseas, he/she must complete the week of school and processing, at the CRC. I went through it the first time in August 2005, at Fort Bliss Texas(El Paso). I went through it again, in March of 2008, at Fort Benning GA. I went through it again, in May of 2009.

The prime contractor is in charge of getting me overseas. They tried to get me into the CRC starting on 9 October. There are so many people deploying to Iraq/Afghanistan, that there were no open spaces. Now they are trying for the class that opens on 16 Oct. You fly to Columbus GA on Friday, and report to the office on Saturday Morning. Then you spend a week in classes, and processing paperwork. You meet a formation at 0500am on Friday morning, and go out to the Army airfield, and wait a whole day in the terminal. That afternoon, you fly to Kuwait.

The last flight I took was great. You get on the plane, and then you fly to Shannon, Ireland. You de-plane, and spend four hours in the terminal. The plane is serviced, re-fueled, new crew,etc. Then you get back on the plane, and fly to Ali Al-Saleem Kuwait. You stay in a tent city, and try to get to your next destination. I got a military flight to Baghdad airport, and my supervisor met me. That was on June 2, 2009.

This week , I have been signing up for my company benefits, medical, dental,etc. A couple of days after I returned from Iraq, I got really sick, and had to see the doctor. Since Sept. 8 was my last day of work, I thought my medical insurance was paid through the end of the month. I saw the doctor, and had some tests. I found out that my firm cut me off the medical plan on Sept 8. I had to pay the entire costs. I got my FedEx letter, with the option to purchase medical insurance, two days after I started my new job. I gotta write my congressman. You need to have medical insurance when you leave a job, until you can get your own, or start a new job.

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