Even though I don the blue uniform that says I am an air force officer, in my mind, I am already on my way out of the organisation that has made up my past 26 years of a life drenched in blood, sweat and bile. Still as has been evidenced by my preceding posts, I know I have laboured out of love.
It has not been without ardour, these many years, and the journey I took to enable myself to leave has been a microcosm of those bittersweet years.
I had spent my last two years clocking hours in the Nuri to qualify for exemption from the full-scale DCA exam, and from July 2008 till December of the same, I was skipping back and forth on the Labuan to Putrajaya leg. I sat for the exams, failed some and re-sat till on Christmas eve, I caught wind of the news that I had cleared all papers. Just in the nick of time, it appeared, as in January this year, I was stuffed behind a desk again to perform staff duties, flying a desk instead of my beloved S61A-4 Nuri. I miss her sorely, and I know I have paid my dues as a staff officer before, so I hope this appointment is my last behind a desk with a cockpit being my next office.
For the last two years as a Nuri captain, I have written my stories in The Collective Consciousness, which was sniffed out by the air force intelligence in February 2010. I was told to shut down the blog, such being the way of the organisation. Its salvage job has been transferred here, because I need to remember those last two years in the cockpit where much of my life was given.
I am now a Civil Pilot's License holder, standing on the brink of my freedom, and all apprehensive over the transition to civil life. I know it will be a roller-coaster ride, and as the embers of my soldierly profession fade into ashes, I intend to savour all the labours of being born into the new life ahead of me.
Everyone who has left the air force says that only now will I begin to be a professional pilot. What have I been all this while then?
I then ask all who have been patient with me in my previous blog to keep the faith and not get irked with me as I fumble towards what I hope will be the better part of my life.