I’m there. I’m in San Antonio and in my second command for get this: Pre-Basic Training Soldiers at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base. These kids have not been to basic training yet. Not until they enhance their English speaking skills at this school that is primarily for foreign military officers and senior noncommissioned officers before they train at US military training schools (kind of like a foreign exchange program in the military). This specific command was not something that Fort Sill generally has any control over. The brigade commander at Fort Sill has “some” oversight in an administrative capacity, but the positions for the company commander, company First Sergeant, and XO (generally a 1ST LT) are filled by Headquarters Department of the Army. However, the leadership was in trouble down there and the basic training brigade commander wanted to put a by-name recommendation in to have one of his people there. Me. And there I was. As quickly as I had ended up on staff at Fort Sill coming out of battery command, was very similar to how quickly I ended up out of that staff job and into command once again. Back again working with Drill Sergeants. Yes! Anyway, one weekend a month after I had arrived, I decided to watch this YouTube video interview/documentary on Abraham Hicks (Jerry and Esther Hicks). Somewhere about 30min into the interview they start talking about how they had packed up and moved to San Antonio…I was like, No Way. I hit pause and did a quick google search. Found their website and I was like, you know they always go around the country and do these Law of Attraction seminar workshops…what are the odds that they would ever do that in San Antonio? Odds are GREAT. There was one coming up in three months. I felt like something was coming over me. I started going on autopilot. Rapid instructions were flooding my mind. Do this, do that, do this……I immediately purchased a ticket to the event, next I found out it was being held at some convention room at some hotel. I went to my expedia, found the hotel, and booked a room there for one night, the night before the event. I was backwards planning how everything was going to happen. I would get there early Friday, have a nice dinner, go to bed early and wake up to go to the hotel fitness room. Run 3mi and do some light lifting. Shower, fuel the body, check out of hotel, and head to the convention room. Anyway, I came out of the trance or whatever I was in. Felt a little bit flushed and then a “what the hell did I just do?” feeling came over me. I was like, what the heck man! You LIVE in San Antonio why would you bother getting a hotel for a place that is no doubt just down the road! So here I am laughing at myself and go on google maps. I find the hotel and see it is in northern San Antonio where I am more on the west side…18mi away. I’m like, huh, looks like that is the fancy pants part of SA. I start to zoom in on the area and then as I start zooming closer and the area is beginning to enlarge, I’m like…Holy Crap Batman. La Cantera??? It came back to me. Impossible. The very same hotel that Carrie and I stayed in 10yrs earlier. Now, full circle, and stationed in SA…just how I imagined at this very same hotel. If there was any doubt about the Law of Attraction in my mind it completely dissipated in that moment. Amazing.
Let’s rewind the clock 10yrs. I was still basking in the glow of being a Second Lieutenant and in Field Artillery school at Fort Sill, OK. I was still married at the time and Carrie was with me while I was at school…it was a long military training school, just about 6mo. A fairly regular occurrence in the military is time off. Extended weekends for whatever federal holiday may be present. President’s Day 2003, Carrie had found a tremendous deal on an exclusive resort hotel in San Antonio. The deal was for military service members. Instead of $400-$500 a night, we were staying for $75. INcredible. We went and the weather was great, San Antonio was amazing and I walked away with this really great vibe. In my bittersweet way I was like, “I would really like to be stationed here…” Fort Sam Houston is in San Antonio BUT this is a place for the medical community and unfortunately Field Artillery just does not reside there. So I moved on with life. Ended up at Fort Bragg and a stint in Afghanistan and then, over the next several years, any time I would hear anything about San Antonio, or Fort Sam Houston I would think about that weekend in Feb 2003, and then kind of sigh, and move on with life. Pipe Dream indeed. So we fast forward back to 2013 and the year that I changed my life so dramatically. To Shift my consciousness into a direction that I never would have thought remotely possible and all of the sudden I have the brigade commander asking me if I wanted a second command IN San Antonio…..? Let me emphasize that I really became a proponent of the Law of Attraction for the past year but in that time there was no thought or intention given to using the LoA to bring me to San Antonio…didn’t give it a moment’s thought…until he brought it up. HOW? A Miracle? Or was it something that I “put out there” years ago but never actually let it go and it was always there in the background…the pipe dream that became a reality.
Something big came down the pipe in late April 2013 from our higher headquarters. A tasking to provide a name for the Commanding General’s Aide-de-Camp. This type of tasking would normally be sent down to all the battalions, they would all provide a candidate, and the brigade commander would decide who he would select. I decided I wanted to bypass all that. I WANTED IT. I read through the job description and I was like, Yes, and Yes, and oh Yes absolutely. This job is MINE. No doubt. The brigade commander was on board and so I became the nominee for the general’s aide for our brigade. A month and a half later I had everyone in my unit convinced that I was going to be selected. No doubt whatsoever. By mid-June I had a new boss, a new brigade operations officer or S3 (a major). Coincidentally, I happened to know him pretty well. He was my battalion executive officer (XO) when I was a battery commander. Kind of a spazz when things seem a little overwhelming, which is what happened to him when he took the job. There was basically no transition time between my outgoing and incoming bosses, but he had me…or did he? As I had the entire brigade convinced that I was going to be the next aide, him included, how can I assist him in the craziness of our current state of brigade operations? The biggest being the preparation/execution of the brigade’s biggest yearly event, Holiday Block Leave. This event is where we send up to 5,000 basic training Soldiers home for the holidays. Kind of crazy and not something I was in agreement with but hey what can you do except execute. Holiday Block Leave was mainly my baby and under my purview and with me leaving there was no subject matter expert to take my place (yet). The world was kind of falling in on him, it didn’t take an empath to see that. So here’s something that came to me: A deal with the Universe. I proclaimed that I would be absolutely fine if I didn’t get the general’s aide job, and then I would be there for MAJ Harrison and he wouldn’t have to worry anymore. Let Go. Surrender. About another week went by and I had my interview finally with Major General MacDonald. It went GREAT. We really hit it off, and the small world of it all was he at one time, commanded the same battalion I served in at Fort Bragg, 3/321. I was feeling really good about the interview but never lost perspective on the deal I had made. There was still one more interviewee to go and after another week, the general’s current aide called me……I knew it as soon as I heard his voice. Didn’t get it. I felt such a tremendous release/relief and thanked him. Now I could get back to WORK. So as it goes, my brigade commander was waiting for the decision to be announced before I had my senior rater counseling with him for my evaluation report. In that counseling session I was a bit taken aback when I was reading his comments…#1 captain out of 37 captains that he senior rated…? What the…??? Then I’ll never forget this. He leans back in his chair, hands behind his head and whimsically says, “So what do you think about San Antonio?” Say whaaaaaaaaaaat??? “Ben, how would you like a second command…in San Antonio?” Yes, sir. YES, SIR, ABSOLUTELY.