"No. What is your social security number?" I told him and he started toward his briefcase again. I couldn't think of anything else he may have missed and grabbed the self-addressed, letter size brown envelope he had placed on his desk earlier and asked me to use it to send my DD214 back to him. I asked him about the importance of the form and he said that there might be some additional funds available as a result of my four years service in the Navy. "It want be that much, perhaps twenty to thirty dollars a month," He said. "But it should be worth looking into." I thanked him and got up to leave, feeling like there had been some progress made on my first attempt to get my paperwork in order and start along the path to being a retired person. But, as I found out a few days later, there was more to be done. Over the next several days I received a number of phone calls from him, but was unable to reach him in return. Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands and returned to the Sertoma Club the following month. I didn't know if the same person would be there or another, but I didn't feel comfortable with all that had happened up to that moment. The next month the same man was there and he acted nonchalant like everything was in order. He said that, but added that I still needed to mail him a copy of my DD214. When I explained that I was never able to find one in my files and would have to download a copy from a government site, he said that was ok. "No hurry," he went on. "We have plenty of time. Just get it done in the next few days." Over the next few weeks, I started to work on a number of goals: one of which was to publish my first book, a 9-11 novel, another was to join a toastmasters group. I realized that if I was going to pursue writing as a second career, I needed to work on myself. A third goal would be to run in the Tulsa Run. But, even that wasn't the end of it. There were other things to do as well. First, I wanted to build a small soapbox derby car. My plan was to take a picture of my three year old grandson Dylan behind the wheel and put the picture on the cover of another book I had in the works. In addition, I had an old bicycle to rebuild that my dad had back in the 1960's. Betty has a couple of bicycles and I could be riding one of those anytime I chose. But I wanted my own. Then there is the Writer's Club once a month and the Investment Club once a month. All the things I've mentioned, along with being married and doing some of the things Betty will want to do, should occupy my time, even more so than when I was working. The good part in all of this, I hoped, is that I can work at my own pace, skip a meeting occasionally and no harm will come from it.
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