I left 5 am this morning to make the five-hour drive to my military office in Milwaukee. I’ll be conducting a change-of-command inventory with the new incoming commander, as my tenure as company commander is coming to an end this December. Trust me, I’m glad to move on, but it will be a challenge to start anew, as an S1 staff officer, forging new relationships and learning the ropes in a different military unit. Melancholies, I contend, thrive on change yet find it rather disconcerting. I’ve been a part of this current unit, an unspecified transportation battalion, since my redeployment from Afghanistan six years ago. I started out as an NCO but went to officer candidate school in South Carolina and ended up serving as platoon leader in one company and commander in another. Anyway, I’ll be embarking on a new chapter of my military career. I have about 12 years to go. Hopefully no new conflicts involving the U.S. erupt in the meantime, but I’m not holding my breath. After all, this is Earth, and its tortured history is replete with wars and rumors of wars. There are always territories to seize, terrorists and warlords to track down, and natural resources to secure. What with seven gazillion homines sapientes traipsing around on this planet and a finite amount of space, it ain't looking good.