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Serious advice needed


ryanblacksvt
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I have been offered a job as a civilian contractor with KBR Haliburton because of my previous military history and what I do now. I would be in Afghanistan and gone for 4 months at a time then home for 2-3 weeks. Then back again. It would be a 1 year assignment but its a job assignment and I wouldnt HAVE TO complete the entire year. In the first year I would clear atleast $90,000 TAX FREE as a base employee but the turnover rate is soo high after the first r&r (120 days) I would get a nice raise. All my airfare would be free and when I am home I am still getting paid.

 

The time I am over there I would get a per diem per week for food, cigs, beer,ect... so everything while I am there is paid for and that $90,000 (minimum) is free and clear. I have several jobs to choose from and all of them I would be in a air conditioned "office" and my barracks is also air conditioned. I would be at base camp surounded by hundreds/thousands of troops and Special Forces guy. I would be 100% safe and would also be issued a dragon skin vest (best on the market) ,kevlar helmet and a sidearm for when I am outside. I wouldnt be alowed to leave the base under any circumstances to keep safe which is fine by me.

 

My dilema is my kids. Cohen is almost 1 and Collin is 6. I am just at a quandry at to how this will affect them coming and going like that for a year. I know Collin can handle it but this is a crutial time for Cohen. I am going to take a few months to think about this and make 100% sure that this is what I am my family wants then make my descision. Its just this is my chance to become financialy secure, where else can I make this kind of money starting out and only working 6-8 hours a day 5 days a week. I will also have a brand new laptop provided by Kbr Haliburton and high speed internet and as much phone use as I want. They want me to take my time and think about this which is refreshing. Any thoughts???

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i thought only the first 40K could be tax free then pay taxes on the rest. how long has it been since you have been out of the military?

 

Ben

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I kinda understand the dilema, but I don't have kids. That makes it harder. I've been approached several times to take 1 year assignments in either Europe or Afghanistan based on my military experience. So far I've turned them down, but there is a part of me that would like to do it. It's an adventure if nothing else.

 

As a soldier, another major consideration when I was enlisted was my life insurance. I accept the risk of death, but I need to make sure my family would not be financially burdened in my absence. I always kept the maximum policy while I was enlisted. It might be something to consider for you too... although I dunno if KBR offers such a thing.

 

It is a good opportunity, for you and your family. Is the risk worth it? That's the question you need to ask yourself, and your wife.

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I have been out since 1998 but when I was in what I did counts and what I do now counts more.

 

Yes I currently have life insurance on us all through usaa and its maxed. Kbr also gives free life insurance I belive at 1million.

 

The entire amount is tax free, 40k is tax free as a gift from 1 person to another. But if you work outside the us for a year or more than your entire salary is 100% tax free. I am going to think long and hard about it and take my time as they said to do then come to a conclusion with my family and my current job. This wouldnt be more than a year thing so I need to talk to my boss now and see if after a year I can come back./ I have been here 6+ years and am the military liasion for the company so I have job security.

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Since you have kids my vote would be no. If you were on your own or just married then it would be a toss up. No amount of money is worth your kids not having a Dad to grow up with. Just because they'd have a bunch of money doesn't change the fact that you are no longer on the earth to guide them.

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I second the "no" as I have a little girl. Money is one thing but memories cannot be bought. Find something else-there is always something else-M

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Well, you've stirred up some old memories here. I'm just gonna babble a little bit.

 

Former Marine 72-76. Served all over the Far East at that time and on a few aircraft carriers. Back then things were a little different from today. No Internet, no cell phones. Phone calls were very pricey for a few mins. One thought came to mind. Are you going to be restricted to base while over there? If so, are you prepared for that?

 

I had a friend that did a similar stint with Saudi Arabian Airlines. He was single at the time. He said it was quite difficult. You lived in an American type neighborhood where you could be yourself for the most part. He said that area was not that large and felt like an island in the sand after a while. Outside that area you fell under Saudi laws and rules.

 

I worked for my present employer many years ago in another state for one year. My son (only child) was about 1 1/2 yrs old at the time. I'm a sap even now when it comes to little kids. I would fly home 1 weekend per month. And then home for vacation which was 2 wks back then. To me? Very difficult. Weekends home were like the blink of your eyes. Two weeks home was'nt much better. You're mister fix it for that leaky faucet you told her to leave till you come home....... husband, father, friendly neighbor, loving relative and poof a few weeks gone just like that. The toughest part for me was the airport drop offs. To this day I have one particular night forever engrained in my head when my son, with tears in his eyes, turned around to wave at me out the back window of the car as wife was driving off. WHew. So much for mister big tough Marine.

 

Good luck with your decision.

 

 

By the way, my son....he's 25 now.

And the 2 post above are right. You cant get any of those moments back, good or bad.

Edited by Ray2
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Of course you must take into consideration your family and most important your children.

 

However, you took much care in detailing the safety precautions to keep your butt from looking like swiss cheese.

 

My opinion is this..if you are going to be kept as safe as you are then go for the year. keep your eyes and ears open and do nothing but your job and keep yourself safe.

even if there is a substantial increase in payment..considering your family i would not return after the year tour,

 

but for one year, do NOTHING but your job and stay out of trouble. come home and stay there.

 

go on take your money and run,

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Yes I would be restricted to base and thats 100% fine by me. I have been deployed like this numerous times when I was in the army for 3-4 months at a time with no phone time as well. We talked about this last night and she is all for it ONLY if I do it for a year and every 4 months I come home for a month which I will be able to do.

 

We will have webcams and be able to talk all the time and yes I will miss out on alot but for our financial security we belive its worth it. It would be like me being on active duty again, but then you come home every 6 months for 2 weeks r&r. This would be every 4 months, come home for a month and have alot of money to go on vacation or whatever.

 

I always when I was in and still shoot expert so I know how to watch my back, and most of the soldier that would be surrounding us on the base are either rangers or special forces, so the elite of the army would also be there to protect us. But like anything this IS a risk but a risk we are going to think over over the next 4-5 months then decide whats best for us all.

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...from an old soldier!..

Well ,I've been in this situation and worked in the ME...

My take now is ....a married guy with kids etc has no business putting himself in 'harms way'...It cost me my first marrage,a stinking divorce ....and I 'lost' my daughters growing years.....Those things can never be replaced.I was lucky ,I always came back in one piece....My take is,don't risk it...All the money in the world is useless if you lose the ones you love.... :(

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I understand where you are coming from Terry, but this is at base camp where there is NO ACTION whatsoever. My wife and I have been together for over 8 years and fully support eachother so devorce isnt an option. We did the speration thing years back and were both miserable.

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Oh I get where your coming from, but my buddie has been doing this now for 3 years there and hasnt heard even a gunshot the entire time and they are still always on red cycle rediness. He said there are very strickt regulations to follow and they keep a war ready enviroment even for the civilians, but there is never any action which is good.

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I agree with Fornetti, coolsvt and Terry.

I have a 3 year old and no amount of money would keep me away from him for that long even if I was guaranteed to be 100% safe.

Look at it this way: 10 years later, Haliburton could transfer all their cash to your bank account, but they would never be able to give you the time you could have spent with your kids.

 

From a business point of view, they will always get more from you than what they pay you so everything always sounds good.

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...when I was in the ME I worked for Dow-Schulmberger...oil field service eng.Haliburton is also oil field service....I'm lost here as you discribe it a a secure job...so you don't out in the 'field' at all?The oil patch takes a 'certian type of guy'...Not a dig, but you just work,sleep(when you can!) and eat...and look forward to the next field break!!Unless yor work blowouts(above or underground) it can be very slow...The 'oil patch' has it's own hazards ,even without being in a hostile country...The 'rig' never sleeps! and H2S is always waiting for you.....

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Oh I get where your coming from, but my buddie has been doing this now for 3 years there and hasnt heard even a gunshot the entire time and they are still always on red cycle rediness. He said there are very strickt regulations to follow and they keep a war ready enviroment even for the civilians, but there is never any action which is good.

Ryan-

Just from this post alone it seems that your decision has been made. I hope that all goes well-

Be safe-get a good computer that has video con. capability-

M

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No Terry I wouldnt be in the field at all, I would be at a military base camp with a px, burger king, movie theater, taco bell ect... I would be in a bomb proof barracks and work building and cant leave the compound.

 

And no my mind isnt made up yet I am thinking about it weighing out the cons and pros for a few months before I make my desicion.

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with me being active duty currently, and getting ready to deploy to Iraq soon, all the briefs i have been through, and seeing how the modern day combat zone is compared to how it was when we first pushed in those areas, it is not like how it was at all in the beginning. like you said Ryan, burger king, PX, etc....yes. and also there is a secret to getting free phone over there. i can't make it public but i can tell you over the phone if ya want... i have not been in a combat zone before, but i have been gone for a year deployment in Korea away from family and such. it was hard to be away for that long but you have to remember why you are there and what you are accomplishing while you are there. you may be a civilian but the military needs civilians just as much as it needs each other. i can tell you this about phones over there...if you get an unlocked cell phone here and you take it with you and get a sim card there you can use it with calling cards at anytime....unless someone has their warlock on and the go by your area...then you are forced to call back b/c of the jamming. but that is one easy way to have phone use at your discretion. but with you being to come home for a month at a time every 4 months, that is not that bad, and if it were me i would do that in a heartbeat. but whatever you decide, i know you will do it with great thought and be confident in what you want b/c remember, if you hesitate then it is probably not what you want. if you have thought about it this much up to this point and have not not been convinced of refraining from doing it then i say why and try to talk yourself out of something that you want to do, especially if will benefit your family financially and benefit you with the satisfaction of doing something great for you country, again, and then when it is over you can say, what you have done and have something that not everyone can say they have done. not everyone is the type of person who would jump on an opportunity to voluntarily go to a combat zone for the duration of a year. but from the way you have responded so far leads me to believe that you want to go and that you have no fear of going and with those two thoughts and faith you will be ok and you will have no problems in completing this tour. i know you will make the right decision.

 

-Ben

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'bomb proof barracks'...BS!!!..no such bloody thing!.If you fall for that old PR you are lost....!...There is very little that can't be 'blown',trust me,I used to blow and 'un blow'...'things!!"....bridges are best when they go!!! ;)

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They say nothing in the world is certain but death and taxes. You can stay home and get done in by a drunk driver in the middle of the afternoon. Happens all the time. Life is an adventure and you have an opportunity for a bit of it that most folks will never have. As for your family, I really understand the hesitation there, but many of our military and non military deal with those same issues all the time. You are really talking about a short period of time. I would be weighing if when this is over will you be better off than you are now or not. Kids are much more resilient than they are given credit for. Also, have you considered that you may gain much more in life lessons learned, that you can share later, than the $$$s you will earn.

 

My 2 cents, an old Nam Vet adventure seeker

 

Go for it that way you wont kick yourself for passing up the opportunity later.

Edited by Aussie Ford
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Yes bmx I agree, I DO want to do it but I am mainly waiting to make sure this is what my family wants also. I am giving them the time. I have been away when I was in and thats doiable, but that was before I had children. My phone calls will be virtualy free, they are routed through Houston so I will only pay long distance from Houston to Atlanta which is very cheap.

 

Terry, yes Bomb proof buildings, I was a combat engineer in the army so I did tons of explosives work as well, just about any type of bomb you can think of I did and these barracks ARE bomb proof.

 

Aussie, thats what my wife and I were talking about last night, over there posseses as much of a threat as Atlanta traffic,gangs and all. Just as easy dying here as over there.

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Aussie, thats what my wife and I were talking about last night, over there posseses as much of a threat as Atlanta traffic,gangs and all. Just as easy dying here as over there.

 

 

I was thinking the exact same thing earlier today. You have about as much chance getting killed over in the big sand box doing your job as you would driving to the grocery store to get a gallon of milk for the kids.

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Ok everyone I have decided I AM going to take this job, its something I cannot pass up and my wife agrees. I will be leaving sometime around October first time frame.

 

After my first 4 months I am coming home for about 3 weeks to relax and buy my wife a new car, then before I leave to go back my car goes to a friends house. While I am gone for that 4 months he will be doing a full p&p'd,forged 3l and Nautilis's stage 3 turbo kit,full suspention,custom paint job, and my tranny will come to you Terry to be done right with all the upgrades since I couldnt afford it before. Then my last 4 months I am over there will be pure savings. I will have full high speed internet and phone access the entire time so I will still be posting. I will actually have american cable and high speed internet in my room.

 

Thank you all for all your concerns but this IS whats best for me and my family and I have to take this oportunity.

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...all good points Aussie...if you are single!Sorry,still have to give this a thumbs down.....The word has changed from when the likes of you and I 'took risks'..! ;)

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