Our jobs often define us, providing us with an identity and a purpose beyond ourselves. We are given the opportunity to belong to something bigger than ourselves; to be a part of a collective effort in many cases, driven with a vision and a goal of improvement. Sure, we may find our deeper identity in other activities or purposes – spirituality being a very appropriate example. For example, parenting, I have twin boys that light up my heart!. Or marriage, my bride of 15 years still takes my breath away. Still, when we are introduced, we often answer the question of, “What do you do?” with a description of our work.
I’ve been doing this very thing for a long time. For many years, I was a Newspaper guy. Before that, I was a Sailor, serving in the United States Navy in the 1980’s. More recently, I’ve been working as a Principle and C-Level Executive with a company I helped form; Ad Victoriam Solutions (AVS). I have to pause and say that I’m very proud of the organization, and what we’ve accomplished over the last few years! We have amazing people, who do amazing work for amazing customers. It gets my adrenaline going and drives me through the day! For more than 4 years, it has been my answer to, “What do you do?”
However, there has been another answer to that question, and it’s an answer that has suddenly grown louder and more demanding than the others. In addition to AVS, I also have been serving as a Chaplain in the Georgia Army National Guard for the past 9 years. I’ve been called for hurricane duty a couple of times. The units I’ve been assigned to have seen inclement weather duty during Atlanta’s infamous snow days. We’ve sent Soldiers to Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and to our own border. But, with few exceptions, I’ve been away from my family for no longer than 3 weeks at a time. That has changed.
Answering the Call
Recently, I was recalled to an extended period of Active Duty and am now serving alongside 2,000 other Soldiers from the National Guard. We are training for a Combat Deployment in a distant land. Instead of working through Custom Formulas on the Salesforce platform, I’m now learning family names and faces for my Soldiers.
Over the coming months, I plan to write a semi-regular blog article detailing some of the work our men and women do on a daily basis. This will be decidedly less technology-drive, even though I’ll likely include pieces of cool stuff when I can. I have to be away from my desk for about a year. I won’t always have access to the Internet, but I do want to paint a picture for friends and customers, giving insight to a world many of us simply never see outside Hollywood. I invite you to join the journey with me…
Even as I write this, I look forward to returning home and joining in the next round of upgrades / sales / implementations / challenges as Brian Mize, CTO. Until then, though, I’m honored to be living life as CH(CPT) Mize, Chaplain, 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment.