It was May 2003. I was billeting at the Sigonella inn across from the Sigonella Naval Air Station on the island of Sicily. The next day , we would be doing another midnight Air Evac out of Iraq.
My wife had sent me an email. At that time, C-141C Aircrew had to go to the base library to check email. Anyways, she had been restructured out of a job as Director of Quality at Eddie Bauer in Seattle. Just a month later, she would be recruited by NIKE as a senior manager in NIKE quality. The only caveat? We had to relocate to Beaverton, Oregon.
At the time, I was activated and serving 18 months on active duty in the Air Force. I was able to get 3 days leave in order to look for a house. The first house we looked was in need of repair, but sat on 3/4 acre in the middle of town. My wife did not like it, so we looked at dozens more on tiny lots in average areas. None of them suited our fancy, so we went back to the old rambler on 3/4 of an acre and made an offer. The house had a contingency offer, so , I offered $5,000 more and slapped down $10,000 cash in earnest money. This kicked off the other buyer. In a month we had the house. We moved in and then I spent 10 years remodeling it.
I paid $182,500. Put $50,000 in materials into it. Now we have an offer for $315,500 minus realtor fee and $5000 in closing costs. I will then owe only $15,000 on a $2,265,000 rental portfolio. I live by the saying: leave things better than you find it. I do this in all things. I take old things and build them into great things. When my family took New Amsterdam in 1664, and then served with Washington in 1776, we turned North America into the greatest country on earth.
I served in war and then made my money in the private sector as a small business owner and real estate investor. I wanted it all: world travel, small business and real estate. I may not be a tuff guy, but I am an animal warrior in the private sector. I am not beholden to big government, and as a reservist with 15 years active duty, and service from 1978 to 2006, I do not get any money from the DOD until I am 59 1/2. This is called being a self sufficient conservative. Then again, I married the daughter of a cotton farmer.