The 1 thing I simply cannot stand about the military is the inability of people to accept your decisions regarding the military and the need to project their own values and ideas. Some people do 1 enlistment. Some people stick around for a while and leave to find happiness elsewhere. Some stay 20 years and some even 30. To each their own.
Don't tell me about the pension. 50% of my pay at 20 years will be about $24k/year BEFORE taxes. I can make up DOUBLE that money (on top of my pay) starting in a couple of years. To make my current base bay and my retirement pension I need a whopping $60k/year. That's my military base pay and 50% of what my base pay at 20 years (all averaged, estimated and rounded, of course). Add in the fact that my retirement pay would kick in 12 years from now. My civilian pay would kick in 2 years from now. That $24k over 10 years is a quarter-million dollars ahead than just starting at retirement. And none of that accounts for making a raise in the interim or actually starting above $60k in the first place. It's not fiscally responsible to stay in the Air Force, for me - as if money was the only reason.
You may want to travel the world and move from place to place. I do not. I've lived in 2 house my entire life. I like being still and settled. I love being close to my family and friends. I love my city and the general area. I love the type of work. I'm left a little disenchanted after 8 years in the Air Force over certain things (none of which I'll divulge for 2 reasons. 1) My personal feelings and experiences are my own and 2) It's not my place to paint the Air Force negatively to outsiders).
I've spoken about this before. Increasingly, as the days grow shorter and my separation grows nearer, people get preachy. They get on their soapbox and try to recruit me. Some people know my situation intimately and others don't. I'm equally annoyed. If you know me through and through, then you know what makes me, me. You know why I'm doing what I'm doing. You know my priorities. Respect them and leave me the hell alone about staying in. You want to stay in? Go for it. It's YOUR life. Mine is MINE. If you're in the group that knows me well, then you're a friend and why would a friend want to keep me here if it's not the right long term move for me. Selfish much?
If you're in the other group that doesn't know me well, then you are in NO place whatsoever to wax intellectual about what my future should entail, plain and simple. You cannot make an informed decision without the details, most of which you don't have and most of which you will not get. You simply are not capable of selling me on anything from where you stand.
This goes on constantly. It happened at my last base before I reenlisted (of which I had no intention of doing). I ended up doing it because my situation changed. My relationship status, economic status, educational status all changed nearly at once. However, I'm single, the economy is better, I started my own company and my degree will be done this time around.
I will have done 10 years in service when I leave. Less than 1% of people ever put the uniform on for a day. I took from this country as a young man doing well. Then I spent 10 years giving back. I did my part. I did it well. I did it with pride. It's simply time to move on. It's also time for EVERYONE to understand, accept and respect that. If you convert oxygen to carbon dioxide trying to re-recruit me, you'll be doing wasting time and, chances are, I'll react poorly. I'm done listening, justifying and selling YOU on MY plans.