I realized today that I was paying more attention to the coverage of the space shuttle's last flight than I might have otherwise. What I was listening to is the shuttle program expiration date. I kept hoping that NASA would change its mind and extend the aging shuttle program another few years.
Obviously, I was thinking the same about the "Gussman in the Army" program that has an expiration date of 22 months from now. I had so much fun at summer camp that I realized the next summer camp is my last one--unless I get a waiver to serve over age 60. I will age out in May 2013. If summer camp in 2013 is actually in the summer, I will be out before it begins.
You might be thinking that I got in on waivers and I have many people who would support me staying in, but that was in 2007and early 2008 when enlistments were down, the economy was up and the Army needed more people. Now the reverse is true and it is not likely to change in time for me. The brigade command sergeant major told me about another CSM who tried for a waiver to go on a deployment that would put him over age 60 before the scheduled end of the deployment. He took a general out to dinner to plead his case and did not get a waiver.
But I won't give up trying. Who knows, maybe things will get better or worse in a way that will make one more old soldier necessary for the mission.