I didn’t know my brother was interested in the military until he called a family meeting among my parents and siblings.
- He said that it was his dream to fly a fighter jet, and had discussed his options with an Air Force recruiter.
Since Kirtland Air Force Base is on the south end of Albuquerque, it meant that he could live close to home during training and whenever he returned from deployment. We watched his career blossom as he worked his way up through the ranks starting as an Airman and eventually becoming a Captain. Those around him expected my brother to stay in the Air Force for perpetuity, but he told me he was burned out and started using cannabis secretly. At the time he was subject to disciplinary action if he was busted with the plant or failed a surprise drug test. When it came time to renew his enlistment contract, he decided to retire with dignity at the height of his career. Then he baffled us all when he cashed in one of his retirement plans and purchased an empty storefront building on San Felipe St. in Old Town. He looked the happiest I have ever seen him, and his store has been a success since day one. A lot of his customers live in Los Volcanes and West Mesa, right on the other side of the Rio Grande River. Since there aren’t nearly as many cannabis stores in Albuquerque as there are in places like Denver and Los Angeles, my brother’s store doesn’t struggle nearly as much to survive among his competition in nearby areas.