This last year has brought many changes and adjustments in my life, most significantly being the first I lived as a married man!
As a result of being married I was able to get legitimate health insurance (through Alison's job) for the first time since I graduated from college. I have consequently had a physical exam (for the first time since I was 13), dental appointments, an eye exam, had the inside of my nose cauterized to stop it from bleeding, and, most recently, had a dermatologist exam and subsequent surgery to remove potential cancerous tissue.
It has also provided me with some wonderful opportunities to be, not only present at special NPS events, but also an integral part of telling the story they represent.
Exactly one year ago I arrived at Manassas National Battlefield to start my new National Park Service position as a member of the Civil War Sesquicentennial interpretive media team.
It is through this position that I have been blessed with these opportunities. Most of the events I worked at have been part of the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War, but I also did work for and at several other special events and had the chance to meet and work with staff at parks around the region.
My first big commemorative event was at Richmond at the end of June and early July.
A few weeks later I photographed the 151st anniversary of First Manassas.
In many ways this served as a trial run for the 150th anniversary of Second Manassas at the end of August.
Following Second Manassas, we had little respite before heading out to Harpers Ferry and Antietam.
While there were many special moments at these events, the most memorable and moving experience I have been a part of at any Civil War battlefield took place in the Cornfield at Antietam.
On November 19 and December 1 I photographed the 149th anniversary of the delivery of the Gettysburg Address and the Antietam Illumination.
A week later I headed out to the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
After Christmas I was thrown right into preparation for the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC.
It has certainly been a memorable year of working for the Park Service!
It has also been a tremendous blessing for me to have this position. If I was in a normal seasonal position with the Park Service, there is a good chance I would lose my job due to the sequestration. As it is, I know that I will be able to keep this position until at least April, 2015. It doesn't provide us with enough money to live on, but it is a huge blessing to know that I will still be employed, even with the current climate in Washington politics.
Plus I greatly enjoy being a part of each of these special events. :)
Now, we are already in the midst of preparation for three major events in 2013: Chancellorsville--May 1-5, Vicksburg--May 20-29, and Gettysburg--July 1-5
We will likely end up going to Chickamauga in September as well.
A few weeks ago this position officially became the longest job I have had with the Park Service (passing the National Mall). It has been a good year. Here's hoping this next one is equally as eventful and interesting!