My name is Derek and I’m 30 years old. I was at the end of a six month job contract pulling communication cable at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida when I was offered an internal position downrange in Antigua, West Indies. The job was basically the same, communications; pulling cable, SATCOM, communication security, telecommunications, television system, and fiber optics. In short, Antigua Air Station was a U.S. Air Force Station that collected telemetry, radar, and command/destruct data from rocket launches out of Florida and Virginia.
So in March, 2009 I canceled my lease, dumped the girlfriend, sold everything but my clothes and surfboards and I was off to the Caribbean. Everything happened so fast! I was offered the job and in a week I was on the plane heading for a country that the only knowledge I had of was the orientation VHS my work gave me that was recorded in the 80’s. The free room and board sounded great to me, even if it was on base. Plus who wouldn’t want to go live in the Caribbean and get paid for it. My plan was to take advantage of the living conditions and try to save all my money for a year or two. I was hoping that would be good enough for a down payment on a house back in Florida and I’d try to find a permanent job back at the space center.