On Fungible Resource and Saying Goodbye to the Foreign Service

Ryan of FS blog, Locke’d Up Abroad has a wheels down…for good post on March 21 announcing that he and his FSO are no longer in the Foreign Service:

We’re no longer in the Foreign Service.

Our exit was probably more graceful than most: we separated from the FS at the end of our first tour and went right into new jobs in Atlanta, Georgia. As you probably don’t know, both me and Lori are attorneys licensed in Georgia–so Atlanta is a natural home base for us. I’m now working for the Public Defender in Atlanta and Lori’s working for an immigration law firm.

We decided to leave for a host of reasons. The FS was never a long-term plan for us, mostly because I was a really bad stay-at-home spouse. Even when I was commuting to Texas to do pro bono asylum work, I would still climb the walls on the days when I wasn’t doing anything. I guess my natural disposition is to be busy doing things I care about–I went to law school so that I could (1) be in a courtroom and (2) help real people with real problems–and there was no real way to do that while being an EFM.

Our departure was accelerated by the bad experiences we had in Mexico. Something really bad security-related happened to us–think grenades and gunfire and whatnot–and State didn’t take the situation or us seriously. A sobering fact that no one really tells you is that FSOs and EFMs are a fungible resource. We realized that, no matter what lip-service we were given, strategic objectives in the US-Mexico relationship were more important than our lives.

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