Master Sgt. Ed Anderson has had a long Air Force career. After 20 years, he was ready to retire. At his fall retirement ceremony, he received certificates and said his goodbyes.
Even after the events of Sept. 11, Anderson continued his job and house search in Virginia where his family planned to relocate. However in October, Anderson was told to return to work. He would not be allowed to leave the Air Force. His job was part of a stop loss.
The Air Force implemented a stop loss policy to ensure essential positions were filled during a national crisis. Anderson was one of more than 11,000 Air Force members affected.
The 44-year-old said emotionally, he had already left the service.
"I was in shock, but I said very quickly, me having to stay in the military is not significant compared to those who lost their lives that day," Anderson said.
In the last eight months, Anderson has had to turn down five job offers. He is more hopeful now. This month, the Air Force started to lift some stop loss positions. Anderson can retire on May 1.
"I'm leaving a first-class organization. I love the Air Force. It's just I'm ready to do something else," he said.
More than 12,000 Army soldiers are also on a stop loss. Army officials said by next week, though some positions could be freed up.