Well, here I am still with the feds and nearing my 3 year anniversary. I did not get the job with my former employer. Federal civil service grants career/permanent status after 3 years, you become vested in all agency contributions to their TSP plan (a 401-k) and the satisfaction is you can look for new positions within the government while still getting a paycheck from the current position.
Uncle Sam spent many thousands getting me certified as a federal acquisition certified program/project manager (FAC-P/PM). Also got promoted to GS-11 and now GS-12 and have a very good shot at GS-13 this year.
My CCENT expires next month. I don't currently work in networking but have decided to go ahead and renew CCENT and perhaps soon go for the CCNA.
Working with our veterans (of which I am one myself) has been extremely rewarding. Hope everyone out there finds similar satisfaction in what they do or are working towards. For once, things fell into place and the stars aligned themselves. Nice to have a career again.