Thanks for the info, moving forward
Posted here a couple months ago while downrange; figured I'd give an update.
Discussion with my better half upon redeployment found us on the same page in terms of believing that semi-retirement (and not working for the sake of working or getting more "stuff") is a worthwhile goal.
However, the big issue still remains how to pay for higher education for my three boys. I did the Post-9/11 GI Bill transfer while downrange which, when combined with the Yellow Ribbon Fund, will take a big chunk out of their college expenses.
Next up is how to pay for high school. I looked at the Coverdell ESA's; that kind of crappy that they are non-tax deductible, but at the same token, $2K/boy/year for 9 or 13 years (they're ages 5, 5, and 1) = a good amount of money for high school. As my wife said, "As long as we can pay for their high school, I don't care what you do!"
I also found a couple of promising civilian employment opportunities that really might allow me to work part time with very low malpractice but with enough income to send my boys to a good high school and college.
Still haven't decided whether to get out at 12 yrs AD or stay on. As I think Nords said either in a post or his book, (paraphrased here) "If its fun, stay in. If its not fun anymore, get out".
Lastly, I asked about asset allocation, and TSP vs IRA. I decided to continue to max out our IRA's for both my wife and I and I think I'm going to be able to max out my TSP contribution between monthly contributions & part of my bonuses.
So, thanks for everyone's insights and advice!