I was stationed at Fort Bragg for 4 years (hooah hooah airborne infantry hooah). I'm glad to be out of the crazy pollen storms and not around all those love bugs and other critters that love getting splattered across your bumper, hood, windshield, and mirrors.
You're a smart owner to look into learning how to do a lot yourself, and you'll get a lot of satisfaction out of it as well. Keep in mind that the number one thing a contact like Mike is going to give you is knowledge - having a local guy to call means a lot. Depending on your job, it could also be nice to potentially have him take custody of the car while you're gone / doing police calls on Sicily DZ
What you don't want, is to go out and buy $800 worth of stuff just to find out you didn't get everything you needed, didn't get the right stuff, or got too much of something you won't use. Right now, you need to concentrate on the basics. Get your two-bucket wash method down pat. Learn what shampoo you like, what towels you like, etc. A polished out M3 is a beautiful thing, but it'll be a waste of time if you can't maintain her finish.
If you're a rookie to this stuff, I'd recommend just worrying about Grit Guards, a good maintenance shampoo, drying towels, extra microfibers, quick detailer, wheel cleaner, and wheel cleaning brushes.
When it comes to good investments, think of something like wheel cleaner. What do you currently use / what have you used in the past? Sonax is very good stuff, and I see you have it listed, but things change once you talk about long term car care. Purchasing a 5L jug of Sonax will save you 20%+ let alone if you purchase during a sale, you could easily save 40% on wheel cleaner in total. It's the small things like this that truly add up over time as long as you're purchasing what you know is effective and is what you like.