Yesterday I made the trip up to my unit, along with my aunt, for the second-to-last time as a military member.
This time it was for my “flag ceremony,” one during which I was presented with the gift of an American flag for my years of service. To say that it was moving is an understatement. Pictures will be posted on the thirteenth.
The hours leading up to the ceremony were spent saying goodbye to the people I’ve served with for the last eight years. You know, the hugs, the kisses the exchange of numbers, of e-mail addresses. I would say that I likely won’t see most of them again. However, that won’t be true for several and thank God for it.
Some partings were trivial. Others were very special, indeed. My chief flight surgeon--a bird colonel and like a mother to me--gave me a beautiful gift, an old style atomizer.
My superintendent-a chief master sergeant (E-9), who has long been my good and trusted friend—told some rather unflattering stories about me. She didn’t tell the good ones.
My OIC—a captain—gave me a cool USAF retired coffee mug. Now that we don’t have that fraternization issue hanging over our heads, she and I are going to storm Southern California together. Watch out, guys, especially if you’re good-lookin’!
Saying goodbye to my kids—the airmen—was especially difficult. But I had done my time and it was up to me to get out of their way and let them do theirs.
Time to start my second life.