Well I must admit this was an interesting week. I found a lot of videos that I really liked and I was able to share some things in my career that mean the most to me. I truly enjoyed my military career, I got to meet some great people who had a big impact on my life. If you are reading this and are wondering “is he talking about me”, then I more than likely am.
In my career I was able to go to places people only dream of, I also went to places you couldn’t get me to go back to if you put a gun to my head. Luckily the good places far outweigh the bad places. I have been to 48 states, over 65 countries and all 7 continents, yes I even went to Antarctica, it truly was a pleasure serving along side the people I served with and seeing the things I got to see.
Things I Have Seen…The Good
I was able to go to Rome and see all the wonders of Rome and though I am not Catholic, was amazed at the Vatican. I was able to go to a church in Mainz Germany that was built in 800AD. I will never forget my aircraft commander looking at me and saying “if these walls could only talk, think of the stories they could tell”. It really was awe inspiring to walk through that church. I have been to that church about 5 times but the first time is the one time I will always remember with the most fondness.
I have been to Pearl Harbor, seen the great Alaskan frontier, flew directly over the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I got to meet some great people from all over the world and from many different cultures. I have toured London, been to the baseball HOF after a long 20+ hr day. I have met celeberties like the cast of Oceans 11, sports heroes of mine like Eddie George and Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, I have met Presidents and high ranking officials from all over the world. Yes my career has had some good times.
Things I Have Seen…The Bad
I have taken warriors on their last flight back to the states and seen how it devastates families. I have moved prisoners, been held up at gunpoint on a flight-line in Pakistan and was scared out of my Flight suit. I have seen the devastation a natural disaster can cause to a state or county. And I have flown rescue crews to locations so they can set up and get rescue operations to look for survivors.
My career was not all up and it was not all down but as I said, the positives far outweigh the negatives in my career. I recently saw one of my friends change his FB page to a pic of him at his retirement and commented how the occasion is bitter sweet. Yes it s great to be able to retire but then it is sad that you are leaving behind the friends and life you have known for the past 20 plus years of your life.
Life in the military is very difficult on family, I know it was on mine. I have three great kids that I could not be more proud of and though I have been divorced twice, I don’t know how much if any of it I would change because it has brought me to where I am today and I am OK with that. Between the military and my kids, I must say I have had a very full and bountiful life to this point.
I will admit, this was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be, I mean seriously, how hard can it be to post two measly videos each day? I am not sure what I was thinking when I thought it would be fun to try and the part that really amazes me, I was not drinking when I did it. Searching for some of the videos allowed me to see some other great videos that I may not have seen had I not done this. I still have about 20 videos in my playlist that I did not get to.
I was just going through some youtube videos and something came over me to do this. Was it a sense of Duty? I did serve for 24 years and as I have said before, I really enjoyed my career. Was it a tribute to the Veterans? I think that had something to do with it as we all know, not everyone is cut out to be a military member/family. Was it for the challenge? I will say, posting two videos and creating blogs with any sort of substance was a challenge and it was fun looking at so many great videos on youtube.
I tried to put each day together with some sort of theme and I must say, my favorite one was the Fri with the Navy and Army videos that they each made up, they were really cool and they looked like they would have been fun to be a part of.
How and Why I Joined the Air Force…It’s Kind of Funny
I even learned a little about myself this week. I didn’t realize just how many videos or songs make me think about different parts of my career, some good, some not so good but again, they are part of who I am and I am OK with that. I know when I was a Sr at Tolna HS in ND I never thought a farm boy hick who was a B student would have the life I have had. I must thank my recruiter for that because I almost joined the Navy.
I wanted to be a cook on a nuclear submarine and I had it all planned out, I knew what schools I wanted to go to and where I wanted to go. I…was going to be in the Navy. I went to Grand Forks ND recruiter office and as you go around the corner it was AF, Army, Navy in that order. I came around the corner and saw this HOT Tech Sgt sitting in the office and just HAD to go in and talk to this mid 30’s wife with three kids hottie I had just seen. Well, thanks to her, I never made it to the Navy office and 24 yrs later (well 26 now) I am writing this blog about my career as a Loadmaster in the USAF.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
Before I sign off with the videos I would like to give a salute to all the members of the military both current and past. Without their sacrifice and willingness to go to battle, the United States of America would not be the proud nation it is and will continue to be. There is a saying that I think sums it up;
“Courage does not mean you are not scared, it means you go anyway.”
Final Veterans Day Tribute Video
Ok, I hope that you dont get too upset with me but there were only a few votes for the video and had I not voted for one to test it, there would have been a tie between Taps and the All Verses of the Star Spangled Banner. I really like them all and I will play them together in order of what I would say is begining to end.
First the Star Spangled Banner. I couldnt find one video that had the whole song in one that I really liked but I was able to find two that were really good individually so I will play them both. They are both really great. These five young ladies are amazing.
Not many people know there is more to the song than what we hear at ballgames, the Olympics or other opening ceremonies. Even fewer know that it was actually written as a poem before it became our National Anthem.
I thank you for bearing with me on this. This is an awesome rendition to close out my tribute to the Veterans of the United States. Thank you.
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