Monday, March 1, 2010

Air Force Retirement...Moving on to Something New

Good morning! It's been a busy and momentous weekend in our house.  We traveled back to IL for my DH's retirement.  He was in the Air Force for 22 1/2 years.  He went in at age 18, something he had always wanted to do.  His grandfather was in the US Army Air Core before it became the Air Force in 1947.  He served as a machinest in WW II.  His Uncle was in the Air Force also for 20 years where he trained pilots in Survival School.  This has become somewhat of a family tradition.  My son now says he wants to join the USAF. 

The ceremony was very nice.  They presented my husband with numerous awards and included a brief history of his career in a presentation.  I was learning as we went along too.  LOL! Some of you military wives might understand this but I have spent the last 20 years not really understanding my husband's career, it's one of those don't ask questions jobs.  I have toured his place of work at one base but have never been allowed at any other time.  He spent 20 years in one career field and received a humanitarian so had to cross train .  He did this so that I could be close to my mother before she passed away and only 2 short months after we moved she did lose her battle with cancer.  I was so thankful for the time I did have.

I was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Air Force and the Chief Master of the Air Force.  I also received a medal for a Military Spouse.  I received a pin and you can see him pinning this on me in this picture.  Our kids received medals and certificates as well. 

He really surprised me with this.  I received a flag box with two coins and the flag was one his Grandfather had used everyday taking it up and down.  It's a 48 star flag.  I have always loved flags and he knows this.  My MIL gave this to me and I had been trying to figure out how to display it properly.  He knew this and surprised me and told everyone in the room just how much he appreciated me and couldnt' have done this without me.  I lost it and cried right then and there.  That meant more than anything else to me. 

This is my husband's shadow box that they presented to him.  It contains all of his medals, ranks and ribbons and a flag that was flown on a special mission just for him.  Major Kay shown here in the pictures is a very nice man, he spoke at my husband's retirement.  A special shout out to his staff for a job well done, it was special for all of us.  We also had a friend fly out just for his retirement and some local friends who got to come even though there was huge mess up at the gate that day.  We appreciate our friends and family who were able to attend. 

Oh and just in case you're wondering, the uniform my DH chose to retire in is the one he wore everyday, normally ceremonies are conducted in the Air Force blues but my DH requested this. 

A new chapter in our life has begun and I can honestly say even though I didn't think I would miss it I know I will.  If I had to do this crazy military life all over again.  I would jump in all over again.  I've met so many people, lived different places, experienced many things all because he was in the military.  Yes, they were ups and downs and it wasn't always fun.  There were long hours and TDY's and no overtime pay but it was all worth it.  I want to share something with you my husband said in his speech that I think rings true.  "America's strength doesn't come from it's economic power or even the might of our military.  It comes from its people.  Americans are willing to pay any price, and make any sacrifice so that the american dream can come true for everyone.  If we remember this we will countinue to flourish. "

I'm so proud of you honey!
Lest we not forget those that serve!



  1. Wow Carey, how proud are you?!! Congratulations to your hubby on his retirement. Thanks for many years served, and many sacrifices both from your husband, you, and your children in order for him to serve and protect the rest of us. So nice to see all his medals, etc. displayed, and so thoughtful of him to have the flag framed. Awesome that they recognized you and the children. Wow.. he's not going to know how to act being a civilian again.. HA!. Enjoy your time together.

  2. Glad that the ceremony was so nice. I think I might have shed a tear or two also. How thoughtful that the whole family was honored. A huge thank you to your husband and your entire family for their service!

  3. Please give your husband a HUGE thank you for his service. We owe them so much. It looks like the service was wonderful and the flag, how great is that.

    Enjoy your family now that you can be together all the time.

  4. Okay,now my eyes are leaking! What a wonderful send off for your hubby and all of you. And so richly deserved too. What a special moment in your lives!!

    Your hubby was so kind to say that about this country , but without the 'people' who choose the military as their path in life, we wouldn't evn be a country, so thank you to him for his years of service!!

  5. What a beautiful ceremony! Congrats to your family on starting a new chapter of your life!

    Thanks to your family for your service!

  6. congrats to your man and to you and your family! and a big thanks for his service to our country.

    my husband(also a veteran) and i are retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs. it was our pleasure to serve the veterans. our word of advice about dealing with the VA is to never, ever, give up!

  7. This was a wonderful post. Congrats to you hubby.
    I loved what he had to say and you tell him that we appreciate all that our men in the service do for us.
    My son was in Desert Storm and we worried the whole time, but he was doing what he truly wanted to do Serve his country.

  8. Congrats and a HUGE thank-you to your husband.. and to you his family for supporting him. Freedom isn't free--and we are the home of the free because of the brave!!

    Tamera @ The Stone Fence Cottage

  9. Awwww Carey! This post really spoke to me because as you know, we are Military too :) My husband will be in your husband's shoes in 7 years (yikes)! Him and I have already begun talking about his retirement. It's going to be an adjustment for us you know. I can relate to y'all on so many levels. I don't know hardly anything about my hubby's job either. They keep everything so classified over there. So glad that they took the time to recognize not only his service, but yours and your kids also. Congratulations!!! And have fun with starting this new chapter in your lives :)

  10. Congratulations Carrie! My hubby retired after 32 years in the AF so I know what the adventure is like. :) Again, Congrats!

  11. Congrats on your 20 years. I come from a military family also- mom served for 4, dad retired with 20, brother served for 4, I served for 4, hubby is in now and will reach 20 in April of 2011 but is staying in an extra 3.
    It is a great life and as you said I wouldn't trade it. I'd wish for less tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea and wish we could have gone to Germany but all in all - it did us good.
    thanks for serving..
    enjoy the civilian life - it takes some getting used to I am told :)
    thanks for stopping by my gotta try some of your pies mmmmmm