Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s a treat for me to be home for the holidays this year, but it’s bittersweet. My nine-year journey in USAF is coming to an end, and I must take my first steps into the private sector.
This time of year always gets my mind running down the pathways of all that I have, and I know that I am truly blessed. I have three families – one to whom I am related by blood, one by marriage, and a third by service. I am thankful for all three. The blood that raised me, the marriage that has blessed me, and the service that has forged me.
I was raised to show respect, for myself and others. I was loved, but not smothered. I was taught to finish what you start (granted, it took much longer to set in), but not to do too much at once. These are gifts I can only hope I will be able to pass on to my children as well as they were passed to me. I can never properly thank my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my siblings, or my cousins, for everything they have done for me.
Marriage has blessed me with another family, and they embraced me with open arms. My wife deserves much more than I can ever give her, my children are wonderful, even when they are terrible. And I am lucky enough to have in-laws that are a joy to be around.
I will never have the opportunity to serve with as amazing a group of people as I have been with the past nine years, especially the last five, and I hope they all go on to successful careers. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Liberty community, first as a Raven, then a Cougar, a Crow, and a Spartan. Not all our time has been good, we have had our failures and our tragedies, but a family we are. And as we scatter to winds, and I pray we can stay together, even if just in the back of our minds where the memories of what we accomplished reside.