On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 I reached a milestone of 36 years with the Air National Guard. I consider it 36 years with Georgia Air National Guard as I retain an affiliation, however loose, with the State of Georgia. In an effort to remain employable, the last four years I’ve spent in Washington, D.C. will soon be expunged from my record, at my request.
After thirty-six years I am still trying to discover a single noteworthy accomplishment for my service. As I stroll the warehouse that is my mind, searching my inventory, I find I may have taken more than I contributed.
Over half my life I've been a member of the Air National Guard. I joined the guard with a buddy after watching the movie ”Stripes" and thinking “that looks like fun”. My service in the Guard hasn’t always been fun but it’s had its moments and overall I am better for it. My only regret is that I never even caught a glimpse of the EM-50 Urban Assault vehicle like the one John Winger and Russell Ziskey used in the movie but I’ve have met (or been) every character in that movie.
When I was young Airman, working on the flight line at Dobbins Air Force Base, there was a sign hanging on the chain-link fence next to the entrance to the flight line. It read “To fly. To fight. To win." It was a simple, unifying mission that we were reminded of every time we walked on or off the flight line. I believe I’ve kept those words with me throughout my career. I made it my mission and I can say with confidence: I flew. I fought. I won.
I am thankful for my journey with the Air National Guard and I am thankful for all those people who helped me along the way.
I may soon be a civilian but I will always be an Airman.