All morning I’ve contemplated this topic and changed my mind a few times. That’s not how Five Minute Friday is supposed to work, but I needed to get my head back into writing. I’ve spent the week propping up this aggravating knee or wearing a brace. Sometimes my writing brain just shuts down.
Joining the Five Minute Friday community with a one word prompt. We write for five minutes (I confess, I’m not so good at the time limit), post it, and then link up over at Kate’s blog.
But today I’m cheering for one military person – my youngest brother Paul. This is his last Memorial Day in uniform; he will retire from the Air Force on the last day of June.
What a career he has had! I’m pretty sure he never expected he would join the military, especially since he had never even been in a plane when he applied to the Air Force!
Once he “flew” through Officer Training School and was assigned to pilot the A-10 Warthog, he and his family moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for their first assignment. In just a few months he was flying in Kuwait and eventually over Iraq in the middle of Desert Storm.
The stories from that time, earning the Air Force Cross, kept proud brothers, sister, and Mom bragging and retelling his amazing feats. He even rode in a ticker tape parade in New York City after the war and appeared on Regis and Kathy Lee! You can see a video of him here describing some of his adventures. This is a long reflective interview on the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm.
His career took him to bases across America, postings in Germany and Brussels, and two tours in Afghanistan. He has been at the Pentagon twice, commanded a large base in Phoenix, Arizona, and served as Deputy US Military Representative in Brussels at NATO.
He climbed the ranks regularly and will retire as Major General (2 stars). He has a desk job at the Pentagon now, but his love was always to be in the skies flying his Warthog.
Some of my favorite memories are the moments I’ve been present for ceremonies when he earned a new promotion or a medal.
I thank God for Paul’s leadership, safety in war, his compassion, and wisdom.
I am thankful for his wife, Tricia’s faithful service in the military. She never wore a uniform but did indeed serve at every move, every new responsibility Paul assumed, at bases in America and in Europe.