It’s Friday May 19TH 2023, and National Military Appreciation Month continues here in the U.S.A. with Armed Forces Week (all this week), and that culminates tomorrow (Saturday) with Armed Forces Day. Unlike Memorial Day (this year on May 29TH) and Veterans Day (November 11TH) – this is an opportunity for us to honor everyone who currently serves within our military.
I’m a few weeks away from celebrating my 38TH anniversary within the United States Air Force. I actually committed to 4 years of active duty service about a month into my Senior year in high school in 1984. 6 days after graduating from high school in June 1985 – I was on my way to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas for 6½ weeks of Basic Military Training.
I’ve been living in or near Homestead Florida since the end of 1987, so that’s 35½ out of my 38 years in the Air Force. I work at Homestead ARB (formerly AFB prior to Hurricane Andrew). During the 19 months immediately after Hurricane Andrew – as the city and the base was being cleaned-up and rebuilt – I served at Andrews AFB Maryland and MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida.
My 38 years in the Air Force includes 30 years as a civilian. Prior to that I served 8 years on active duty and 6 years as a reservist (overlapping with the early years of my civil service).
Up until about the age of 16 I was supposed to go to college after high school and emerge with a degree in either Meteorology or Communications (radio and television). That didn’t happen, but here I am 38 years into an Air Force career at 56-years-old. The Air Force determined that I was great at math, so they made me an analyst / statistician.
In the Air Force I’ve had some great years, some good years, some bad years, and some horrible years. There’s an entire 13-year era that was the worst of my career (and life). Thankfully I’ve followed that up with the best 16-year era of my career (and life) – where I am now. I’m ending this career near a high, and I’ve got about a half-year to go before I can retire and call it a career. I’m ready to do so.
To all of my fellow military service members – whether you are currently on active duty, a reservist, a civil servant, or a contractor working alongside all of the above – I thank you for all that you do with each new duty day.
All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp