Honoring My Fellow Veterans

It’s Veterans Day here in the U.S.A.

This past weekend marked the 34TH anniversary that the United States Air Force shipped me off to a foreign country solo for the first time in my life. As an 18½-year-old I flew from Washington Dulles Airport nonstop to London Heathrow Airport. It was an overnight flight from November 09TH into November 10TH of 1985. From there I took British Rail westward to Swindon, and then from there I hired a cab up to RAF Fairford – my home for the next 2 years. (It was my first permanent duty station.)

I’ve been a member of the United States Air Force for the past 35 years now – going back to when I first signed on the dotted line of the delayed enlistment program near the start of my senior year in high school. I was hesitant in joining the military way back then, but it all turned out just right, and it’s become my career. I’d do it all over again.

To my fellow Veterans – this is our day. From one Veteran to all of the others – I thank you for serving your nation so that we may be free indeed.

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All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Chanute AFB Illinois

I’m coming up on the 34TH Anniversary of my graduation from USAF BMT. That stands for United States Air Force Basic Military Training. I was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio Texas from June 13TH 1985 (early in the morning – like right after Midnight) to July 29TH 1985 (at dawn). It was the roughest and toughest 46 days / 6½ weeks of my life at that point. (I had just turned 18.)

On July 29TH 1985 (a Monday) I boarded a plane (with others) from San Antonio Texas to Champaign County Illinois. I got food poisoning on the plane. That was when full hot meals were still served on airplanes. After landing we were transported from the airport to Chanute Air Force Base (near Rantoul Illinois). Everyone else was taken to their respective squadrons for in-processing. I was taken to the Base Hospital where I spent a couple of days and nights recuperating.

On the 3RD day I rose again – out of my hospital bed fully recovered, and I was released to my squadron. I moved-in to my dormitory room – my home for the next 3 months. School started soon for me. I would soon learn how to be an Aircraft Maintenance Systems Analyst (think “Statistician”). I was in a class of 4.

Today – 34 years later – I am an Analyst / Statistician, and I work for the United States Air Force.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Moving

I’m not moving (for now). I’m not a fan of moving. I’ve lived in the same home for over 24 years. I moved in here when I was in my late-20s, and now I’m in my early-50s. When I do move away (in about 4 or 5 years) I’ll continue to own this home, but I’ll also own another home about 3 hours north of here up in South Central Florida. This home is all paid off. It was all paid off over 6 years ago.

During my first 28 years of life I moved no less than 14 times. I’ve stayed put ever since.

The worst move ever occurred in November 1980 when – 2 months into my 8TH grade – my family moved from Lanham Maryland to McLean Virginia (opposite sides of the Washington D.C. area). It was a radical change of culture for a 13½-year-old. I was plunged into a completely different environment that I was not prepared for, and I never got used to. I had friends in Maryland. I knew nobody in Virginia. I was a “normal” kid in Maryland. I was a “poor” kid in Virginia that nobody really wanted to associate with. I had very few friends in Virginia – and nobody that I hung out with after school. I did poorly in school, as the school system in Virginia was actually at a much higher academic level than the one that I came from in Maryland. I was essentially a “C” and “D” student through my 11TH grade. That wasn’t good enough for college, and everyone around me was definitely going to college in 1985. I eventually made the honor roll during my Senior year in high school – making all “A”s and “B”s. But it was too late. I ended up joining the military – where my now 34-year career continues.

Had it not been for that move from Maryland to Virginia towards the end of 1980 I’m thinking that my life may have been completely different than it turned out to be. Maybe I would have gone with my friends from elementary and junior and senior high school to the University Of Maryland (where my Dad went 25 years earlier). Maybe I would’ve become a Meteorologist, or gone into Radio or Television Broadcasting (my dream jobs as a teen). Maybe I would’ve met the woman of my dreams, gotten married, and started a family. Maybe I would’ve had the perfect life. Maybe I would’ve never known God. Maybe I would’ve never created this blog 12 years ago to journal this journey.

Be careful when you make decisions. Think about the possible consequences of your decisions before you go through with them. Some decisions that you make can be far bigger than you can ever imagine at the time. One decision today could change your life – or a family member’s life – or a loved one’s life – forever – for better or for worse.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 2004

Every Friday night I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 10, 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 2ND Friday of the month, so I go back 15 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday July 11TH 2004:

  1. “Ocean Avenue” – Yellowcard
  2. “Meant To Live” – Switchfoot
  3. “The Reason” – Hoobastank
  4. “Hey Mama” – The Black Eyed Peas
  5. “Pieces Of Me” – Ashlee Simpson

15 years ago this weekend seems so long ago. I had recently flipped away from electronic dance music and returned to my roots in calmer pop music. I actually don’t remember much about 2004, and I really choose to not remember much about that year. It was a forgettable year. I wasn’t happy at work, and I wasn’t particularly happy at home either. I came home to my cat every afternoon, and he adored me. He was my best friend at the time. I still miss him over 12 years after his passing. #Boots

It’s interesting what I discover when I review old E-Mails. 15 years ago TODAY – the 12TH of July of 2004 (a Monday) I drove about 650 miles from a hotel very near Walt Disney World (like a mile away) to a suburb south of New Orleans. I was TDY (military term = temporary duty) at NAS JRB New Orleans during that week. According to my extensive records I filled-up with gas twice that day during my drive westward, and I paid $1.959 and $1.919 per gallon for gas.

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday afternoon and Monday night with two more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going RETRO with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Nostalgia

I’m feeling rather nostalgic this week.

Yesterday – the 10TH of July – was the 9TH anniversary of the passing of my Dad. He slowly began exhibiting the effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) during the latter portion of 2006, and it eventually crippled him. He passed on to Heaven after 4 years of bravely battling the disease. I believe that in his final weeks of life he repented to his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, and God immediately rescued and saved him. That’s why he’s in Heaven today – watching from up above – cheering on his wife, his two sons, his daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters.

As long as you’re still breathing it is not too late to ask God to take control of your life. He will do so immediately, and He will give you a new life – a life that will last forever because it comes from the eternal living Word of God.

Today – the 11TH of July – “7/11” – is the 25TH anniversary of a career change at work that I didn’t see coming until the moment it occurred. It actually began the worst 13 years of my (now) 34-year USAF career. It was also the worst 12 years of my life, and I say 12 years because just after the start of my 13TH year during that time-period I hit rock-bottom, and God rescued and saved me. He lifted me out of the pit of despair – out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground, and He steadied me as I walked along.

God also flipped my career almost a year later, and I’m getting ready to observe the 12TH anniversary of the best era of my career (by far).

The 13TH anniversary of the start of my salvation through Christ is 40 days away. That’s the day that I’ve been celebrating above all ever since. That’s the day that my #CountUp began.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Weekend Kickoff Mini-Thoughts

Let’s try this again – a rapid-fire session of thoughts in my mind right this minute:

  • Yesterday was not such a good day at work.
  • It only takes one person and a minute to ruin a whole work day.
  • I know that today will be a much better work day.
  • I know that God is always in control no matter where I go.
  • Sometimes during those not so good work days I forget that God is with me.
  • The past 12 years of my 34-year USAF career have been the best 12 years.
  • Is it a coincidence that Jesus Christ rescued and saved me 13 years ago ?
  • No coincidence, as God doesn’t do coincidences. He does intentionals.
  • Back on the homefront I enjoy relaxing in my 77°F living room.
  • I’m feeling good with my air conditioning taking care of business.
  • All of my modern technology is right here where it belongs.
  • If it’s summer then I’m watching “America’s Got Talent” and “Big Brother”.
  • I’ve never missed a single episode of either show since the beginning of both.
  • I’m also addicted to “Live PD” on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • There was a political debate on the NBCs last night.
  • I don’t get political online or offline.
  • As an apolitical person I’m in the minority fringes both online and offline.
  • I have very solid political beliefs, but I choose not to share them with anyone.
  • I’d rather talk about the weather.
  • I’m a weather expert, so I know what I’m talking about there.
  • I’ll even talk sports with you. Hail to the Redskins !
  • I’m so looking forward to the start of the NFL season.
  • I may go to a game this season – my Redskins against the Cowboys in Dallas.
  • 33 years ago tomorrow I attended the first concert of my life.
  • I was 19 at the time, and this young teenybopper was at the final Wham! show.
  • That was at Wembley Stadium in London England.
  • Google it. It was June 28TH 1986, and I was there singing and dancing.
  • I’ve been to 100+ concerts since that first one – an average of about 3 per year.
  • My two years of living in England as an 18 to 20-year-old were wild and crazy.
  • I haven’t been back since.
  • July starts in just 4 days.
  • 2019 is almost half over.
  • This whole decade of the 2010s (or #TwentyTeens) is almost over.
  • Will we all see better in 2020 ?
  • Will we all have the vision to love each other in 2020 ?
  • Will we change the world in 2020 ?
  • Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ – into the future.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Happy Anniversary Weekend !

This is a huge anniversary weekend for me. I’ll observe one in this blog post, and then I’ll observe another one in tomorrow’s blog post, and then I’ll observe yet another one in Sunday’s blog post.

On November 30TH 1987 – the Monday after Thanksgiving that year – I boarded a plane in the Washington D.C. area (my original hometown) – for Miami Florida. I had never been there before, and I knew very little about it other than the fact that the weather would be much sunnier and warmer than the Washington D.C. area. I arrived in Miami that night, and I awaited my military transportation from Miami to Homestead AFB. It eventually arrived, and I arrived on the base during the wee early morning hours of December 01ST 1987. I was Active Duty in the USAF back then – an A1C / E3.

Hurricane Andrew destroyed Homestead AFB on August 24TH 1992, but then it was partially rebuilt. (Its geographic location ultimately saved it.) I returned to the base almost 19 months later upon its grand reopening as Homestead ARS (and then Homestead ARB). I still work on the base today. Nowadays (and for the past 11 years) I crunch numbers and count money.

So Happy 31ST Anniversary to me at the airbase near Homestead Florida. I arrived when I was 20½, and now I’m 51½. I wasn’t expecting to spend most of my life working there, but that’s what’s happened. I thought that I had seen the last of the airbase after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but here I am 26 years later. I think I have another 5 good years in me before it’ll be time to pack it up, retire, and move away from this Homestead.

All rights reserved (c) 2018 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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