Happy Armed Forces Week

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It’s Thursday May 14TH 2020, and National Military Appreciation Month continues with Armed Forces Week (all this week), and that culminates this Saturday with Armed Forces Day. Unlike Memorial Day (later this month) and Veterans Day (in November) this is an opportunity for us to honor everyone who currently serves within our military.

I’m a few weeks away from celebrating my 35TH 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. 7 days after graduating from high school in June 1985 I was on my way to Lackland AFB 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 32 out of my 35 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 35 years in the Air Force includes 26 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 35 years into an Air Force career at 53 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 13-year era of my career (and life) – where I am now. I’m ending this career on a high, and I’ve got about 3½ more years to go before I retire and move away from here.

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 day.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Facebook Revival

I was on Facebook for not quite 5 years – from 31 March 2013 to 31 December 2017. Before Facebook I was on WordPress and Twitter, and after Facebook – I’m on WordPress and Twitter. OK – I’m still on Facebook; although, I stopped posting new material on 31 December 2017. I’m only on there now to keep up with my friends and family – nearly all of whom are only on Facebook and nowhere else.

Lately though I’ve been enjoying somewhat of a Facebook revival. I’m essentially reminiscing on my 35-year United States Air Force career. I’m a member of groups of alumni of my:

  • Basic Military Training Squadron (at Lackland AFB Texas)
  • Technical Training Base (at Chanute AFB Illinois)
  • 1ST Permanent Duty Station (at RAF Fairford United Kingdom)
  • 2ND Permanent Duty Station (at Homestead AFB Florida)

The Lackland, Chanute, and Fairford alumni pages are lots of fun, and I enjoy seeing all of the photos of yesteryear and interacting with my colleagues of the era. Eventually someone is going to post a photo of me from back then. I’m looking forward to that. Those 3 bases represented my first 2 years and 5 months of my military career from June 1985 to October 1987.

The Homestead AFB page is a bit different. The photos from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s are fun, but for the most part it’s a bunch of long-retired guys with somewhat faded memories chitchatting back and forth about how beautiful the base once was when it existed back then. Most of them have moved far away from Homestead and South Florida, and many of them don’t even think that the base exists today. Some who have recently visited the area surrounding the base think that it looks post-apocalyptic.

It’s actually a bit annoying to read at times because I’m still working there, I’ve been working there since 1987, and these days I have a little something to do with the beauty of the base and its upkeep. So I take it a little bit personal when I read disparaging remarks about my workplace then and now. I think I’m one of just a few members on that page that actually works on the beautiful and busy base today.

So I’m keeping up with my military career over on Facebook. It’s a whole lot more fun than the political hatred that some of my Facebook friends and family engage and indulge in.

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May is National Military Appreciation Month here in the U.S., Armed Forces Week is May 10TH to 15TH, and Armed Forces Day is May 16TH. Throughout the month of May I’ll feature military-themed stories here on my blog.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries