On this Veteran’s Day

One of the great honors of my life was the time that I spent in the Air Force where I had the privilege to serve the country that I love. As a kid of 18, I had finished my first year of college, which didn’t go so well, and was at a point in my life where I had no idea where I was going to go next. All my high school life I thought college was the thing I was supposed to do, but once I got there, for some reason at that time it didn’t feel right. While later in life I would go on to get my BS and MBA, that particular time was not the right time and I found myself sitting at home pondering what was next on my life path.

One day, while out of town, I was walking by a Air Force recruiters office and walked in and asked what they could do for me. Before I knew it I was enlisted and within months was headed off to basic training in the Air Force. Many men had been in the service before me, so this felt like a natural course of action for me to take as my next step in life.

In September of 1981, I made my way to basic training at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. From there I went to tech school in Wichita Falls. Upon completion of tech school I got orders to Adana, Turkey and eventually made my way to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. As a medical administrative specialist, for those four years I found my purpose and was in exactly the place that I was supposed to be.

I learned a lot while serving. Discipline, respect, compassion and love of country were all at the top of the list. I learned the importance of being an American, the passion for the people of our land and the reason that we worked tirelessly to defend the freedom that so many people before us fought for. I learned to understand the importance of patriotism and what it meant to be an American.

On this Veteran’s day I thank all those who served, all those still serving and most importantly all those who supported us as we served. Those of us who were a part of the fabric of the military understand the importance of duty, honor and country. Even though we may no longer be active in the branch that we were once a part, we are all American and continue to hold this country that we love in our hearts.

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