One of the fun things about being in the military is that you end up with friends all over the world. Then you are occasionally lucky enough to meet up with some of them.
That happened to me today when I got to see a friend I have had since I went to C-130 school in Little Rock and then got to serve in Japan with. We didn’t get to chat much because he was working but it is always fun to see a familiar face that makes you smile.
I thought about saying Wahoo instead of wow to quote one of my favorite movies but it didn’t seem quite right.
I’m still grounded but got to go out to a new dropzone today that was up in the midst of some incredible mountains. Obviously what made it even better was the sight of two C-130s flying up the valley towards us.
We could hear them coming on the radio but it was even more awesome to see them come swinging around the corner through this the tight valley you can see in the back of the picture. Then they flew nice and low over our heads with the sound of their engines echoing off the cliffs around us.
I know I sound like a broken record, but few things make me happier than the sight of a C-130 in flight.
The last two days I have been able to go out to the dropzone and help out on the ground supporting our planes that were flying. It is not glamorous work, nor is it particularly difficult work, but it involves planes so I am in.
You actually spend a lot of time just sitting there waiting for the planes to come but when they do it is so much fun to see the action happen.
I need stuff like this to keep my spirits up while I wait to be able to fly. With that being said, it is hard to be down when you spend the day outside under a bluebird sky, and not at a desk.
It was so great going back to work today. I didn’t know who I needed to see or where I needed to go or where anything was but man was it great to just be at work.
It is awesome to be in an active flying squadron again where I know I have a future. It is no one’s fault that my last squadron didn’t feel that way, simply the nature of the transition, but it is refreshing to be somewhere new.
It likely will still be a couple of weeks before I actually get to fly courtesy of paperwork and such, but I am getting closer and it is amazing.
Life is just good right now and I’m happy. I know some people don’t like to vocalize that because they think they will jinx it, but I am learning more and more that it is actually much better to acknowledge it.
I truly am excited to be here and excited to start a new long term adventure. I know I have plenty to learn and that excites me too. It is so great to feel gainfully employed after a nice break.
Today is one of those truly bittersweet days in life.
For the last five years I have had the distinct pleasure of flying on the C-130H. It is an historic aircraft that has played an important role in not only the wars of the past 60 years, but the humanitarian disasters that have occurred all over the world.
To be honest, when I first started nav school I wanted nothing to do with the C-130, but that was out of complete ignorance. It did not take me long to fall in love with her, which is why I am so sad to see her leave the active duty Air Force forever.
It truly is the end of an era and a shift in the Air Force that means things will never be the same. While I have my own biased views, there is no denying the advances in technology that have made this shift possible.
Fortunately, my own selfish desires will continue to be satisfied as I am now a member of the 192nd Airlift Squadron in the Nevada Air National Guard. Just going in today and seeing those beautiful birds out on the ramp brought joy to my heart. I haven’t flown in over a month so I am dying to get back up in the air.
I try not to write about it too often here, but the depths of my passion for this plane and her mission can be found on my other blog, aviationguy.com.
For those of you who have been in the military you are likely familiar with the helpfulness of personnelists. Having served in two branches, and worked a lot with a third I am going to assume all four are the same.
For those of you who may not be familiar, the personnel office is often the least helpful office on an entire base. They have extremely complex processes for things that should be simple. They have unusual hours that always seem to involve being closed for training on the day you really need their help. They are generally a major pain in the butt.
Now this is not a complaining blog so let me get to the point. Over the last couple of days I have been blessed with some incredibly helpful people. They have broken from their normal procedures to try and help me with my unique situation, and they deserve credit where it is due.
It still remains to be seen if I will actually get what I need taken care of in time, but I am grateful for the people who have done their part to be helpful. It is not always a common occurrence these days, but it never goes unnoticed by me.
Lots of units in the military have all different types of traditions when it comes to saying goodbye to people. Because this happens so often in the military, it is an important part of building unity and cohesiveness.
In our squadron, the tradition is to have a patch hanging when people leave. It is an opportunity for anyone who wants to tell funny or inspiring stories about the person who is leaving, and then they take their name patch off their uniform and hang it on the wall where it will hang forever.
It is a great time to laugh and think about all of the great times you had together as a squadron family. As someone that does not drink alcohol the stories about me were very take but greatly appreciated.
It really sucks that I am having to leave a year earlier than planned, but now that it is here I am ready for the next chapter. As I hung my patch today it was really weird to be the one standing up there saying goodbye.
I had some amazing experiences here, and met even more incredible people that influenced me in so many ways. My life has changed more in these last two years than in any other two years before now, and I am so grateful for these changes.
It is definitely bitter sweet to be saying goodbye, but I will forever be grateful for the memories.