Feeling Useful Makes Life so Much Better

The last couple months has pretty really tough on me because I haven’t felt real useful at work.  I couldn’t fly and I didn’t have access to computer drives and such to be able to do other work.  

But this last week has been so much better.  Obviously I got to fly, which makes everything in life better, but I also have been more useful in some of the other admin stuff around the squadron.

I always prefer flying to paperwork, but I also understand the importance of paperwork for the smooth flow of such an operation.  I feel like I have actually earned my paycheck this week, which is not something I have been able to say for awhile.

It is always nice to get paid so you can take care of your family, but it is so much more fulfilling when you feel like you actually earned it.


One PT Test Closer to Retirement

Like many things in life, exercise is one of those things that loses its appeal when I am forced to do it.  Such is the case with the PT test that I am required to do for the Air Force.

Mostly I just hate the run because I have never been a strong distance runner.  There was a time that I was a fine sprinter so things like playing basketball or soccer I have always enjoyed, though as I get older I notice that I have lost a step.

Today was my PT test and I am super glad that I passed.  I actually am really proud of myself because I had the best run time I have had in years.  I was actually quite surprised since I am about 4,000 feet higher in altitude here than I was in Japan.  

The only thing I could think was the drier air and that it is a little cooler.  I also think it helps that I am quite happy here.  I got to fly last night which made me even happier, and I am just generally happy.

I really think that positive attitude had an impact and I look forward to doing even better next time.

It’s Great to See an Old Friend

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.

Veterans Day is a Day to Remember

Growing up Veteran’s Day was always just a day off school for me, and I never really thought anything of it, I am a little ashamed to say.  I would say it is because I didn’t know any veterans, but my dad is one so there goes that theory.

While I have known for quite some time the purpose of the day, I don’t think I fully appreciated it until I joined the military myself.  That was in the days before social media so I don’t think I was in the minority when it came to my feelings about the day.

Having now served in the military for 14 years, holy crap I can’t believe it has been that long, I have gained a much deeper appreciation for all branches of the military, all of those who have served honorably, and the importance of our allied partners.  Many of them are also remembering those who served this weekend.

There truly is no contribution so small that it is not deserving of recognition.  All who served honorably, no matter the duration or location, took an oath to defend the Constitution of this great nation, and to stand up to those who would try to take away our freedoms.

I have had the privilege of serving with so many of those honorable men and women over the last 14 years, and I can honestly say that each of them changed my life in some way.  In some cases they taught me what I didn’t want to do, but that has more to do with different styles than a lack of commitment to serve.

I have also known a few people who volunteered to serve but for a number of different reasons were never able to do so.  I also hold these people in high regard for their willingness of heart even if their physical body would not allow them the opportunity.

While not all of us have the opportunity to serve in uniform, we all have a responsibility to those who have gone before.  I have talked before about living and enjoying the freedoms others died for, but I feel it is increasingly important for each of us to fight for those freedoms in any way we are asked.  

The power of each individual has become stronger than at any other time in our history.  Each of us who enjoy freedom have the responsibility to defend that freedom, even for those we don’t agree with, and maybe even especially for them.  This country was founded by great men and women who saw important issues very differently, but who understood the value in those differences and the strength they could provide.

As we honor those who have served and who currently serve, may we all take a moment to look inside and ask ourselves what we are doing to defend those same freedoms in our own little corner of the world, and may we resolve to do our part in ensuring those freedoms will remain long after we are gone.

Happy Birthday Marines

Being a Marine is one of the great honors of my life.

On this day that we celebrate the birth of our beloved Corps I can’t help but think back on all of the great memories I have of that time.  It was filled with frustration and struggle and challenges that I never expected to face, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

It shaped so much of who I am not only as a leader but as a person.  It gave me a very small understanding of what it takes to keep our country, and dozens of others, free.  It taught me that great people exist everywhere, and that anyone can exceed your expectations.

It even led me to write a book, 7 years later, something I had always wanted to do.  

This is the one weekend a year that I miss being in the Marine Corps terribly.  I miss my brothers in arms and the good laughs that we always had.   

Happy birthday Marines! The world is a safer place because of you.

Something That Made Me Go Wow

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.

I’m Happy Just Being Around Planes

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.