On this Memorial Day, we take time to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I severed in the Air Force for over 17 years, but I somehow feel undeserving of the “Thanks for Your Service” that I receive. I wonder if I deserve it, if I did enough.
See, I served during peacetime. Sure, we had our alerts in Germany each time Muammar al-Qaddafi and Libya caused trouble in Europe. And, I took the same Pan-Am flight, that went down over Lockerbie, a month later out of Frankfort when I left. It was the first time I saw the gates closed to loved ones who took you to the airport for your flight.
I missed out on things; things going on with my family at home, whenever I met someone surely I or he had orders, so I missed out on family life and children, and I missed out on 80s pop-culture (maybe that’s ok though!)
But what I didn’t miss was teaching our younger troops. When it comes to Accounting & Finance, the goal was to balance! Balance your ledger! Balance your funds! But I taught them to stay alive, how to wear their gas masks, how to drag a bag (even though Chief Gonzalez thought it was too much!), and how to recognize chemical agents. OK, I taught them how to balance too, but my quote is “it doesn’t matter if you balance if you’re dead! Stay alive, bundle your papers and get them on the next plane out.”
I didn’t serve in war, but I taught the younger ones how to serve, how to stay alive, that their fight was just that-make it home. So me and my peacetime veterans served… served as a bridge of knowledge that had to be passed on to the next generation of Air Force Accounting & Finance professionals. Thank you for your service, all you Peacetime Veterans! I love you brothers and sisters!