My story may not be all that interesting. I recently retired from the Colorado Air National Guard after 25+ years of service. I started later in age with my military career; however, I convinced my son to join our Wing, before graduating high school, to utilize the GI Bill and Tuition Assistance for college, which he did. He served ten years as enlisted Crew Chief on F-16s after Desert Storm, and after college graduation, received a officer’s commission as a Navigator for active-duty Air Force. Although my career was mostly as a monthly Traditional Guard member, it picked up substantially after 9-11, and I subsequently volunteered for three deployments, each to different countries in the Middle East, for Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
My son, however, has deployed numerous times to various countries since Desert Storm, and I see him seldomly since he transferred to AD and currently stationed in Texas. It seemed over the past six years that either I, or he, was deployed during major family/holiday get-togethers.
But on my deployment in 2005, he was also stationed in another country in the ME, and my deployed squadron commander knew that my son was concurrently at another Air Base. One day my commander surprised me with the opportunity to travel to my son’s deployed base in conjunction with official business. After only two hours notice, another unit member and I boarded a C-130 to deliver material to my son’s base for maintenance, and we were required to wait another two days for completion of the maintenance before returning to our home base.
Consequently, my son and I had traveled half-way around the world for a brief reunion (because of his duty schedule), when we only lived several states away in the U.S. Circumstances for my retirement in August allowed him to attend and participate for which I’m grateful. He’s scheduled for another deployment next April and will undoubtedly have more through the following years until his retirement. Needless to say, but I’m a very proud father for his personal accomplishments and dedication, and will proudly display my Blue Star flag during his continuing service!