Monday, May 27, 2013

Today's Photo Journal: A family business...

It's Memorial Day, and one of those times when I get a little misty-eyed about military service and the way it's defined our lives.  Our military ties influence every aspect of our home, where Airman is a term for both Daddy and Momma, and we've been blessed to know many other couples who've turned military service into a family business.
A rare photo of SuperHusband and I on duty together, posing with The Gambler in front of a C-5 Galaxy...Kenny Rogers confessed later to SH that he thinks I'm a bad driver.  In my defense, your honor, the gentleman had just had back surgery and Dover AFB has lots of speed bumps.

Fair warning:  The photos here are only loosely tied to the posting.  Sometimes I'm a little schizophrenic.  Whatever.  Just enjoy both...?  :)

In front of the old Russian control tower at Bagram (2011)

A few months ago, my lovely and talented friend Julie, a fellow Airman at the time and mom-blogger, invited me to do a guest posting on her blog.  Julie's husband, Martin, was prepping to go to Air Force basic training, and she invited me to share a story relevant to this time in their lives.

I didn't excel at the whole "basic training" thing.  Which end of this goes on my face again?

Let me start by giving you a little background on Julie and Martin:  First, Martin has been in the military before -- the German military. Julie was an active duty Air Force Airman stationed overseas when they met and fell in love.  Two little girls and a baby boy later, Julie is now a civil servant and Martin has taken the lead at home with the kids.

Military travel doesn't always involve hardship duty...I've spent a fair amount of time in Germany, too.

We affectionately referred to this deployed location as "Sandals Doha."  I hear it's even nicer now.  This was our only deployment to the same location.  We had a month overlap, worked on different shifts and were relegated to different compounds.  We saw each other only three or four times over midnight chow and spent two days out.  We were thrilled!

But once the bug of military service bites you, it's hard to let go.  Martin decided he wanted to join the military again, but this time, he joined the U.S. Air Force.

Not every deployed location is a garden spot, but they're all amazing to see.  One wing of this Baghdad palace was under construction...

As you can imagine, with so much diversity packed in one family, they're an incredibly dynamic couple, and their blog chronicles an exciting, adventure-filled home.  So in case you missed it above, you can find that posting here, and you can link to Julie and Martin in the right hand sidebar of this blog any time!

The other one was a shambles.  (I'm pretty sure the wing safety officer wouldn't have approved of this photo.)

About a month ago, Martin GRADUATED from basic training.  (If this video doesn't make you a little teary, you should seek counseling.)

...And just so you know, he proved me right.  (You'll understand when you read the posting.)

It's hard to find pictures of SH in action.  He's camera-shy, and we were rarely working in the same place. 

As of last week, Julie officially separated from the Air Force.  She boasts many talents and a true heart; she will be deeply missed by her colleagues.  Thanks, Julie, for the time you dedicated, the lives you improved and the risks you took to be a part of this brotherhood, where "brother" is genderless term.

And thank you to all who serve -- whether in the military or as a first responder -- and to their families.  Thank you to those who have suffered for our freedom.  And in particular, thank you to those who have given the last greatest gift.