Observations from my weekly wanderings, usually in Northern Virginia (NOVA).
Yeah, NOVA is usually on Saturday. I imagine the reason for the change from the regularly scheduled programming is obvious.
I’m a veteran. I’m certain many reading this will thank me, and I will be humbly appreciative, but TRULY it isn’t necessary. My country doesn’t owe me anything. It was a privilege to serve.
My adjutant and myself at my retirement, May 2007.
As a very small token, to thank those who served before me, with me, and after me, I offer the following image of The Prayer at Valley Forge painting by Arnold Friberg.
I am grateful that during my time, I served under a few leaders who, like General Washington were known to commend…the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them into His Holy keeping.
During my career I was privileged to serve in several multi-national command (in strict military lingo these are Combined Commands): NATO and NORAD. I am thankful for the service of foreign colleagues, but most specifically acknowledge my Canuck comrades. For them, I offer the poem High Flight by British-American John Gillespie Magee Jr. who died serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
This poem is often read at services for downed airmen.
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."