Tag Archives: memories

Favorite fan going-away gifts, redeployment mementos

By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

FB-post-giftsLast month, we asked you to share your most unforgettable going-away gifts or redeployment mementos, and you came through in grand fashion. We received more than 200 comments on our Facebook page with people sharing everything from plaques and retirement shadow boxes to custom, handmade keepsakes. Each item tells a unique story that connects an Airman with their flight, squadron, base and Air Force heritage. These particular gifts caught our eye. Do any of them spark a memory from your own military career?

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Best BMT moments

By Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Basic military training is the first step for every enlisted Airman’s career; it transforms you from a civilian into a military member. Many may remember seeing Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s “Gateway to the Air Force” sign or the buzzing sound of that first haircut. We asked our Facebook followers to share their top BMT moments and received over 1,000 comments! Do any of these bring back memories?

Bill Thomas- In 1968, giving blood during week 3 for the wounded of the Tet Offensive. Seconnd best memory is the perfect score on rifle range, but that’s expected of an East Tennessee Ridgerunner.
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2013 marked by Airmen’s unwavering will and perseverance

By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Although 2013 seemed to go by quickly, it was packed with memorable events and milestones including many from the Air Force. The year began with us welcoming a senior leader to guide us, and it draws to a close with a new secretary of the Air Force and assurance from our leaders that we will face future uncertainty together.

While the effects of sequestration continue to take their toll on our people and resources, our Airmen and civilians made 2013 memorable through their unwavering perseverance to accomplish the mission. There were many key events that deserved recognition, but we narrowed the field down to the events that showcase air power as well as the spirit and resiliency of our Airmen. What are some Air Force moments you remember of 2013?


CMSAF Roy's retirement and transition ceremony(U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Varhegyi/Released)

Air Force welcomes 17th CMSAF
The year had an exciting beginning as Chief Master Sgt. James A. Cody became the Air Force’s 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force on Jan. 24. Cody has made development of the enlisted force, professional military education and taking care of Airmen and their families his top priorities.


Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley Farewell Tribute(U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash/Released)

22nd SECAF steps down
Another milestone occurred when Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley stepped down June 21. Donley spent five years as the Air Force’s top civilian and became the longest-serving secretary of the Air Force. Donley’s legacy includes the establishment of a new acquisition process improvement plan and was pivotal in standing-up 24th Air Force, which maintains the service’s cyber mission. After Donley’s retirement, Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning assumed the role until Dec. 20, when Deborah Lee James was sworn in to become the 23rd secretary of the Air Force.


131110-F-QE915-683(Courtesy photo/Released)

Doolittle Raiders honored with final toast
One of the most memorable events of 2013 occurred on Nov. 9 when we honored the Doolittle Raiders’ final toast at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Three of the four living Doolittle Tokyo Raiders attended the ceremony: retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole, the copilot of Aircraft No. 1; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, the engineer-gunner of Aircraft No. 7; and Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, the engineer-gunner of Aircraft No. 7. The fourth living Doolittle Raider, retired Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, the copilot of Aircraft No. 16, could not attend the ceremony due to health issues.

The 80 silver goblets used during the ceremony were presented to the Raiders in 1959 by the city of Tucson, Ariz. The Raiders’ names are engraved twice, the second upside-down, so when one passes their names are always raised high. During the ceremony, Air Force Academy cadets donned white-gloves and poured a bottle of 1896 Cognac into the participants’ goblets. Those of the deceased were turned upside-down. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III summed up the ceremony best when he said, “They hate to hear this, but Jimmy Doolittle and his Raiders are truly lasting American heroes, but they are also Air Force heroes. They pioneered the concept of global strike … the idea that no target on earth is safe from American air power.”


121022-F-WU210-003(Courtesy photo/Released)

RPA reach 2 million hours
A key milestone for the Air Force’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft program occurred on Oct. 22, 2013, when the service’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper accumulated 2 million flight hours. The RPA program began in the mid-1990s, and it took 16 years to reach 1 million hours and only two and a half years to double the flight hours.


Spangdahlem launches final A-10 sortie in Europe(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Pomeroy /Released)

A-10 flies last tactical sortie in Europe
Another 2013 moment occurred when the Air Force launched its final A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie in Europe at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2013. The airframe belonged to the 52nd Fighter Wing’s 81st Fighter Squadron, which inactivated in June. The development of the A-10 as a close-air-support aircraft is in direct relation to anticipated enemy tank defenses along the Fulda Gap, which was a prime route for potential tank movements from Eastern Europe into central Germany during the Cold War. Even though the Warthogs went unused during the Cold War, they were battle tested in contingency operations worldwide.


IMG_4978(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Tara Islas/Released)

USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob
Last, but not least, we want to include an entertaining event that went viral in December. Starting with a single cellist in the middle of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery and swelling to 120 musicians, the U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors Dec. 3 with the first flash mob to be produced by one of the five military branches’ top bands. The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World,” and the video received global recognition on the band’s YouTube channel, receiving more than 2.1 million views.

As you can see, it was quite an amazing year for the Air Force and our Airmen serving around the world to defend our freedom. While our numbers and missions will change, our Airmen will always stay focused on accomplishing the Air Force’s key missions and priorities.



Honoring my father


U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Dick

By Staff Sgt Amanda Dick
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As it’s Father’s Day, I wanted to take the time to write about my father and how I honored him. I’ve pretty much known nothing but the military my whole life.

I was born into this world in Georgia at a U.S. Army medical facility. From the time I was 8 months old, I’ve been moving around.

As a little girl, I remember watching my dad put on his Army uniform and go to work. Several times, we took him dinner when he had to work overnight. I remember going to several Christmas parties at his work, and they always had gifts for the kids.

I grew up on his Meals-Ready-to-Eat, and loved chewing the gum and eating the dessert out of it.

Did you know military gear has a distinct smell to it? I do! Growing up around that smell has sort of made the military a “comfort zone” for me. Whenever I walk into a military issue shop and smell the military gear, it takes me back to being a kid again, and I’m instantly wrapped up in warmth – the same goes for watching football on Sundays.

My father was gone a lot – whether out in the field or on temporary duty to Australia or other locations. Despite that, he was always able to make it to every basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball game I had – home or away.

When he was in Korea my senior year of high school, he came back on his mid-tour during Christmas and worked it so he could be there for my graduation in May.

Then-U.S. Army Private 1st Class Michael Dick and Cynthia Dick When I had major surgery in 2009, he took short-notice vacation from his job in the postal service to come over to Germany and take care of me. He showed us that family mattered to him; that we were a top priority.

My father has always been there for us – even during trying times! He’s never been afraid to show us or tell us that he loves us.

Through his 20 years of military service to the U.S., he showed us how to work hard and be dedicated– he joined in 1982 and retired in 2002. Throughout my life, the military has been a constant – it’s also one of the reasons I feel a continuous need to move after just a couple years in one spot.

Watching the passion my dad had for serving his country sparked the same passion in me. That’s why in January 2006, I joined the U.S. Air Force. While my dad would have loved if I joined the Army, I figured since the Air Force used to be part of the Army, I’d still be “keeping it in the family.”

Among the many reasons I joined, I wanted to start a tradition of military legacy in our family. I wanted to honor my father by having one of his children join the military – it’s only me and my sister. I wanted to have pride in what I was doing in my life.

To me, my father is the greatest man in the world – my military superhero. We learned valuable lessons from him and my mother that I hope to pass on one day to any children I may have. So, Michael Dick, Happy Father’s Day from a daughter who thinks you mean the world to her!

Photos: (Top) Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Dick waits for the air show to begin in August 2008, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Dick served in the Army for 20 years, retiring in 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick)
(Bottom) Then-U.S. Army Private 1st Class Michael Dick and Cynthia Dick take a couples photo while Michael is on Christmas leave from Army basic training in December 1982. Michael joined the Army in 1982 and served until 2002, completing 20 years of military service. (Courtesy photo)