But just a few months after our wedding Andy's grandfather, who had spent his life in the military, passed away. A few days later while we were getting dressed for his funeral we turned on the TV and watched an airplane fly into the second tower. September 11, 2001. Andy insisted that his grandfather would have put his uniform back on and said, "How can I help?" Andy said it for him.
He spent our first Christmas in Basic training, and we have never looked back.
Some of our travels include:
Basic Training, Lackland AFB, TX
Technical Training, Shepherd AFB, TX
First duty station, Beale AFB, CA Crew Chief on U-2 "Dragon lady" Airplane
April 2002- April 2005
Deployed- Undisclosed location, Spring 2004
Osan AB, S Korea, Worked Debriefing pilots after flights
May 2005-May 2006,
Pope AFB, NC Crew Chief on A-10 "Warthog" Airplane
May 2006- Sept 2007,
Deployed - Iraq, Spring 2007
Sunset in Iraq
Abraham's Oasis, beauty in the middle of the desert
They made use of facilities that were already there, so this is what you call a very tight fit...
You didn't want to have that tow job!
Moody AFB, GA
Sept 2007-Dec 2010
Deployed - Afghanistan, Spring/Summer 2009
Sunrise in Afghanistan
Andy wanted to share this one...
Yes, they caught it, tied a string to it, and played with it.
Don't ask. Men are beyond comprehension.
There are several little TDY's mixed in there. A couple weeks in Vegas, NV, several in Yuma, Arizona, and even several weeks in Thailand. He stays on the go, but always comes home eventually!
After lots of prayer, and waiting and finally some absolute confirmation from God we left the Blue behind, and joined the Green.
In Feb 2011 Andy had his last day in the USAF and immediately following, his first day in the United States Army.
After three months of intense training, of the body, mind and spirit as well, he graduated from OTS at Ft. Benning, GA and officially became an Officer in the United States Army.
Through all the training I believe his goal remained the same: to become the kind of leader that will be respected because they earn it. The kind of leader that he respected most during his time as an enlisted service member. I love him for that. For remembering what is important.
We were able to join him for his next set of training, at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, for four months of 2011. During this move was when I wrote one of my favorite stories of "military life", and how it makes me slightly lose my mind.
Andy stopped back at Ft. Benning for Airborne school - three weeks in and out - and he didn't lose his mind. His lifelong fear of heights is still there I suppose, but jumping out of the plane is his job, and he did it. I think deep down inside he enjoyed it!
Ft. Bragg, NC. Nov 2011 -Dec 2014
Deployed - Afghanistan, Aug 2013- April 2014
Ft Leonard Wood, MO. Jan 2015-
Some of my favorite "emotional" moments through out this journey:
Camo - Pre-afghanistan, the first time around
Laundry on the Line - loving a grease monkey
Where are we going? - Not becoming an officer
It's Raining, It's Pouring - Becoming an officer
Fresh, clean socks - Afghanistan, the second time