We just traveled the long drive back to CO, but this time as a family, to celebrate S’s official retirement ceremony from the Air Force.  We stayed with friends and saw other friends, which was really neat as we’ve never really been able to travel back to a place after we’ve left.  In addition, S’s brother from South Korea flew in, S’s mother came, and my brother and parents all came for the big culmination of S’s incredible career in the AF.

S retired as a Lt. Col (0-5).  The retirement speech and certificate was presented by Full General Gene Renuart (ret), a wonderful example of a man who was and is a great leader, both in the AF and in life.  We also got to spend time with his wife, Jill, a good friend from S’s days when he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

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Presenting of the Colors

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The official certificate, relieving S of his military duty

The presentation of the flag and the medals and ranks S wore throughout his career.   This was actually a fun surprise that involved a lot of coordinated efforts.  S knew he was getting the flag, flown on several of "his" aircraft.  What he didn't know until it was presented was that the flag was originally flown over the nation's capital and presented to my father for his service in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm war.  My father wanted to give it to S, so he mailed it to our friend heading the whole thing up, who then got it flown on several of S's career aircraft.  Thus, this flag has quite a story to tell!

The presentation of the flag and the medals and ranks S wore throughout his career. This was actually a fun surprise that involved a lot of coordinated efforts. S knew he was getting the flag, flown on several of “his” aircraft. What he didn’t know until it was presented was that the flag was originally flown over the nation’s capital and presented to my father for his service in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm war. My father wanted to give it to S, so he mailed it to our friend heading the whole thing up, who then got it flown on several of S’s career aircraft. Thus, this flag has quite a story to tell!

A quick moment with old friends, the General and his wife.

A quick moment with old friends, the General and his wife.

My mom managed to capture a quick family photo during all the chaos of the afternoon....well, almost.  M was missing.

My mom managed to capture a quick family photo during all the chaos of the afternoon….well, almost. M was missing.

There's M!

There’s M!

Father and daughter....my dad and I.

Father and daughter….my dad and I.

Grandpa and grandsons, saluting the flag.

Grandpa and grandsons, saluting the flag.

A big hit of the event was the official retirement cake, to celebrate and symbolize S’s leaving of one career to begin another:

S's retirement cake.  Representing the Red Wattle hogs he had butchered a couple weeks prior, and his new career as a farmer.  The cake was wonderful, and when you cut into it, it was chocolate with raspberry filling.

S’s retirement cake. Representing the Red Wattle hogs he had butchered a couple weeks prior, and his new career as a farmer. The cake was wonderful, and when you cut into it, it was chocolate with raspberry filling.

BUSTED!!  (I later found out Nana had a little something to do with instigating this!)

BUSTED!! (I later found out Nana had a little something to do with instigating this!)

After the ceremony, we had a catered dinner with Roast, which is intended to roast the retiree.  There were very few embarrassing stories, though, as it was clear S was a well-loved man, friend, instructor, and professional airman.  The stories of his life, as presented by others made this fact clear.  It was a great week, spent with friends and family, celebrating S’s amazing career, and we came back home to the farm with many great memories and photos!

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