Okay class, are you ready for a wowzer?????
I was anxious about responding but I read the following quotes by Mr. Gabriel Garcia Marques, a Latin American writer and I became motivated.
"Nobody would remember you if you keep your thoughts to yourself. Force yourself to express them."
"To the old, I would show them how death comes not with the ageing process but with forgetting."
That does not mean that I want to just type a narrative of words. So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, I'm about to set a record.
As I look back by Tom McCay.Chapter 1
As I look back.why was there ever a question of "what am I going to do with my life"?
Just look at all of this military uniform influence from my dad in 1943 - 1946
I wondered why I liked uniforms as a kid.
At St. Martha's, I wore a uniform along with some of our other classmates.
June Shanaberger, Richard Hicks, Tina Cristiani, Dan Senecal, Joy Meyerhoffer, Karen Goldsworthy, Kathy Otto, John Mosher, Eileen Daugherty, Mel Walter, Mike Kelly
I liked everything that had a uniform.
At the University of Florida, I continued to join groups that wore "uniforms".
Then there was this "love at first sight" incident with Kathy Egan in 1962, who would become my wife, in 1965, for 39 years until she died suddenly in 2004.
She liked uniforms too!
Kathy's dad and brother were both in the military brother was career Navy.
After we both graduated, we married in 1965.
I/we entered the U.S. Air Force
We earned an Air Force Officer's Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant (my dad was there as a retired Lt. Colonel). and earned Air Force pilot wings
We raised three boys, (I tried the "uniform" thing on them but it didn't take)
During a 23 year Air Force flying career for me and a life-long teaching career for Kathy. I earned an MBA degree and flew the:
F-4 fighter in Viet Nam, the B-52 bomber, the KC-135 air refueling tanker, was an instructor pilot in the T-37 and had a minuteman missile, crew commander tour and a tour at the Pentagon.
Retired from active duty with the rank of a full Colonel
Viet Nam 1968 Last flight 1989
First and last official, uniform, photos from active duty
So, I followed proudly in my dad's footsteps. We both served, at some time, as Captains in different wars.
After retirement from active duty, I earned an Airline Transport Pilot license and flew 4 years for McDonnell-Douglas as an Instructor Pilot; teaching, uniformed, Navy pilots to fly their new E-6B, which was basically a 707 with big, new engines.
Then I taught Air Force Junior ROTC in high school for 14 years.
I also supervised the entire program, which was in six schools, for the school district.
I also served as an assistant principal at my home campus.
It was a terrific, natural, follow- on second career that was completely fulfilling.
I wanted to help kids like my early teachers helped me. (Sister Irma and Coach Heath at St. Martha's and all of my other coaches and teachers)
The school district bestowed upon me "The Order of the Sword", made me an "honorary general", and put my name on the JROTC building when I retired in 2008.
There are many fond memories: The cadets with the top 4 star general of the Air Force
Colin Powell agreed to come and speak to my cadets. We worked together at the Pentagon.
Colonel Howard with me and my instructors after he talked to our cadets.
First and last Air Force Junior ROTC, uniform, photos 1994-2008
Kathy was taken from us too early (age 61); ladies, get your heart checkups!
But, she did see two sons graduate from college. Then, she got to spend time with three of her grandkids. The twins and Chase .
I had run two marathons; one in 1982 and one in 1984... and then, none for 20 years.
In 2004, son Todd suggested that we run the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of Kathy, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. So we did!
And I started running again. Now, I've run 9 more marathons.the last one was the 2010 Houston Marathon.
I also met my new love. Ursula has run 25 marathons; we ran one together (picture below)
She usually wins in her age group. I don't! (picture below)
Ursula is a German born lawyer and college professor. She has shown me the beauty of her homeland and France and Hungary. She went to the Gators championship game with me. And tolerates my Gator fanaticism She was with me at my Air Force Junior ROTC retirement in 2008 aAnd she continues to hang in there with me (2010).
Now for a seemingly requisite section in all biographies and Facebook pages: Favorite TV shows: (No surprises here) JAG; NCIS; The Unit; MI 5; Criminal Minds; Burn Notice; China Beach (Surprises) Two and a Half Men; Oprah; Family Ties;
What do I do 'now -a -days'? Visited my Viet Nam roommate; ran a race together; won 1st and 2nd places; still fast; PRICELESS!
With grandkids; if "uniform" influence won't work, maybe "airplanes"?
My Dad and Mom both lived to the age of 86. I hope to live longer and to continue to serve and give back.
CHAPTER 2: Next?
If you want to see video of what I am so proud of: (use these links)