Retirement from the U.S. Air Force

After 24 Years

     This is one of those things that eventually happens to everyone in the military ... time to leave.  For some, that may only be a four year enlistment.  In my case, it spanned 24 years ... five Presidents, three aircraft and over 8,000 flying hours.

     This page will chronicle my journey through retirement -- TRANSITION, as the Air Force calls it.  It starts with preparing to leave, my retirement ceremony, and making that move to civilian life.  It will include job and house hunting.  Watch it unfold here.


Chief Enlisted Aircrew Wings


Click on any picture to enlarge

Snow Storm - December 6-8, 2003

     The northeast was treated to a heavy 1-2 punch storm, as a cold front from the west combined with a nor'easter from the south to dump over a foot of snow on us.  This was the first snow storm of the winter season, and it came in with a bang.

We received 14 inches by storm's end

The view from our upstairs window at the height of the storm

Virgin snow ... no footprints or shoveling yet

The front yard and street

I guess we're not having steaks tonight

Where's the BBQ grill?


A cornice on the shed roof

I don't think we need to worry about using the air conditioner

Storage shed and AC

Fun just trying to get a door open

Digging the 4Runner out

When I'm stuck inside due to snow with way too much time on my hands

Reenactor Humor


Family Arrives - December 17, 2003

The family enjoys lunch

Kristy & Peggy chat

Diane reads

Bill & Peggy

Mom & Sis clown around

Kristy and her parents


Retirement Ceremony - December 19, 2003
You can see the snow flurries frozen in the picture

Retirement day has arrived

Matt & Peggy sing the National Anthem

The posting of the colors

Wayne provided an inspirational invocation

Dave the Emcee looks on

Tom delivered a wonderful speech

Awarding the Meritorious Service Medal

Letters of congratulations

The retirement certificate and letter from President Bush

Kristy gets her certificate of appreciation

... only 650+ hours late

Tom gives James his last milestone award - 7,500 hours

The signed squadron lithograph

... and shadow box

E.T. does the flag ceremony

Family looks on

... with Bret

Each fold was crisp and sharp

The final salute

The former A1C Ann Merrill Whitney

Mom posts the retirement orders

Kristy affixes the retirement pin

HUZZAH's all the way around

Mom puts on the REAL retirement pin

RETIRED ... other than that winter at Valley Forge, it was a breeze

Can you read it?

The incredible 7 page speech

Giving flowers to Mom

... flowers to Diane

Flowers to Kristy

... and balloons

... and a coin for David

The crowd is happy the speech is finally over

Family photo

... and the extended family

Gathering for food

Citation to accompany the award of the Meritorious Service Medal

The Citation for the Meritorious Service Medal

The retirement cake


Christmas at Washington's Crossing - December 25, 2003

Panoramic of the swollen Delaware River

Ted is part of Washington's honor guard

Diane dons period duds

My former commander shows up with his family

The Durham boats stand ready

Washington addresses the troops

The oarsmen

Firing the cannon

A nice place for a Christmas snack

Take a nap at Denny's


Visit to U.S.S. Constellation - December 26, 2003

     After Christmas was over, Diane and I took a side trip to Baltimore to see the U.S.S. Constellation.  It is a Civil War era sailing ship, and the last full-sailed ship made for the U.S. Navy.


Picture showing the whole ship's rigging

Model of the ship

... without planking

Firing the noon gun

Looking Forward

The ship's wheel

The gun deck

Gun deck looking towards the bow

The Captain's area

The Captain's room

The hold

Able Seaman Davies

Top o' the Main Mast

Cannon from the outside

The ship from the other side of the dock

Preparing to fire the afternoon gun


The concussion shook the windows and blurred the photo

FIRE !!!


Finding a new home in Pennsylvania - January 2004


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