For the past nine years, the United States Air Force has filled the better part of my adult life. In late October of this year after wearing the uniform for nearly 3,500 days, I will wear it proudly for the final time. From Basic Cadet Training at the United States Air Force Academy in the summer of 2003 to Arizona, Afghanistan, Boston, and just about everywhere else, the Air Force has become a part of who I am and has helped me grow and mature as a leader, man, and husband.
reflection, I suppose I owe everything in my life to God and the Air Force. In a way, I feel like the Air Force has given
me much more than I ever gave back to her.
It led me to my wife, my dream of playing college hockey, a world-class education,
top-notch training, vast amounts of experience and responsibility, the best
friends a guy could ever wish for, and a much greater appreciation for the freedoms
we enjoy as Americans.
In the end,
however, active duty service has given me everything except the one thing it
cannot give me--control of my life and my family. Through four years of marriage, I have seen
my wife less than two years. My deepest
fear is that I will look back on my life and wonder why I put my career ahead
of my family. At the end of my life, I
do not think I will ever say, "I wish I would have worked more and seen my
family less." It is finally time
for me to act on this conviction.
Thank you for
entrusting me to lead incredible young men and women around the globe. Although I was not perfect, I promise you that
it was not for a lack of effort. My only
real goals as an officer were to take care of my troops, work hard, be
positive, and have fun. I think we did it
all and more. Any special recognition I
ever received was because of the efforts of my troops and anything that went
horribly wrong, I humbly accept all responsibility for coming up short.
thanks to my wife, Danielle, for putting up with the deployment, various TDYs,
and my stubbornness at times. To past
and present mentors, supervisors, co-workers, colleagues, and troops, I thank
you all for everything. In all
seriousness and from the bottom of my heart, it has been the highest honor of
my life to serve this great country as an officer in the United States Air