Friday, April 2, 2010

We'll Follow the Old Man: Lt. Col. Kelvin Kupfer

Twenty-three years ago, my dad joined the air force with two young kids and one on the way (me!!). Almost half of my life was spent on a rural military base. Up until I was twelve, the air force was all I knew. I didn't know people went grocery shopping anywhere else than the commissary. I thought everyone had miles of land to run around in their backyard. (In New York, we even had our own mini-forest and creek.) I thought everyone knew what the BX was. I thought F18s and other aircraft flew everywhere. (I know that's an old model now. They were new back then.) I thought every film in movie theaters started with the national anthem. (I actually got mad at everyone for not standing up in my first civilian movie experience.) Since we moved to Arizona, my dad has used his vacation time from his civilian job to work for the air force and NASA tracking satellites and doing a lot of other awesome things. (He is so awesome that he has to get special clearance to leave the country to make sure he won't give away confidential secrets!)

On April 2, today, my dad retired from the air force as a lieutenant colonel. I have always been my dad's military baby, and although it has been years since I set foot an air force base, I have to admit that while I am so happy that he will be able to use his vacation time for just that, his retirement is rather bittersweet for me. But my joy for him far exceeds any nostalgia.

My dad is a great example of quiet service, sacrifice, love, and patriotism. I am so grateful to him, and I am thrilled that he gets to have his own moment in the spotlight. I'm proud of you, Daddy!

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