Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11 Years Ago Today

11 years ago today I took an oath that forever altered the course of my life. No other 15 seconds in my lifetime had a bigger impact on the direction my life took. I raised my right hand and said:
I, Ellyn, /// DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR /// THAT I WILL SUPPORT & DEFEND /// THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES /// AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, /// THAT I WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH ///AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME, /// AND THAT I WILL OBEY THE ORDERS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES /// AND THE ORDERS OF THE OFFICERS APPOINTED OVER ME, /// ACCORDING TO REGULATIONS /// AND THE UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE--/// SO HELP ME GOD
As I stood there and said the words so many before me had said my heart pounded like never before. I was so afraid of what lie ahead. But I knew I was supposed to be there at that time and in that place. I knew what I was doing was important. It wasn't going to be easy but the best things often aren't. I thought of my parents standing at the back of the room. I could feel their pride all the way up where I was. I knew they were a little scared too. They stood there and watched as I became an adult.
Three days later I called them on Thanksgiving Day a blubbered like a baby. I think I ruined Thanksgiving that year. Sorry guys.
Since that day I have had an opportunity to travel to places and do things I never would have imagined before. The units I have been associated with have done good things all over the globe. I got the opportunity to play a small part in those things. For that I am so thankful.
While I no longer have a direct affiliation I still feel a small swell of pride when I hear of the great things that our military is doing. I think I will always miss my Air Force days. It was a way of life. Everywhere you went, you had a built in support system. I will always miss the comradely of being a part of something bigger than myself.
No, I didn't they didn't let me fly these. I did get to sit in one though. That was pretty cool.

I took care of survival equipment. Pretty much all the gear you saw in Top Gun was stuff I worked on. But they did it all wrong in Hollywood. Ask me sometime. I will tell you about it. Just to clarify, I didn't work on the gear on the set of Top Gun. I was eight when that movie came out. And I still would have done a better job than Hollywood did. You weren't confused, were you?
Oh how I kick myself now for making all of my big pictures little back when I had a smaller hard drive. It makes for some pretty grainy memories.

5 comments:

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

My dad was Army, although he had gone into the Reserves by the time I came along. He, like you, was so proud to have served. My aunt, his sister, was a WAC in the 1940's. THANK YOU for taking on such a huge responsibility...that is SOME oath!

Gina said...

Neat Pictures, Thank you for your service! :) Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Weezee said...

We were proud of you that day too Ellyn and a little scared for you. It was really a thrill for me to be there when you were sworn in. Thanks for your service and I was glad to do my part to condition you for boot camp....maggot spit!

Sesn said...

11 years, that was a long time ago... you are getting old.

Rosezilla said...

Oh, cool! And thank you for serving. My father-in-law was career Air Force, so my hubby has lots of stories.