Sunday, May 21, 2023

And Then He Retired From The Air Force

My husband Tom joined the Air Force in 2001. It was always his plan to join the military after High School. I didn't mind. My Mom was in the Air Force so I was used to the life of moving every few years. We got married when we were 19. We had a baby on the way. Tom had the rank of E-3 or Airman First Class thanks to being in ROTC throughout High School. 

We were stationed at the following: Offutt AFB, NE, RAF Lakenheath in England, FE Warren, Wyoming, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma..

There were many deployments in between all of that. He was gone a huge chunk of the time defending his country. 

His final base was Lackland AFB (or really, now it's called Joint Base San Antonio) as a Military Training Instructor. If your loved one joins the Air Force, he's the one yelling at them in basic training. That's him in the front in the hat leading his group.


It has been a ride. There were last minute deployments. Last minute moments when he couldn't join the family because the military always comes first. He was in Turkey for a year, came home, and was told a few months later that he'd be deploying. The Air Force will say they are the most family oriented but make no mistake, they will take their soldier whenever they please. 

I knew it was time for Tom to retire. He was getting burnt out. He's in Security Forces, or military police, and it's not an easy squadron to be apart of. Leadership isn't always the best, communication is crappy, and the hours can be rough. Being away from the family all the time and seeing your children get older and older took a toll. 

It was time for him to say goodbye. 

And so, the day of his retirement came. I got him a card with his DD214 on it--that's the retirement papers of the military. 

His retirement ceremony was held in a room at the Security Forces museum. It was fitting. 

He had a photo of his father nearby. He passed away many years ago but he wanted him to be part of the ceremony.

Tom got many awards. And then I got several awards for being supportive. It's just part of being a military wife, but I appreciated it. However, I am not one of those people who think the spouse serves as well. We don't. We're just there to support and pick up the pieces when a last minute deployment pops off. And trust me, it will happen. 

The kids also got an award for going along with the ride. It's not always easy to have to pick up and move and make new friends all over again. 

We were happy that my Mom got to be there, as well as Tom's Mom. Plus Tom's uncle from Houston, who preferred not to be photographed. 

What's next for Tom? He's not sure yet. He's taking some time off and then will start submitting his resume. When I shared photos on Instagram, people had asked if they could send something to him as a thank you for his service. He doesn't have CashApp or anything, but you can send something here and I'll give it to him. He appreciates all the kind words. 

We will be staying in Texas since we're close to my parents. (Oh, my dress is from Amazon here. It's incredibly comfy! Natalie's is from Goodwill!)

So here's to the next chapter. Whatever is supposed to happen will happen. And like we were there for him in the military, we'll be there for him now during this time of transition. 

Thank you to all who have served. It is appreciated because I know it is not an easy life. But it's one I know my husband will never regret. 


  1. Please thank him for his service! I hope the next phase in his journey is rewarding as well!

  2. Please thank your husband for his service and I wish the best for him in his well-deserved retirement. He is certainly blessed to have you by his side.

  3. It sounds like a well deserved retirement! I'm sure it will be a big change for your household!

  4. Well congratulations! This retirement sounds well deserved. Thank your husband for his service! Your son looks just like him!

  5. What a journey and such an accomplishment! Congrats on retirement!

  6. Congrats to your husband. That is a cute dress that you are wearing.

  7. Congrats to your husband and please tell him "thank you" for his service! What an accomplishment!

  8. Congratulations to your husband and family. I was a military wife for a few years and it’s not easy for sure. I can’t wait to hear about his new adventures as they come.

  9. As a wife, mom, and someone who understands the sacrifices military families make, this post resonated deeply with me. The detailed account of their journey, emotions, and future plans reminded me of the resilience and strength that military families possess. Wishing them a fulfilling and joyful retirement ahead!

  10. Wow! That’s amazing, congratulations to your husband. I wanted to thank him for his service!

  11. You are such a beautiful family! Congratulations to Tom and a big thanks for his service!

  12. Oh wow congratulations. I bet you're pleased he'll be home and safe now. It's great that hey had the whole family involved in this.

  13. thank you for your years of service and congratuation on a wonderful retirement journey.

  14. Congratulations and thank you for your service! And Happy Retirement! Enjoy! -LYNNDEE

  15. You’re actually looking for people to donate money to your family because your husband retired? From the Air Force, which meant you loved for free in bases that people who pay taxes contributed to?!

    This is astounding.

  16. I've followed your journey for years. I remember when Tommy was a baby. I remember laughing because Tom can tell the difference between different types of box cake.This feels like the end of an era. Congrats to you and your family.


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