It is finally here! Today is the BIG day! Tex’s retirement ceremony is today! Official retirement date is 1 November but his last day of work is today.
I am feeling so many emotions right now it is hard to put them into words. Joy, sadness, pride, relieved, stressed, anxious, ecstatic, excited, frightened, joyful, liberated, and so many more. But I have to say that I am so proud of Tex and his honorable service to the U.S. Coast Guard and our Country for over 30 years. He has served this Country admirably and has sacrificed more than you will ever know while at the same time has provided for and raised our two wonderful girls, Megan and Amanda.
Megan and Amanda also deserve special recognition today because they served and sacrificed probably more than anyone. Moving every few years, changing schools, and leaving friends behind and having to make new friends is super hard and they did it without question. Being a military brat is one of the hardest jobs in the military.
Most of you are probably not aware that the dandelion is the flower of the military child. It may not seem obvious, but it makes very good sense when you read the following anonymous quote:
The Dandelion – The Flower of the Military Child
“The official flower of the military child is the dandelion. Why? The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it’s almost impossible to destroy. It’s an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It’s a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They’re ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.
Experts say that military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient. Military children have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are, that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world, and that education doesn’t only come from school. They live history. They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door that closes one chapter of their life opens up to a new and exciting adventure full of new friends and new experiences.”
This describes Megan and Amanda perfectly. They served right along side of us and made many more sacrifices than Tex or I ever did. It isn’t easy growing up with peer pressure and such, and being a military brat just adds a different layer to all of the challenges they faced. But they faced them head on and grew into confident, well-rounded adults who we are proud to call our daughters.
The past 30 years have flown by. We have thought about this day for so many years, it feels a little surreal that it is here. And even though leaving the Coast Guard is a little sad, as I stated in our last post, we are ready. We are ready to begin Phase II of our life together. Retired life will be vastly different in every way imaginable, as all we have ever known is military life in the Coast Guard. I am sure it will take Tex a while to adjust to his new-found freedom. He is so used to being told where to work, where to live, what to wear, and how long his hair can be etc. that it will take a while for everything to sink in and for him to really de-stress and relax.
And while today may be a bittersweet day, we are so excited to start our retired life and to hit the road in our motorhome and see this beautiful country that we have served for so long. So if you see us out on the road, stop us and say hi! We can’t wait to start our new journey!
“In life, it isn’t where you go, it is who you travel with”
Charles M. Schultz