On June 14th we had practice for the next day's ceremony and then that night we had our retirement dinner which was held at Randolph Air Force Base Officer's Club. Pretty appropriate since we have been in a joint assignment so we involved all the services around.
|Hmmm....what's he thinking?!|
|Jennifer and Bob|
Lots of folks had a hand in making this all happen. Here is Bob with his Aide, ENS Jennifer Nestor. Now when does an Ensign ever get to tell an Admiral what to do? Well, it turns out she gets to do that a lot when she is the Admiral's Aide. It's a tricky position to be in but is really essential for the Admiral in getting their job done. Thank you Jennifer!!
|Jennifer standing in for Bob|
Participation in these ceremonies is voluntary and look at the mix of uniforms involved. How nice to have so many METC folks step up to make it a great day. With the ceremony worked out pretty well we moved on to welcome more folks from out of town and get ready for the dinner. We had to go in two cars and one had to swing by the airport to pick up our SIL, David, who arrived just in the nick of time to get to the dinner! So, who came to join us?
|Patti, Jaime, Ken, Don|
|Erika, Lori, Robin|
Patti and Jaime (friends from church) are from San Antonio, Ken (Our minister in FL) is from Jacksonville, FL and Don (A colleague at A&M College of Medicine) from College Station, TX. Erika (A nurse with us in Guam) lives in Dallas, Lori (A nurse with the Navy component at METC) in San Antonio and Robin (A psychologist we met in Guam) in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
|Geraldine, Gail, Bob|
Karen (Bob's boss at BUMED) came from Philly (I think!) and Gino (Bob's deputy at METC) lives in San Antonio.
Kelly (Bob's first Aide after he became an Admiral in Portsmouth, VA) came from North Carolina, Lori (works at METC) lives in San Antonio. Clifford and Judy (My brother and SIL) live in Bullard, TX near Tyler.
Jennifer (Remember, the Aide gets to order us all around!) arranged for us to make a grand entrance by walking in on a red carpet. It was a fun way to start things off. During the night folks got a chance to tell stories, offer good wishes, extend gifts and generally have a good time. Mitch Seal, a good Navy friend we first met on Guam, brought his local band along to provide live music. A big highlight for us was having Katie Skype from Lahore, Pakistan! Katie, Ellen, and Karyn each chose one of the Navy core values (Honor, Courage, Commitment) and told how their dad exemplified that core value. Here's Katie giving her thoughts on her dad and Honor....
|Katie on Skype|
|Steve was Emcee|
Steve worked with Bob at COMPACFLT in Hawaii and has since been promoted to Captain. Way to go Steve! One of his gifts was a letter from Popeye's corporate office to Bob in honor of Bob's years of service. He also managed to wrangle a Popeye's box with a real Popeye's employee uniform! Certainly Bob has eaten enough Popeye's to earn those things!!
|Bob, Karyn, Ellen|
The girls got certificates and so did I. And flowers! Woo hoo!
|Chief Berry and Gino|
One really special gift was this METC logo in stained glass. It was made by one of the METC people as well as the frame which is a piece of an old banister from the Army hospital. More wow!!
More fun photos of folks at our celebration:
And no military-related event is complete without a cake!
|KODB's cake (Kindly Old Doctor Bob)|
And flowers sent by someone who could not make it to the dinner.....
|Cyndi asked for something tropical!|
Many, many thanks to everyone who came, sent cards and letters, worked tirelessly to get this all arranged and who have remained wonderful friends over the years. We love you all. Please stay in touch!!