|LT to LCDR|
|LCDR to CDR|
|CDR to CAPT|
|CAPT to RDML|
There is a poem about the American flag that is read and the flag is very solemnly passed from person to person until all the ranks of the retiring member are covered.
The final pass is from someone with equal rank to the retiring service member. It is a very touching and special thing to watch.
And finally Bob receives the flag. This flag was a gift from troops in Afghanistan. It was flown there. It was then sent to Guam and to Portsmouth, VA to be flown over the two commands Bob had while on active duty.
|RDML to RDML|
|A final salute|
|A reflective moment|
|Gift to Capt Fran Robbins|
|Fran is overwhelmed by the moment|
Next on the agenda is to 'take down the Admiral's flag'. Wherever an Admiral (or General) is working or visiting their flag is flown signifying their presence. The Navy traditions are new to most of the non-Navy service members at METC but Chief did a great job of sounding like a pirate when he gave the order. Thanks, Chief!!
|Take down the Admiral's flag!|
|Admiral's flag has been taken down, sir!|
|Admiral's flag presented to Bob|
Next the final heart-wrenching bit.....the retiring service member is piped ashore.
Next the family is piped ashore and that is the end of the ceremony.
|Ellen and Karyn join Bob and me to be piped ashore.|
|Fair winds and following seas shipmate.|
And of course there is food at the end!
|Proud mama too|
|Jon Cole, Ellen Kiser, Bob, me, David Dahl-Hansson, Karyn Kiser|
|Kids wanted to include Katie who was still in Pakistan at the time.|
Many, many thanks to everyone who came to share in the moment, sent good wishes, wrote letters, called and just generally gave us a lot of support. Lasting memories were created and will be cherished by all of us. After this ceremony Bob was still not officially retired on paper. He had just a few more duties to perform and then went on terminal leave August 6th. Terminal leave is not as bad as it sounds. We just used up all the days of leave that Bob never got around to taking while he was working!
Actual official retirement was on September 1st. So far retired life is pretty busy. I'm hoping for calm to settle soon. 8^) And Bob has a pretty good beard going these days even though it is a totally different color than back in the day! LOVE IT!!