Thursday, September 6, 2012

Retirement Ceremony

Bob started work this week at University of the Incarnate Word. Maybe I should finally show his retirement ceremony back on June 15th since he finally became honest-to-goodness retired on September 1st!

On June 15th at 0900 (9 AM for us civilians!) we all gathered at Anderson Hall for the formal ceremony finalizing a career of 38 years of reserve and active duty service.

Front row seats

Here we all are right in the front row. Jon and Ellen, me, Karyn and David and then my sister-in-law Judy and my brother Clifford. That last person is RDML Valentin who will appear again later.

Friends were there too

Here also are Erika Pearce, Robin Lewis and Captain Lori Frank. We met Erika and Robin while on Guam and Lori works here in San Antonio. And there were many more in the audience. It was so special to see everyone there.
Color Guard

All ceremonies begin with the Color Guard marching in with our flags. We all stand at attention (Civilian folk are supposed to put their hand over their heart. I'm always amazed at the number of people who either don't know this or refuse to do it!) for the Star Spangled Banner. This time we had our very own Ellen playing on her trumpet. She didn't miss a note and her daddy's buttons about popped from his chest swelling with pride.

Ellen Played the Star Spangled Banner 

Colors are retired

I know it sounds odd to say the Colors are retired but it just means they are formally marched out. Sometimes they are posted rather than retired. In that case they would be placed in holders to stay for the entire ceremony and then they are usually retired at the end or they can be left posted. Love this stuff!!

You can see Captain Fran Robbins on the left there. She is Bob's sister and is in the Air Force.

CMSgt Kevin Lambing

Chief Master Sergeant Kevin Lambing was Bob's speaker of choice. Kevin was the number one enlisted member at METC (Medical Education and Training Campus) and is now serving as the Chief of the Medical Enlisted Force for the Air Force. That means he is the number one medical enlisted member of the entire USAF! We are so proud of him and all he has accomplished and are honored to call him friend.

 Then there were awards......

VADM Nathan and RDML Kiser 

Bob received a Legion of Merit from Vice Admiral Matt Nathan, Surgeon General of the Navy. Matt is an internal medicine doctor and a long time acquaintance of Bob.

Gdine-Yellow Rose of Texas

I was commissioned a 'Yellow Rose of Texas' ( ). Woo Hoo!! Our girls were given awards the night before at the Retirement Dinner.

Shadowbox Presented
Dewite Wehrman, a retired Navy guy working at METC as a civilian, and Colonel Geno Montagno, Deputy Commandant at METC, present Bob with his shadowbox. This is a tradition upon retirement. The shadowbox can be any shape, hang on the wall or stand as a table. It is filled with memorabilia from the retiring member's career. In this case Dewite made the shadowbox and did it in the shape of a star which is the identifying collar device of an Admiral. It has all Bob's ranks, his duty stations and a flag flown at Naval Hospital Guam and Navy Medical Center Portsmouth. It is also the flag that was presented to Bob's mom at his Dad's funeral. It is a VERY special and personal tribute and it is proudly hung in our home for all to see.

And then Bob gave his speech.....

RDML William Robert Kiser

If I had any oomph at all I would figure out how to remove those light reflections from Bob's glasses but you are getting the unabridged version here. To be honest I was so overwhelmed by everything that I cannot give you any particulars about the speech but I do know that Bob tried to talk more about the future than the past. And it was absolutely the thing because the work he has done in Family Medicine, as a Medical Officer and especially at Medical Education and Training Campus will affect our Navy's vision and direction for many years to come!

And there is more to come but I think this post is getting pretty long with lots of photos to be continued!


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