More Time Out Than In

Depending on how you count things, today is the day that I have spent more time retired from the USAF than I spent on active duty. I was commissioned in ’66, stayed off active duty for a year to get my Masters, served in VietNam (DaNang), England (RAF Mildenhall), Illinois (Scott AFB), Korea (Osan AB), and Washington DC — the Pentagon (DIA NMIC), and Bolling AFB (AFIN) — retiring in 1989. The pinnacle of my career was probably the year I spent leading the DIA briefing team that provided the morning Intelligence briefs to the JCS and SecDef. My whole career was great fun, and an ongoing window on history. I was working with people who cared about their work and who were dedicated, in ways one doesn’t see outside of the military. I never made any of the big decisions, and wasn’t in the room when they were made, but I was in the room next door for a lot of them. I was in the watch center at MAC when the ’73 Arab-Israeli war broke out (and we knew it was serious two days before CIA did), and on the watch at DIA when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. I wouldn’t trade any of those years.


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