Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August: 40 years ago-USAF

 I was just a unmarried woman of 21 when I left on a plane for an adventure of a lifetime. From Oregon with a land of green and beauty to the desert of San Antonio, TX mid Aug 1976. Never flown before but I was excited and nervous at the same time. I'd been at college for a year, moved home then took some community college classes. But decided to enter into the United States Air Force and basic training.  Away from home, with women I didn't know. But it was good. Photos (by my camera) I'm sharing are from a memory book I purchased near the end of my training, for memory sake.  I wanted to share  an interesting time in my life and so thankful I did go and serve our country. Met new people, gained knowledge of the military and grew up! 

 This photo on both pages of the book is so endearing to me. Over the years I've become a flag collector of sorts. 1976 was also USA's bicentennial celebration. As you can see I had friends sign my book. A memory to cherish for a life time.

 Here I am in a close up photo...then down below is most of the page of my fellow airman friends that made it through the six weeks of training. Eating, marching, getting shots, clothing issued, marching, figuring out how to stay sane, marching, having fun, going to chapel, marching, going to class, helping each other memorize stuff for tests, marching, sleeping.... til the end when we all got our orders for tech school. A few went on with me to the next base, Lowry AFB where I trained as a materiel facilities specialist. Worked in supply. Denver was a nice place to be for two months.
 I laughed at one of the comments written by my friend, Angel, far right, next to the bottom row..."To the coolest choir girl (what a voice) at Lackland. Good Luck." Awe!  Then the lady next to her, we all called her "Mom Sandy" since she was older than any of us, except for our TIs (training instructors). What a sweetie she was. Just looking at the book again brought back good memories of women who I'd never would have met if I hadn't gone to basic. Sad that I don't have any contact with any one of them now. I often wonder where they live now.  Life moves on!
I'm thinking this is our flight marching somewhere. Not a great photo but shows you the uniforms we wore in training back in Aug 1976. Our utility uniforms were a blue shirt and navy blue or black pants. Days were hot in TX. There were a couple days I remember when we had tornado warnings. Actually lost power one night. It got a bit warm, humid in there. No windows opened. 
  I was happy to have a TI that was nice but firm with us. She was a Christian and it showed in her life. We were able to go to chapel on Sunday. I went to choir practice as well, with Angel. Fun times. I had a few boyfriends along the way. One became really close to me and we got married and still are much in love. Oh so many years later. It'll be 39 years in Oct.
Life goes by so fast. It's fun to look behind to see where I've been, how I've grown and changed for the better over the years. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me.


Kathy said...

Wow, Becky, what a great post! Thank you so much for sharing. I worked as a civilian for the Navy for four years so got a taste of the military life. And for me I'm glad it was just a taste. I admire you people who enlisted so much. My husband was in the Marines and so was my dad and his dad. My brothers were in the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. We are a military family.

39 years of marriage! Congrats! That is a lifetime. I know I won't make that because I married too late in life, but it's 10 years for me this month.

Camille said...

Fun to have a peek into part of your past, Becky...thank you for sharing. And, thank you for your service to your country...we are blessed to have those who have served for the freedoms we enjoy. It is not free. Big Hugs! Camille

Betsy said...

Although I knew of you military service it was wonderful to see the photos and hear more stories. My family has also been a military family as we've talked about. I am so proud of them all. Thank you for your service and Phil too.

Linda W. said...

Enjoyed reliving memories of your air force days. Thanks for your service to our country!

Gracie Saylor said...

My husband's last three months in the Navy were spent in Kingsville, TX, in 1972...July-September...HOT!!! We saw a tarantula cross the road as we drove into town, there were tornado warnings on the radio, and warnings of rattlesnakes in the grass at the beach!!!
But in spite of those ominous beginnings we met many wonderful folks, including some who especially helped us grow in our relationships with Christ. Thanks for sharing this part of this special time in your life, Becky. xx

TamaraB said...

Thank you for your service and for sharing your walk down memory lane. Loved the pictures. Always so nice to sit and look back at where you have been. It lets us see where God has taken us and gives us a peak into that bigger picture. A great chance to count our many Blessings. Summers always are hot and humid in Texas. I do not miss the Tornado watches and warnings but I do miss the beautiful Lighting shows. Great post my friend! Hugs