Please indulge me as I share something about two very special warriors.
Jordan is graduating from basic tomorrow. For some folks that doesn’t have a lot of meaning, but to those of us that went before him, it means everything. He’s one of us – part of a broader family than he has yet to comprehend. I served with his dad, and I have no doubt that at some point Jordan may have thought his father would be a tough act to follow. Being Jordan – he didn’t follow. Yes, he joined the Air Force, but he’s taking a very different direction. He’s doing what every young man should. He’s going his own way and carving his own career path.
He didn’t have to join the Air Force – Jordan could have done anything. Smart kids like him have lots of choices in life. But he chose to do something he felt was important – something that defined who he really is as a person. Jordan is going to be a PJ. For my civilian friends, a PJ is a Pararescue Jumper. These are the men who go in after downed pilots, the men whose motto is, “That Others May Live.” This is a job that has a very high CDI (Chicks Dig It) factor; although, I’m sure that had nothing to do with his choice. Yeah, right!
Regardless of why he chose this career field, I simply can’t tell you how much I respect him for doing so. The upcoming training will be rigorous, but I know that Jordan has the determination and courage required. I salute you, Jordan. Welcome to our family.
The other person I need to talk about is my dear friend Teresa.
Teresa is doing the deployment thing. We aren’t supposed to say exactly where or when. We all know where, but I’m willing to play by the rules. Anything that will keep her safe and return her unharmed is fine by me. Teresa is one of mine. I always talk about my guys – she’s one of them. Trust me, she considers the term “one of the guys” to be a compliment.
She was a cadre instructor at Silver Flag Alpha when I was the first sergeant there. Don’t worry, Teresa, I won’t say how long ago that was. She took a break in service to raise her daughter, but she never lost her love for the military or her desire to serve her country. So after many years (still not sayin’) Teresa re-entered the service. Only this time, she went Army. At a point in life when most are thinking about trimming back on our workouts, Teresa decided that she could keep up with the kids. Not only keep up with them, but kick butt and take names. She fought for the opportunity to join, she fought to get the training slots so she could qualify, and she fought to be ready for this “adventure.” She wants to do this – this matters to her. All of us have our selfish reasons for wishing this wasn’t happening, but those of us who love her more than words can say, are keeping that to ourselves and cheering her on. Teresa has no doubts about her abilities or her mission, and I have no doubts about Teresa’s skills and courage.
Teresa is proud to be a soldier and do her part. I’m simply proud to be her friend. Come home safely, T. God speed, my sister. I love you.