Howdy from Texas!
Welcome to another Veterans Day where we honor those who have served the call of our nation in war or peace, although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. Originally called Armistice Day, it was set to recognize the conclusion of “the war to end all wars” as the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in November of 1918. In June of 1954, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day in recognition of the more recent conclusions of WWII and the Korean War to honor American veterans of all wars.
Two years ago today, I was at sea supporting Flight Test onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth II participating in the British Remembrance Day, which in 2018 happened to coincide with our Veterans Day. The ceremony was held on the stern of the Flight Deck with the USS Lassen (DDG-82) in close trail and was a very moving ceremony of remembrance being the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. It was also the day that my father-in-law, SFC Clayton Cochran passed away. Veterans Day was always special in my family, now even more so as we also honor a great American soldier who served for over 33 years and who was my model and mentor as I entered service in 1981.
My family has always been in service as far back as I can remember… My dad was a USAF Airman in SAC when I was born and my Uncle Richard was a Harley Rider and soldier of the 2nd Infantry Division serving in the DMZ of Korea in 1966. My brother Eddie was an Infantry Mortarman in the 39th Infantry Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard and his son Dylan was a US Army Blackhawk helicopter Crew Chief. When I enlisted, SFC Cochran was my Infantry Mortar Platoon Sergeant before he was my Father in Law.
I know that many of our RFTW Family have a distinguished lineage of service – I’ve highlighted mine here so that when I say that I truly and humbly honor the lifelong service and sacrifice of my veteran family, you know that it comes form a place of understanding what that service means and what that sacrifice costs. You are the foundation and strength of our nation and even though we have but one holiday in the year to officially honor our veterans, we all breath free air under the canopy of their sacrifice, your sacrifice.
Just a few quick housekeeping notes, the details of which may all be found in my previous newsletters…
1) SANDBOX STANDBY REGISTRATION LIST
Everyone who was on the list has been added to the SandBox Registration. If you’d like to get on the list for the next round, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) SANDBOX ROUTE 2020 COMMEMORATIVE PATCH
Patches are still available – write to me at email@example.com for more details on how to donate and get yours.
3) NEXT QUARTERLY VIRTUAL STATUS BRIEFING
The next SandBox Route Virtual Quarterly Route Briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, 01 DEC 2020 at 8:00 PM Central. It will again be on ZOOM and the meeting details will follow soon.
I’ll leave you with some photos of the folks I spoke of above. (L-R) Bill Dunlap Sr., Clayton Cochran, Eddie Dunlap, Dylan Dunlap, Richard Attwood. Thank you for your service!
That’s all for now. Y’all take care, stay well and stay strong! Remember, all roads lead to all roads so no matter where you go, TOGETHER WE RIDE!
WALL 2 WALL!