On Friday, December 11th, 2015, I was able to attend my brother, AJ's, retirement ceremony from the United States Air Force. It was an emotional and moving ceremony that highlighted my brother's career and the sacrifices that he and his family have made throughout his 21 years in the most professional and capable air force in the world. At the end of the ceremony, AJ presented me with a flag and thanked me for encouraging him to enlist. I was speechless and overwhelmed by the gesture.
In January, 2015 my good friend and Associate Pastor of SMCC, Thomas Griffin, will be retiring from the United States Navy after 20 years of dedicated service. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend his retirement service in Germany. Tom is a founding member of SMCC and he and his family have been instrumental throughout the early life of the church. Our church will not be the same without him, but because of him, it will continue to serve the Stuttgart military community.
Both of these events have reminded me of why Stacey and I do what we do. These men and their families, along with so many other families, leave their family, homes, and country on deployment after deployment, mission upon mission, to defend our freedom and the freedom of others. They give so much; it is a true join to give back to them. What a joy and privilege to be called to serve those who serve.