Thursday, May 31, 2012

Congratulations are in order.

My dad timed it well.  Yes his birthday is in May and that's why it happened this specific month, but with all the graduations going on, along with the moving ons and moving ups, May is a special time of year.

My dad retired today.


When I was in High School I attended my father's Army retirement ceremony at Fort Myer as a Warrant Officer II.  It seems a lifetime ago that he finished 20 years of service, after several tours in Vietnam, 5 years at Supreme Headquarter Allied Powers Europe (aka the much easier pronounced SHAPE) in Belgium (where I was born) and a career in the Defense Attache Offices in (former) Zaire, Algeria, Niger and Haiti.

His career is why I have itchy feet.

After retiring from the Army, he earned his Master's Degree roughly at the same time I received my Bachelor's and my mom received her Associate's.  There's a picture frame in their house with all 3 of us in caps and gowns.

Since then he opened and closed his own business. Ran the music program at Saint Michael's church for over 15 years. Survived a multiple heart bypass surgery.  And rejoined the military but in a contractor position for a few years and then 17 years as a government employee with the Navy in Foreign Military Sales.

Now he's retired again.  And he has plans.  Lots of plans.

My dad is an accomplished pianist, organist, composer and music director.  I believe it's his first love, music has been part of his life since he began on the piano and organ as a young boy.

He is bilingual.  Though we should probably say multilingual since he can get along pretty much anywhere.

He's an excellent writer, and with all he's done there is at least a trilogy or two waiting to be put to the page.

There's a PhD in the wings, I can feel it.

And rumblings of a restaurant venture.  He's been talking of opening a restaurant for as long as I can remember.

And he's a teacher. Teaching music or French or politics or history... in college or high school or middle school... I could see him as a long-term substitute pretty much anywhere.

I think my mom has a laundry list of items for him to stay occupied as well.

All to say, my dad will not be bored and I don't think he'll be fully retired for long either.  Whatever his new position, it won't involve as much traveling or as much stress, but like everything he does it will make a difference.

We love you, Papa.  And congratulations on your brand new beginning.

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