The weekend after Memorial Day I had the privilege of presenting my oldest niece with a United States Air Force ROTC Scholarship to St. Louis University at her graduation in Chelsea, Michigan. Although it didn’t hit me when I received the call from her asking me to present this scholarship, it finally did as we made the 10 hour drive from Tennessee to Michigan for her graduation.
What hit me is that my niece is the 3rd generation of a Dammeyer to serve in the United States Air Force. A tradition that I am extremely proud to share with you – my clients, business partners, friends, and family.
It all started in 1958 when my father, Ned E Dammeyer traveled from a farmhouse in New Bremen, Ohio to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas to start his Air Force career. He served 4 years and worked in Electronics/Radar as an instructor.
Exactly 30 years later (June of 1988) it was me who travelled that same path from New Bremen, Ohio and joined the USAF and spend the next 24 serving our country; first in Cryptographic Electronics and then the latter 20 as a F-16 Crew Chief. Here’s me and my 1st jet # 0701 in Incirlik, Turkey in the mid 90’s
During the Summer of 2009 my daughter and my two nieces visited the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo, Ohio and spent the day on the flight line with me. They got to be part of a launch and got to ride out in the Follow-Me truck and stand on the side of Runway 7 as the jet they helped launch roared by and soared into the blue. It was amazing and I hope and prayed that maybe, just maybe, that day would have an impact on their lives in one way or another. Camden was the tallest that day….of a gaggle of pink…..
Next in this amazing journey was April 2013 and my retirement from the 180th Fighter Wing OHANG / Air Force. My entire immediate family was there in the hangar as I received my Minuteman. I was so beaming with pride as my oldest niece, Camden, expressed an interest in the planes and I was able to give her an up close and personal tour of my jet – #098 as it was in the hangar for my retirement.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and the realization that almost 30 years later (28 actually) my oldest niece was now about to step into the Wild Blue Yonder and start a new chapter in the Dammeyer USAF Tradition.
Make us Proud Camden !!!!