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May 2019

Updated: Jan 19, 2021


On the first of May family and friends started making their way to Prescott Arizona to see Jen and I graduate from college and commission into the Air Force! I had my friend from high school who is now a C-5 pilot commission me and Jen had her Grandpa Bill commission her who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel. It is also a tradition in the military to give your first salute to someone after being commissioned. Jen's first salute was to her previous flight chief, Chief Russell and my first salute was with my grandpa who served in the Army. We are so blessed to have them and of course our other family members and friends be a part of one of the biggest days of our lives! We have worked so hard and long for this day and when it finally came, the day was over before we even realized it. It was such a great experience that we cannot thank everyone enough for the love and support!

My family rented a whole house from Airbnb which gave a place for both our families to gather. On the 3rd after our commissioning ceremony, everyone was at the house so Jen and I thanked everyone and had a surprise drone for my brother because that was his birthday. Then he said "since everyone is here now, I guess we'll let everyone know that my wife is pregnant with our second child!" No one was expecting this and it was a great addition to the other great news that weekend.

Some of my family stayed a few extra days and we were able to hike in Sedona, see the Grand Canyon, Williams, and they got to explore Prescott as well.

Once everyone left, it was time to start packing the house and get ready to move to Mississippi. We had to start driving on the 12th and everything in the house would not fit in our trailer so I had sell a ton of stuff on Facebook and Craigslist. Thank God for these websites! I was able to sell/give away:

1 couch

4 chairs

Guest bed frame and mattress

Our bed frame

Kitchen table and chairs

2 Blanket ladders

Washer and Dryer

Inversion table

Some of my vintage tools

and my dirt bike!)

The drive is about 22 hours to Memphis. With the exception of a 2 hour power nap, we drove straight through to see my family again. Since the Air Force is paying for us to move our things they needed weight tickets to see how much we were moving so they can reimburse us respectively. Weighing my van + trailer is when I realized that I was 5,000 lbs. over the maximum capacity that the van is supposed to pull!! We are so impressed with Jolene and I apologized to her for abusing her like that. I knew we were heavy, but I didn't know that I was that heavy!!

We arrive in Columbus on the 16th for the first time and it is a nice little southern town with tons and tons of restaurants.We spend the next week getting set up on the air base and trying to figure out where we want to live for the next year and a half. We end up deciding that we should buy an RV trailer to live in. The next time we have to move we can just hook up a truck to our house and start driving. No more abusing my sweet Jolene and our cargo trailer! The 17th we go to a RV dealership so we could get the feel for different sized RV's and to see what we would like incorporated in ours. It was literally the second RV that we looked at that Jen and I really liked. It had some water damage, but it had a washer/dryer, decent-sized kitchen, desk, and 4 slides. Because of the water damage, they wanted a low price for it. We got in the car to leave and Jen said I think we should get it. So I walked back in and offered a lower price that would include tax and they agreed to it. So now Jen and I own a RV!!

The interior grandma style really isn't our style so we spent the first day tearing it apart and putting the furniture on Facebook Marketplace. We will be renovating the whole thing while we wait to start pilot training. Right now it is supposed to start in August so that will give us plenty of time to get this RV done and some traveling done as well!

That weekend we went up to Memphis to hang out with my family and we went dirt bike riding at one of my favorite places in this world; Sugarcreek. We played around with the drone there and Jen was able to make an awesome video from our adventures there. Check it out!

My dad's birthday is the last day of this month and I can't believe that he is 60 and still riding a dirt bike like he is 20!

For memorial Day we had a 4 day weekend so we drove over to Georgia for our friend's wedding. Then we met with my family and grandparents in Gatlinburg, TN. We stayed at a very secluded cabin and got to walk across the swing bridge that they just opened up. Thanks for reading and enjoy this last video of our trip to Gatlinburg! (Jen is getting really good and fast at editing videos!)

We must never cease from exploration. At the end of all our exploring we will arrive where we began and know the place for the first time. - T.S. Elliot

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What an incredible month! Such a wonderful time of celebration! Pop found this on the back of his airline ticket.

It all started for Brando way back in San Antonio

Not the A10 but the U2, then onto the flight crew

It was in the West he found a pearl when he married a California girl

Quite a pair, I must say--bats, car windows and prison signs are not okay

Now graduated and ready to go 'cause Embry-Riddle says so

We who hold these dear have one more thing to say

It's how proud we are of the 2 of you on this--their graduation day.

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Poor, Poor Jolene! What a trooper. I'm so proud of her! I can't believe how far away you guys are now :( But also excited to hopefully visit someday! I miss you lots. Congrats on graduating! I'm so excited to hear all about flight training!

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