Skip to main content

Memorial Day

To be completely honest,  I was always a bit afraid of the military. To the outsider, these men and women seemed gruff and emotionless. They dedicated time to physical fitness and cleaning their weapons. They lived in tents across oceans and fought bad guys in the desert. They got yelled at and sometimes humiliated. Who would voluntarily sign up for all that?

After college, I nervously accepted a position in Alabama working literally side by side with these fine Americans. We were mixed together: civilian and military, pilots and engineers, green suit and flight suit. But though this lens, over 3.5 years, I grew to absolutely love these guys (I say guys, just because there really weren't any girls in my group). These men that I used to be so afraid of took care of me, embraced me, and fought for me. They weren't emotionless - they were inspiring. Some of their stories were absolutely gut-wrenching but I'm so thankful I got to hear them. Their patriotism, even when times were tough, was unwavering ... and it made me so proud to call them peers.

I still talk to many of these guys on about a weekly basis. Even though I'm 1,000 miles away in Texas, they still care about me. Working with them was a completely different environment than working in my space station office now. I mean it had to be - I had to list one of them as the person I would like to deliver the news to my family if something were to happen. We all knew some of the testing we did was risky, some of the helicopters we flew were completely redesigned, and some of the equipment required dangerous maneuvers. We all had to trust each other, and even though not all of us were military, when we stepped on that aircraft together we were a cohesive team - more than office partners, we all knew that our duties that day may go far beyond recording data and tracking test points.

I am honored for the short time I had with these heroes. In some small way, maybe the work I helped with will one day save a flight crew. But the work they do on a daily basis continues to grant us freedom. Love you guys, you know who you are.

Night vision testing, thankful for good pilots, heavy goggles, and finger-lights!

Did I mention trust? This was my view from the jump seat. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MCM - Certified Mom

This morning I woke up early, the baby monitor was chirping just a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Chris graciously rolled out of bed and set out to re-insert Otto's paci. Meanwhile, I pressed my clothes, curled my hair and brewed some coffee - my standard pre-console routine. After a quick breakfast Zara peeped her head over the railing and I heard a gentle "mama" echo down the stairs. It was still dark, but this little one was ready for her daily breakfast of oatmeal and milk in preparation for a fun day at swim lessons and school. As she sat, eating her "oatsss" (as she calls them), I whirled around the kitchen prepping bottles, gathering outfits for school, and ensuring all the swim lesson supplies were set out. It's hard leaving Chris to take care of both kids in the morning (#momguilt) so I try my best to complete as many get-ahead tasks as possible, in hopes his morning goes smoothly. 
This morning schedule description may seem mundan…

MCM - On Call

It's definitely Monday. Otto spit up on my work clothes this morning, I forgot to brush my teeth and I sat down in my car forgetting to clean the layer of sand from the beach yesterday. Whoops. But, it's also MONDAY!!!!! Which means you get a special look behind the proverbial curtain of Mission Control in a series I'm dubbing "Mission Control Monday". We all need a little "boost" (pun intended) at the beginning of the week, so why not get it from the heart of Manned Spaceflight itself - NASA's Mission Control
This week I am highlighting the little known fact that sometimes, as an ADCO Specialist, I am scheduled to be "On Call". It just so happens I am "on-call" this week! Even though we don't have a sweet 1990's pager, the ADCO on-call is a Specialist with the cumbersome responsibility of having their cell phone strapped to them at all times. Yes, even during the night. Yes, even when you have a 3 month old. Yes, just…

Experience the Kennedy Space Center

Manned spaceflight is not a challenge forged from one molten idea - it's not a put-this-in get-that-out equation - it's not a sport for the isolationists. The notion that it was "one man's passion" or "one nation's resources" that got us to this engineering moment is simply false. And the idea that alienation could ever lead to exploration is impossible. There is likely no other industry or singular goal so intentional about teamwork - from employing teachers to technicians, soliciting standard to specialized natural resources, planning short term and long, investing in ideas and inspiration, training fresh-outs to experts, and communicating technically and politically. Tangibly, the manned spaceflight challenge crosses borders and age and gender, there are pieces of its presence spanning the entire globe, and beyond! 
One of those spots - notable for it's history as the last piece of Earth many astronauts touched before launch - is the Kennedy…
01 09 10