Oughta be in Hollywood
And it won't be long
Til' I get on back home
Back home, back home
Back home, where I belong"
-Cadence, United States Army
|Waiting on a helo in Afghanistan|
My name is Justin, and I am currently a Staff Sergeant, on my way out of the United States Army after almost ten years of service. I'm a veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom with 12 months in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During my time in the military I have experienced many ups and downs, and I have seen people come and go for various reasons. There was a time where I thought that I would serve the full 20 years and retire, but that feeling no longer remains the same, nor can I say it was truly genuine from the beginning. I can say I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in the military and it has been an experience that took me from a 17 year old boy, to a grown man. I will never forget the fine Americans I've served with and the times we shared, which is why I chose "Standing Tall Being All I Can Be" as the title for my blog as a tribute to my service. Even though my time is coming to a close the military has been an instrumental part of my life and will always have a place in my heart.
|Al Faw Palace Saddam's Residence Baghdad, Iraq|
|Inside the Palace|
|The guy had taste beautiful chandelier|
The military may not be what it once was but one thing that has not changed over the course of more than a quarter century is my love for aviation and my desire to fly the friendly skies. From the time I was a very little boy I was fascinated by anything that moved, but especially planes. My mother took notice of that interest and she purchased me a series of books called "Aircraft of the World" that featured a handout of all different types of planes, followed by a brand new computer and Microsoft Flight Simulator 98. My mind was made up, I wanted to fly. So why not the Air Force? Honestly it was impatience on my part. The Air Force had a waiting list at the time I was trying to enlist and I just wanted to get away from home.
|Years later I still have the book thanks Mom!|
|I'll admit back then this section was as popular as the fighter jets!|
Near the end of my first enlistment I was all set to get out of the Army and head to Sanford, Florida for what was then the "Delta Connection Academy", but I let the naysayers get to me and I extended my contract and the questions of what if began and are still present at times to this day. But now the time has arrived, and I am about to embark on the journey of becoming a Professional Airline Pilot without looking back. It's only fitting that my time served in the Army allows my flight training to be possible through the use of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.
|Cockpit of NWA 747-200 on the way to Kuwait in 2009|
I will chronicle my journey to the world of Professional Aviation and hopefully pick up some readers in the process. I was encouraged by a good friend who just so happens to be an Airline Captain to give this blog thing a try, so I headed his advice. At this time I'd like to ask all readers to be seated, secure your seat belts, and enjoy the ride.