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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Standing Tall and Looking Good: A First Post

"Standing tall and looking good
  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!

737-200 Handout


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.

Justin

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