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Monday, June 16, 2014

Charleston SC - Michael King’s Retirement Ceremony


This blog is long, and contains a lot of pictures.  It is intended as a record of this ceremony, and for friends and family.  Some readers may want to skip it.

On Friday morning, we woke up, and go the Bus closed up and ready for travel.  Our plan was to attend my nephew Michael’s Air Force Retirement Ceremony, and then leave town and travel as far as we could in the afternoon and evening to the Pensacola, FL area.

The ceremony began at 10:00am, and turned out to be a much bigger affair than I imagined.  I expected a couple of officers to give him his honorable discharge papers and instruct him to clean out his locker, and hit the bricks!!

However, it was a major ceremony in a large meeting room that was about packed with civilian friends and military buddies.  There were a lot of speeches and presentations, and they did a job that made Michael and his parents very proud.

Of course, Michael’s proud and beautiful niece, Lillian, was there with her parents, John and Kristine.


The Lead guy for the ceremony was a good friend of Michael’s, Lt. Colonel Steven Coy, who is stationed in Washington DC.


I always thought my nephew, Michael, was a way too trusting naïve young man who was going to get a bullet in his butt on one of the many deployments over to the war zones.  However, there were a many people that gave him credit for influencing their lives, and a lot of recognition for the jobs that he did while there.  I also found out that as a Master Sargent in Charleston, he headed up a group of about 120 maintenance technicians that did critical electronic repairs to the aircraft. Good job, Mikey!!!!  We are proud of you.

Here are some photos of the awards and presentations, without all the details, because I did not take notes, and Laura took the pictures.  I will post some detail photos later……


Michael’s mother, Judy, presented him with his “Retirement Pin”.  Later, he had to console her because she broke into tears.  I suspect she was afraid that he was going to try to move back into her home!!!!


Michael also presented gifts to his younger brother John and his wife, Kristine and his parents, Bubba and Judy King…….


At one point, after a video presentation of Michael’s Air Force career, he had a chance to respond.  He was a little short for words……… or maybe he wanted to hurry up the retirement moment!!


The presentations continued……


As an explanation, the trunk above was brought back from Afghanistan  by Michael, and turned into a combination cigar humidor and ‘shadow box by a guy that worked under Michael at the base. 

In the following picture, an officer did the “Block-Out” ceremony for Michael.  The yellow block is a miniature of what is put to chock the wheels on a airplane on the runway to keep it from being blown away by wind, and it has to be ‘blocked-out’ before it can leave.  From what was said, apparently, the block out becomes a ‘tug a war’ in some ceremonies, but they gave Michael an easy block out!


At the end, Michael’s dad, Bubba, had some words to say.  Surprisingly, he did not beg the Air Force to keep Michael in!!


Michael had a surprise for the audience.  At the end of the presentations, he proposed to his girl friend.  You would think that a guy that just got free from the military would enjoy said freedom for at least a month or two….. but not Mikey.  He goes directly from one long-term commitment to another back to back!!!!


My grandkids received gifts from Michael……. some Charleston Air Force Coins.


The following are close-ups, AKA details of some of the gifts and certificates…..



And the following are family pictures of attendees….

159178200186208210213This blog covers only half of the ceremony.  The attendees were treated to a pleasant surprise following the formal ceremony, and details follow in the next blog.

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