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Thank you for a job well done

PATRICK AFB, FL. -- Last week, I had the honor and distinct pleasure of being promoted by Lt. Gen. Larry James, 14th Air Force commander, and my wife, Lisa. Needless to say, it was a big day for the Wilson clan with a host of family and friends in from all over the country, as well as members of our wing and local community in attendance. Special events such as promotion ceremonies don't just happen, they take the hard work of lots of folks. I can still put all my thoughts into two words, they're the same ones you heard again and again seven days ago: "thank you."

For those at the ceremony, you heard me offer thanks for many things and reflect on why we serve - faith, family, friends and freedom.

Faith was at the front of the list. Faith in my God, faith in our nation and faith in our Air Force are touchstones in our lives. I offer thanks everyday for these.

Lisa was at the top of the list of "thank you's" as anyone who knows me knows I married "way up." Lisa and I have stood side-by-side for many, many years, moved around the country more times than I can count (she could tell you) and she shares the same passion and priorities in life.

She also happens to be the love of my life and my best friend.

There were thanks to my family, especially my mom and dad, for their great guidance through the years and the solid foundation they gave me as a young man - and still aren't afraid to offer today. They are wonderful role models in how to serve a greater cause.

There were lots of thank you's to the Airmen we've had the privilege to work for, alongside, and lead over the past 25+ years. It's amazing, we've been a part of the Air Force for more than a quarter century now. It's been a great journey. There have been, are and will be friends at every twist, turn and occasional roadblocks along the way.

Lastly, I shared what an honor it is to live in this country where freedom is a precious commodity that is guarded like a crown jewel. It's why we serve and do what we do in the military. This great country may have her faults at times, but our nation is the best the human race has ever created when it comes to establishing a nation and system of government. We should cherish her and always remember the privileges we enjoy, which are based on freedom.

Joining the "Shark family" a little over five months ago was thrilling for us. You are all professionals - the wing, our mission partners, and the local community - it's an honor to serve with you.

Come to think of it, there is a third word to describe how we feel: "blessed"