I wrote a few weeks ago about the wonderful retirement dinner the Search Radar Branch had for my wife and I. It was just us. It was intimate, and it was special. Today, the entire command had a retirement luncheon for me. It was overwhelming for me, and I am still reeling from it emotionally. I was overwhelmed at the turn out, the emotional connection, the camaraderie, and respect that they gave to me. Yes, there were many gifts, that will help me remember the day, my career, and each individual. But the handshakes, hugs, and fellowship was far more valuable to me. People, are the value of any organization and friendship is the measure of any individual. Today I was bathed in friendship, and I really, truly appreciate it. Some folks that I have not seen for quite a while came, some who transferred, promoted, or retired before me. It was good to catch up with them, and tell a funny story or two. The depressing part of retirement for me is not loosing my exalted position as a manager, it is not being with a group of people that I respect, mentor, and care for on a daily basis. I will miss that relationship most of all.
I was blessed to work, for 20 years, with the best, the brightest, the most talented group of friends any man could ever have. Each one of them made my life brighter, and more fulfilling than anyone could ever want. There is no where I would have rather spent the last 20 years of my life that at this command, regardless of it's name, with these people, helping the Navy be more combat ready. Thank you, one and all.