Well, it’s taken more than 6 months but I’ve got what has been a labor of love. I ordered the military records from the National Archives, and also got a lot of documents and pictures my Mom had during a vacation visit. I’ve put all this together in two places — first, in a binder over 4 inches thick and second, on the website USAFSS Dad. It was an absolutely neat and incredible journey to follow the documents and pictures. His story was my story because we followed Dad to every location. It stirred up memories I’d forgotten and showed me some I didn’t remember.
With all it’s negatives and downsides, I still wouldn’t trade being a military brat for anything in the world. I also will never forget my Dad’s selfless service in far away places defending our country in the USAF Security Service.
I am so looking forward to going and visiting Mom, brother Andy, and Uncle Richard. It’s been quite awhile. We leave tomorrow very early and have a 13 hour drive to Mom’s house. Not sure how long we’re staying but it will be a much needed break. We have a few things scheduled — Timothy is so looking forward to flying in Uncle Richard’s plane. He’s going to take his camera up with him for some great shots from above! We might go see Shamu but I got a feeling Shamu is a lot more expensive than when we went over 20 years ago!
We had a really good time today. We woke up in Foley, AL and took a beautiful drive down the coast to Fort Morgan, AL. They had a ferry from there over to Dauphin Island. We drove the entire length of the island and enjoyed the beautiful beaches. We then visited the Estuarium. We left Dauphin Island across the bridge back to mainland Alabama and drove to Birmingham. We’re in the same hotel and even the same room. Not sure what tomorrow brings but we’ll be back in Tennessee.
Pictures — Day Three
What a day! We drove from Birmingham, AL to Florida panhandle for 8-9 hours just looking at old places I used to live (Crestview, Niceville, Eglin AFB, Fort Walton Beach) and then some neat time at Navarre Beach. We crossed over from Florida back to Alabama and are spending the night north of Gulf Shores.
Pictures — Day Two
It was a great leisurely drive down I-65. We enjoyed the ride, had fried chicken at Jack’s, and stopped in Cullman, Alabama where my Dad was born. We went to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery and saw the gravesite for my Great Grandfather Singleton Hendrix and my Great Grandmother Mary. Also buried there was their unnamed son who died in childbirth.
We stopped and enjoyed the Clarkson Covered Bridge in Cullman County. We then called it an evening on the south side of Birmingham which is about half way to Florida from Nashville.
Here is the link to the pictures I took on flickr.com:
Pictures — Day One
Well, it’s that time again. Jo Ann and I are taking a short 4-5 day cheapo vacation. We’re just getting in the van and driving south. We might make it to Florida or not. We’re gonna stop where ever we want, see whatever we find, and play it completely by ear. We need a nice break together and recharge the “marriage” battery. Timothy will be enjoying a trip with the church youth group to World Changers in Grifton, NC. There will be over 30 people in that group. Timothy has been looking forward to this for awhile. I’ll take pictures as much as I can and upload them here. Maybe I can surprise Timothy and show him his dad still has some of his camera skills left!
I was really proud and overjoyed at the job the Navy Seals did in freeing Captain Richard Phillips from the Somalian pirates. They did an incredible job. God bless our men and women serving in the Armed Forces.
I don’t know why this has been on my mind so strongly the last few months but I believe it started when I was at my Aunt Joann’s funeral in Mount Pleasant, TN. After the funeral, we all sat at a restaurant and shared family stories, and it was a flood of memories rushing back from childhood — good memories. We cried and then a second later laughed until our side hurt! A few weeks later, I was asked to give the sermon Sunday morning at church. My sermon was called “A Living Sacrifice” and all I could think about was my Dad. He was not a perfect Dad, but as I get older, I start to realize he wasn’t as bad as I thought. Anyway, I don’t want to forget his sacrifice so to help remember it and share it, I do what I know how to do — make websites. So I created a website to help me remember and share the research I’ve found on my Dad’s service in the US Air Force: