Arlington Ladies 60th Celebration

Tuesday saw the culmination of several days of hard work on the part of many, including my wife, to celebrate 60 years of service by a group of Air Force spouses known as the Arlington Ladies. These ladies are present for military honors funerals at Arlington to represent the USAF Chief of Staff.

The day itself included mini concerts by various groups of the USAF band including Max Impact, Airmen of Note, and the Strolling Strings. Then it was on to the USAF Honor Guard for demonstrations from the drill team, the firing party, and a chance to meet with the various elements that work together to conduct a funeral including the Bearer teams and Color Guard. I went along for the tours as I took over the coordination of the event in its last week to tie up the various loose ends and my main job that day was to make sure everything was coming off the way it was supposed to when it was supposed to.

The picture to the right shows the Air Force drill team formed up and about ready to kick off their spinning routines. I was talking to one of the Officers in the Honor Guard and asked him if it was as dangerous as it looks and he said yes, the make frequent trips to the ER to have lacerations sown up and that most of these young men carry scars on them from the bayonets. But this day, they didn't miss a lick.

Then it was back to the Chapel center for the luncheon festivities. My wife oversaw the orchestration of the meal for over 150 people with the Cinco De Mayo theme. I can tell you when we went shopping over the weekend we left the commissary with four carts of full of food - and she was just preparing the mains. We had incredible volunteers from Honor Guard, Band, and command element of the Operations Group that provided the sides and desserts. Debbie spent all day Monday cooking with some Honor Guard volunteers who together formed the kitchen crew. Their picture is to the right.

I took a selection of pictures I had taken, that have been provided to me by friends, and some found off the internet and created a video tribute to a song "Arlington Ladies" that was provided to us through one of the ladies. I also had the privilege of narrating the day's events.

During the Commander's comments at the end of the luncheon he had her come out and she was coined for "excellence" by the Commander and presented with a card of appreciation and a flowering plant. This was a special day for us as my wife truly enjoys opportunities to be part of the team and the ladies we honored are truly a special bunch.