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Episode Info: Thank You! General Clark, Major Kipp, Chief Snyder, MSgt Sweet, Lt. Col Geary and the entire JFHQ staff, thank you for making today’s ceremony possible. I’ve been to many retirements and I often hear a lot of people say, “I promised myself I wouldn’t cry”.  Well I’ll tell you right now, that’s BS.. I’m warning you now, I’m going to cry.  So if it looks like I’m reading this - I am. I did that for your benefit.   To keep the emotions in check by reading words I’ve now read over and over again a few dozen times. This collection of words - arranged in this order are now familiar to me, so it should help limit the emotional release that comes from digging into the memory banks on the spot.  This prevents me from ad libbing as much and thus carrying on for 2 hours.  Your Time is valuable and I want to be respectful that.  Before we get too far into this - It’s important to recognize that I did not arrive on this stage today alone. This was not my doing, this was a collective effort of everyone in my life so, naturally there are so many people to thank.   I know better than to call you out by name because every single one of you have had an impact on my life, so it would only be fitting to go seat by seat to say thanks, but clearly, none of us want that.   The fact that you are listening to me right now,  be it in person, or via the web, tells me all I need to know.  Somewhere in our individual lives, our paths crossed and we connected.  We stayed connected and therefore you helped shape my life.   You found value in our friendship and thus continued to honor our relationship with the Gift of Time - Rick Warren says it best when he says “ The greatest gift you can offer someone is your time.” - So, with all of my heart, Thank you for being here! Thank you for taking time from your schedule and giving it to me and my family on this special day. I believe the 2nd greatest gift you can give me -  is money, more on that later. I want to thank our God for the guidance and love that has enabled me to be here fulfilling my mission.  More than once I’ve found evidence of his presence sprinkled into my life. When I thought there was nowhere else to turn, I looked up and a path always presented itself.   Regardless of your spiritual belief, there is a higher power guiding us all, call it source energy, call it synchronicity, or even coincidence -  call it what you want, but I encourage you to listen to that intuition, follow the lead and be open to whatever opportunities are presented before you. There is always a path.   5 years ago, my 5 year plan had NONE of this on it.  I’ve been tapped on the shoulder for a new mission of service because there’s more work to be done, I’ve listened and found my place for my service.  That’s why we are here. This ceremony that brings us all together today is only possible because of the rest of you. I figure everyone else here fits into at least one of three categories....
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