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Discussion: A neatly-packed uniform duffle

in: Cristina; Cristina > 2021-02-06

Feb 8, 2021 11:50 PM # 
cmpbllv:
Wow, how reading that sentence both brings a smile to my face and a rush of...I don't know what. ;-)
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Feb 9, 2021 12:20 AM # 
Cristina:
Haha. I found two duffles with the uniforms I didn’t take to the surplus shop, plus my flight bag with flight helmet, headsets, etc. Not sure what to do with any of it. (I know, I know, the anti-hoarder crowd is yelling at me to donate all of it...)
Feb 9, 2021 12:24 AM # 
jennycas:
Was Lukas excited by the discovery?
Feb 9, 2021 12:34 AM # 
Cristina:
He hasn't seen any of it yet! I also have a sandbag with parachute attached (it's what we would toss out of the plane to practice airdrops) which I think he'll find more interesting than any of the uniforms! We could probably try throwing it off the roof some day.
Feb 9, 2021 2:10 AM # 
jjcote:
How big is the parachute?
Feb 9, 2021 2:19 AM # 
Cristina:
Not very. The bag weighs something like 15 lbs and the chute is probably a 68" pilot chute, or something similar.
Feb 9, 2021 3:58 PM # 
Suzanne:
Do you ever miss it?
Feb 9, 2021 5:54 PM # 
Cristina:
Good question! I really shouldn't since I was generally pretty miserable when I was in the AF. A lot of that was DADT and the frat-house/middle school locker room culture of flying squadrons. And being called a pinko-commie because I rode my bike to work and reminded people to recycle their aluminum cans. And the weird tendency of arrogance to be confused with leadership. And the flying—ostensibly the "fun part"—disappearing from my schedule in my last months basically because of some mental health things (flying was not fun, at least then).

So, no, I don't *actually* miss the reality of being in the Air Force. The flying got scary/too stressful, I wasn't handling the personnel issues (above and below) that well, and being closeted is exhausting. BUT, sometimes, especially during really intense situations, I have this weird nostalgia for it. I think there's something to like about the kinds of stuff a flight crew or a support squadron can pull off in a time of stress and the high that comes along with that.

Even though I wasn't always happy I certainly had a lot of great experiences, both the learning kind and the fun kind. There are lessons from being an officer that are absolutely relevant to leading an engineering team (or just life) and I sometimes find myself wondering if maybe I should hold off on telling another 'war story' to my team. Clearly, if I have 'war stories' from it then there was something worthwhile about the whole thing.
Feb 9, 2021 6:25 PM # 
jjcote:
Will need a picture of Lukas wearing the flight helmet.
Feb 9, 2021 11:03 PM # 
yurets:
You'll never get over Macho Grande
Feb 9, 2021 11:43 PM # 
Bash:
Thanks for sharing that, Cristina. I've often wondered. The AF sounds exciting from the outside but you didn't always sound excited back then.
Feb 9, 2021 11:57 PM # 
bbrooke:
I'm remembering the departure cake with a big laugh to myself... ;-)
Feb 10, 2021 12:28 AM # 
cmpbllv:
;-) +1 million?
Feb 10, 2021 2:51 AM # 
Cristina:
For J-J:

Feb 10, 2021 2:52 AM # 
Cristina:
For Brooke:

Feb 10, 2021 3:06 AM # 
Bash:
Those are both pretty awesome!
Feb 10, 2021 4:23 AM # 
jjcote:
Outstanding!
Feb 11, 2021 12:08 AM # 
peggyd:
Great pics! Lukas looks ready to enlist.
Feb 11, 2021 2:35 PM # 
Cristina:
ono
Feb 12, 2021 1:06 AM # 
yurets:
Work for AF is dream come true...like that girl Ramada who evaluated pilots.

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