Had I stayed in uniform that long, I would have passed 30 years last week. What a life’s experience the military was. What memories! I, like thousands of others like me, spent the bulk of my adult life in uniform. The military made me grow up, to learn what it meant to have character, to take responsibility.
That’s why it is important to go out right, starting with a good retirement song. The tune that gets played when you get piped ashore for the last time is important – it tells your friends and family all they need to know about you, and puts an exclamation point on a career in uniform.
“God Bless the USA” is always a good one. “Take this job and shove it”…not so good.
If you’re looking for a poignant farewell song, try “It’s hard to say goodby to yesterday” by Boyz II Men.
“Beat it” by Michael Jackson…maybe not.
A Master Chief friend of mine walked off with “Free Bird” blaring through the speakers, which was a nice touch. I used “Mud on the Tires” by Brad Paisley.
Believe it or not, there are career military personnel who have refused to have a ceremony at all. They just signed a few papers and walked out the door.
What a shame.
There are a lot of do-overs in life, but not when it comes to retiring out of the military. You get one shot to celebrate a couple of decades of the best years of your life, so do it right. Go out in style. You deserve it.
On that note, I got an email the other day showing an officer going out with a bang. I don’t know his name, but people will be talking about his retirement for a long time.
Cut trousers into shorts
Remove shoes and socks
Ready to roll
This man is my hero.
His final song? Not a clue. But I’ll bet Jimmy Buffet sang it.