It’s amazing how time flies by us.

I’d just come in from filling the wood box when I noticed the date, 14 December. Twenty-eight years ago, we were rousted from our beds. We got dressed, drew weapons, and took our duffel bags and rucks down to the curb where they were loaded on trucks.

We ate a quick breakfast of coffee and doughnuts. A few hours later, buses showed up and took all of 501st MPs to a waiting Pan-Am 747. The following sunrise found us in Saudi Arabia. It was a whole new chapter in our lives. Thankfully, we all lived to write “finish” to that chapter.

Now it’s twenty-eight years later and I wonder where the time went. I look at the pictures taken back then, when my hair was still black and full. Today it’s mostly gray and receding. My children have grown up, and if I’m really lucky (or unlucky – depending on how you look at it), I could be a great grandfather in a matter of years.

I was one of the oldest men in the company, and I’m in my 60s. The majority of those men and women are in their 50s now. Even Steve, the baby in the bunch, is in middle 40s.

So, I poured myself a glass of wine, and here’s a toast to you guys.

To Greg who helped keep me sane in the middle of insanity.

To John who kept us all laughing.

To Dominic who kept us running.

To Mac who saved my life.

And to my incredible wife. She didn’t know it yet, but she was praying for the safe return of the man who would be her husband.

Thank you for a truly amazing life.

Read about our adventures here: 501st MPs at War.