Life Mileposts

And some are just grand.

I know I’m getting old when my sister’s daughter is retiring from the Air Force. We were invited to attend the ceremony, which was held on 23 September in the Pentagon courtyard.

Here is my niece, Colonel Dawn Brotherton, with here two daughters prior to the ceremony.


Dawn served in the Air Force for 28 years, part of that time in the reserves. Her final assignment was Legislative Liaison, working out of the Pentagon. I am assuming legislative liaison involves working with Congress to ensure the Air Force receives proper recognition and also funding.

Her performance reviews have been outstanding, and a number of high-ranking officers (can you spell Lieutenant General?) were in attendance. In this capacity she rose rapidly in the ranks. When I saw her previously, it was 2005, and I was working on a defense contract in Tucson. She came out to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and we had dinner at a Mexican food restaurant. She had just been promoted to major. She has been a colonel since a few years back.


This was also an opportunity for the remaining Blantons to get together for the first time since 2008. Starting from the left is my brother, Keith. Then there is Carole Blanton, my sister-in-law. Then my own forbearing wife Barbara. That empty seat has my name on it, also my jacket. It’s likely the last time the United States military has mentioned me since 1964. Next are Dawn’s two lovely daughters. Then there is Dawn’s mother, my sister Betty Parker. Then there is Pete Brotherton, a retired Air Force pilot. Regretfully our oldest sister Christine died in 2004.

Following some absolutely miserable weather on the region, Friday turned out to be a stunning day. It was a time we could have used a few clouds.


This was my first time to visit the Pentagon, and if you have not, you might want to book a tour. At the time it was built (could still be) it was the largest office building in the world. Army Colonel Leslie Groves oversaw the construction and was subsequently denied a combat command in World War Two when he was instead assigned to oversee the Manhattan Project. This is the courtyard, locally referred to as “ground zero.”

Of course, the building has been the target of a deadly attack, in 2001 when enemy militants crashed an airliner into it, killing 189 people, including 125 working at there at the time.


Sorry, no photos inside the building. We were invited to a tour of the building and to Dawn’s office for a nice lunch, consisting of pizza and some kind of horribly delicious chocolate cake. Can’t do that too often.

The Air Force was a wonderful host, showing taxpayers they don’t spend their time just making life worrisome for our country’s enemies. Dawn’s hospitality was unbelievable. Besides the ceremony, she treated us to a tour of the capitol building that afternoon, and the following day she arranged for a guided tour of the capitol complex. That’s going to be the topic of a future post.

Keep reading.

About John Blanton

I'm a retired engineer living in San Antonio, Texas. I have served in the Navy, raced motorcycles, taken scads of photos and am usually a nice guy. I have political and religious opinions, and these opinions tend to be driven by an excess of observed stupidity. Gross stupidity is the supposed target of many of my posts.
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2 Responses to Life Mileposts

  1. Pingback: Texas Family in Washington | Specular Photo of San Antonio

  2. Pingback: Crashing 2016 | Specular Photo of San Antonio

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