My father-in-law-to-be can be a pretty serious guy. He flew an F-4 Wild Weasel over North Vietnam, taking out enemy antiaircraft defenses designed to kill him. After that, he spent much of the next 20 years in Europe, taking command of one of the first squadrons to receive F-16s. For months at a time, he and his pilots would practice nuking southern Russia from our base at Incirlik, Turkey.
After 27 years in uniform, he retired as a full colonel despite being groomed for bigger things. His last job was a prestige position: Base Commander of RAF Lakenheath — our biggest base in our best ally. But he just didn’t enjoy flying a desk that much. General’s stars didn’t measure up to the thrill of strapping a fighter on his back, so he brought his family home to Colorado. A fine end after one combat tour, five (yes, five) combat-unit commands, flying with nukes, and a long career of watching his friends die.
Even if you never meet him, you