Thank You For Your Service

I heard my name called…

“Would Mr. Tyler Hannan please join us on stage.”

and the people collected in the room stifled giggles.

Today was a unique experience.

Today, my father, Stephen Hannan retired after 42 years of Federal service. 3 of those on active duty (in Vietnam) and 39 working in various roles at the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver.

During a ceremony, much like you would expect from a military organization…with appropriate pomp, a fair bit of circumstance, and the sort of traditionalist approach that I find both compelling and comforting…I heard several individuals speak about the impact my father has had on their lives.

And I wept.

But Tyler, you may ask, “Why did this room stifle giggles?”.

Evidently when children are called on stage to receive their “child certificates” they tend to be of the 3-5 year old variety, clinging tightly to the hand of their mid-20s, or early 30s, parents who are retiring from active duty . They don’t stand at a height greater than anyone on the stage…looking as I did (image at the end of this post).

And I wept.

I know Steve Hannan.
I know him as a husband to my mother.
I know him as father.
I know him as father-in-law to my wife.
I know him as grandfather to my daughters.
I know him as a man who is kind…a man who is passionate about justice…a man who loves widely…a mans who weeps openly…a man who is trustworthy…a man whom I desire to emulate.

Today, I was honoured to see him from the perspective of Director of Staff of ARPC…as friend to those enlisted, those in the reserves, to civilians, and to the presently retired.

And, in their praise…their handshakes…their eyes…I saw my father.

I speak, at length — to anyone who will listen — about the importance of authenticity. I am blessed to have a model for authentic living in my life.

ARPC describes its mission, in part, as “serving generations of airmen”. Congratulations Mr. Hannan, you have served the mission well…both at home and abroad. Thank you for your service to our country during Vietnam.

You have retired from the mission of serving generations of airmen…but are, hereby, assigned to serving generations of Hannans. Little miss Aoife, and her big sister Gabriella, will be better humans for their time with you.

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