Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Amazing Friend Rich's Navy Retirement

Our friend Rich just retired from the U.S. Navy after 30 years of service and we attended his celebration this past weekend. Read about this incredible serviceman...

It's amazing that you can know someone for so long, but because of their quiet nature (and they can't talk about their job) you learn so much when they retire.

Capt O'Toole and Rich
Rich is one of the most intelligent guys you'll ever meet, but he's very quiet and reserved, and didn't talk about his career or accomplishments in the 15 years we've known him. He's very humble and you would never know all of the things he's done. We were astounded to hear about his accomplishments and education during the ceremony. Rich is a man who has changed the lives of so many in the Navy for his service.

Greg and Rich
What has Rich done? He's had an amazing career, and he's incredibly accomplished. He's got a BS in Ocean Engineering, an MS in Nuclear Engineering and a Master's in Engineering Management. That's the tip of the iceberg. He's done so many amazing things including teaching at the Naval Academy,working in submarines as a scuba diver and nuclear engineering officer. We could fill pages with his titles, accomplishments, management, teaching and command positions. We can't think of anyone who has had a more accomplished military career and served our country with such fervor and passion.

Rich presents his parents with thanks
During the 90 minute ceremony recognizing him, Capt. O'Toole read some of his accomplishment and presented him with recognition from President Obama and the Secretary of the Navy. (Video at the bottom is the Capt. reading "Relieve the Watch.")

  Rich's career was filled with awards and challenges. He traveled all over the world on assignments and taught countless servicemen and women. He noted the passing and injury of friends and colleagues in the service, 

Rich presents Greg with Thanks
He cited challenges to his career like the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy that spawned so many witch hunts trying to find gay service members, of which over 1,600 were outed and dishonorably discharged. He took time out to give special commendations to his parents and long-time partner Greg, who took care of things on the home front (and the dogs) over their 11 years together during Rich's countless days of travel. He cited his aunt who inspired and supported him (and whom passed away recently).  
Rob , Judy and Tom

Rob, Jeff and Tom
He brought a tear to my (Rob) eyes about 10 times during his speech.What an amazing friend we have and his partner is just as amazing. We had the pleasure of meeting both of their parents, and our friends Judy (retired from the Navy) and Jeff (Greg's brother).

Greg watching the ceremony
A special pillow Judy made for Rich
What great ceremony for a truly amazing man whom we are so proud to call our friend. 
- Rob and Tom 
Rich gives hisremarks
Capt. O'Toole reads Rich's accomplishments
 Here's a video of the end of the ceremony when Capt. O'Toole relived Rich of duty and marked his official retirement. He read "Relieve the Watch." (1 min. 16 seconds). It really teared me (Rob) up! 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next