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By: Ed Creamer

I find there are times when doors open and memories sit beside me. Now that may sound like a strange statement to make. But I believe we all have those times. Times when our mind takes a breather from the rush of today and stops just long enough for an instant in time to remember. The times that caused us to live where we live.

I’m not talking about what street we live on or if we live in up state or by the river or even in the heart of the city. I’m talking about what in our mental house makes us who we are and why we are that person. The people and the things that caused us to build the number of rooms we have in our mental makeup.

There are rooms devoted to my parents, my family and some uncles I had. Some of the rooms belong to teachers I had in school. One room in particular belongs to the judge who could have locked me up at age 18 but instead gave me a choice. I have rooms for my senior D.I., a room for my Company Commander who promoted me to Corporal when I was an 0311 and the First Sheriff who told me, “Corporal, you’re too dumb to carry a BAR”. He then pointed me toward aviation as a career.

Over time, as I received more promotions and made Warrant, rooms were set aside for people who touched my life and helped point the way toward where I would live. There’s a special room in my house for my first squadron commander. Not only did he help define who I was as an officer but what the definition of SLJO was.

During each of my two tours in combat I found there needed to be rooms set aside for those that cheated playing acey-ducey. I’ve even set aside a room for the mess cook who never learned how. And, if you’re the one who short sheeted my rack, your room is the four holer.

Then, there are the rooms for those who walk with me every day. I can visualize some of them dressed in their flight suites. Can hear the terrible jokes some of them told. I even think that when I sit down to put words on my monitor screen, the doors open for some to sit with me. For these are the rooms for those that gave their lives defining what the words “ultimate sacrifice while defending freedom” meant.

Now you know. And, if you stop and think about it, it’s a house like your house. It’s a house built with memories and touched by the lives of others. And in this house, you are never alone. It’s where you live.